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Category Archives: Academic Life
Everyone who nods affirmatively when someone criticizes “professional” politicians and praises the need for “non-politicians” in Washington should be forced to read Stephanie Ebbert’s Boston Globe article about Gabriel Gomez’s positions on abortion. The title, “Gomez unclear on some aspects of abortion,” could make the hall of fame for understatement.
The other day, I expressed my concerns about Ed Markey’s decision to “disinvite” former Geogia Democratic congressman Ben Jones from a fund raiser at which Jones’ band was scheduled to be the entertainment. Well, it looks like Cooter thought even less of the Markey campaign’s attempt to avoid bringing the Confederate flag into our little senate race. Jones’ Boston Globe op-ed expresses some of the same concerns as I did, though in much more colorful and evocative prose.
State Auditor, Suzanne Bump, wrote a very interesting op-ed the other day that deserves wide dissemination and discussion.
The logic of voting “the person, not the party” in federal elections has never been very strong, but in our present highly polarized national politics it is down right stupid. Paul Krugman’s recent praise of the South Carolina voters who just elected Mark Sanford to Congress makes this point quite concisely.
The latest poll in the Markey-Gomez US Senate race has surely dampened some the enthusiasm of Massachusetts Republicans, but one comment by the pollster, David Paleologos of Suffolk University, may have created some unnecessary confusion. He was quoted in the Boston Globe story about the poll as saying, “[t]he coattail effect will be beneficial to Markey, and that’s a problem for Gomez,”
The reason I expected Sullivan to win the Republican primary is because I knew that the primaries (on both sides of the isle) would be decided by each party’s “base.” In low turn out primary elections, it is hard to imagine it going any other way. Gomez’s victory did not contradict this assumption; it contradicted my assumption about who the “base” of the Massachusetts Republican Party is.
The MassPoliticsProfs are attending the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association today but I leave you this to ponder: What is the value of political science? A recent paper by Ronald Rogowski of Princeton has a discouraging answer: politicians ignore social science research unless it confirms their own biases or those of their constituents. They don’t like a lot of research because it disproves their favored positions.
I first found the paper on the indispensable themonkeycage.org.
The nomination of Gabriel Gomez was a victory for the Mass GOP establishment over its “Tea Party” wing. Why was the Bill Weld crowd able to out organize the “God squad” in this special election primary fight? In a low turnout election, especially a primary election, the most committed and active partisans should call the shot. All the recent research about the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party nationally tells us that they are the most committed and active members of the GOP, which is why I expected Mike Sullivan to prevail yesterday. So, why didn’t the candidate from the Republican wing of the Republican Party prevail last night?
The race for US Senate in the state may be effectively suspended, but politics goes on as usual at other levels. The US Senate’s failure to pass a gun control bill, despite overwhelming public support, is getting its share of attention from analysts, so I thought I would let Masspoliticsprofs readers in on a perennial local political dispute that is ongoing in my little Western Mass burb.