Left In Lowell

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November 30, 2009

I Endorse Mike Capuano for Senate

by at 12:34 pm.

With only one week to go, we the voters of the Democratic primary need to choose our pick to replace the irreplaceable Ted Kennedy, who will go on to the general election in January (and let’s face it, on to the Senate). My endorsement comes late but no less enthusiastic. I endorse Mike Capuano for US Senate.

In looking at all the candidates, really only two are known progressives, and of those two, one has been tried in office and has stood up against Bush era abuses, against the Iraq war, for protecting civil liberties, and has a practical progressive view on how to get things done in Washington. As much as I’d hate to see him leave the House, I think the Senate needs Capuano desperately.

There is the other progressive in the race, Alan Khazei, and I hope he runs for office in the future. A lot of my progressive friends are on board with his campaign, but I have two major problems with him: one, that on a practical level, he’s highly unlikely to win; and two, some of the missteps in his campaign, though understandable, make him look rather green. For instance, I applaud his stance on casinos, but the forums in which he brought the matter up were inappropriate, and also, irrelevant. The only power a Senator would have in the state debate about casinos is the bully pulpit, and a freshman Senator, not even much of that. A lower office would suit Khazei so that he can gain the experience needed to move further up, but I just don’t see the “ready for prime time” practicality necessary to make something happen in the mess of a Senate.

I am sincerely skeptical about Coakley, and moreso the longer this campaign goes and she listens to her consultants and “plays it safe.” That’s not to say she might not turn out to be a good progressive, but the manner in which she has run her campaign doesn’t showcase this potential whatsoever. She has failed to reach out to the grassroots, or the netroots, and I’m really kinda sick of the only way I actually hear about her campaign: ads on TV, and press releases to my email like every day or so. It would take very little for her to change the impression that we out here in the ‘roots have of her, but no effort so far. More’s the pity. I want to ask: How will she govern, if this is the way she runs?

Her reversal on the increase of troops in Afghanistan is nothing short of bewildering. First she says she’ll wait to hear the President’s evaluation (a “safe” though actually defensible position), and now, that the other candidates say they are against increasing the troops without a timeline for withdrawal, now she is. Way to stick to your guns.

Pagliuca is dismissible, if not for his gobs of money which makes him a household name now. Anyone else tired of Pags ads? Doth protest too much? His is a vanity campaign, except he has spent so much cash that he actually has a bit of a shot. My friend Ryan (who has endorsed Khazei) does a good job running down the reasons why this guy is in fourth place for the progressive vote. I have no use for a guy whose first indication of progressiveness is his ads on TV, when all his previous actions say something different.

But enough about why not to vote for the other guy. Why should you vote for Mike Capuano?

For me, it’s about the combination of practical attitude and steady principles. The man who held this seat for so long had a lot of both of these elements. Kennedy’s time in the Senate was about holding the line against conservative and neo-liberal policies, many of which resulted in the mess we are in today. A shift of the conservatives to the right corresponded with a shift of the Democrats to the right (even right of center) with devastating results. But not for Ted, and a vast majority of his constituents thanked him for it.

That’s why I want someone with similar principles, and similar practicality, to hold this office again. We need to adhere to our ideals…not because we want to be extremist, but because in reality, on issue after issue, we have the American people on our side. If we want to be rewarded with the trust of the people, we should stand for something. And then follow through.

Mike Capuano has a history of working with others to accomplish goals. He seems to know when to compromise, and when to stand firm. (Hint: eroding our civil liberties was one of latter.) Kennedy knew how to garner the respect of his peers, even as they took opposite sides on an issue. I believe that Mike Capuano is best able to replace that man who held constituent services as dear as passing a health care bill.

Finally, Capuano has shown he is of the grassroots. He has held event after event, out on the streets, unscripted. He is knowledgeable on the issues, answers questions from anyone, has deigned to interview with such rabble as bloggers and podcasters (gasp!), and generally displayed an attitude of listening as much as talking. He is down to earth and not driven by consultants (though I’m sure he employs some), and doesn’t apologize for being himself. All of these things make him the best Democrat to replace Ted Kennedy as our second Senator from Massachusetts.

10 Responses to “I Endorse Mike Capuano for Senate”

  1. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Wow. You and Pat McCarthy!

    Coakley has lost my vote. I’m voting for Caps. Mostly because he, as you say,”doesn’t apologize for being himself.” He is comfortable in his own skin. Also there is this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv7DltjLuEM

    I am not as liberal as Caps, but much of MA is, so he fits the state.

    All that said, Coakley will still win. I plan on pitching in to beat whoever the Rs put up.

  2. observer Says:

    John Cox has also endorsed Capuano.

  3. Christopher Says:

    RE Comment#2

    Oh no! This actually has Lynne agreeing with Cox - we can’t be having that:)

  4. Lynne Says:

    To both observer and Jack: A stopped clock and all. :)

  5. Bob Forrant Says:

    In the early 1930s twenty-eight state legislatures passed laws placing moratoriums on home foreclosures of people out of work - who ever says they will introduce such a bill in Congress as their first official act gets my vote - - and oh yes I am waiting for Hell to freeze over too.

    Our state legislature takes a six-week vacation while unemployment goes up, revenues go down, and many of the unemployed in our state are running out of unemployment insurance. And, in Congress no one in our state delegation has said much of anything about the stimulus plan’s failure to generate jobs. Where oh where is there somebody with a spine willing to state the obvious- people are hurting badly and for the most part their government has abandoned them and is willing to let a stew of cronies in the White House who helped to caused the mess we are in pretend to fix it while continuing to shovel tax payer money to big banks and insurance companies. There oughta be a law!

    For me, I will walk in to the polls backward with a blindfold on to vote for the lesser of several evils.

  6. Mimi Says:

    Lynne:

    On this one, I am with Ryan “…I think Capuano is still a good vote. I just think Khazei is a better one.”

  7. VoteforPedro Says:

    I’m sure Mike Capuano is estatic. He might as well stop campaigning, kick back, and wait for the votes to pour in.

    Lynne, who are you endorsing for the ProBowl this year?

  8. outsider Says:

    Bob

    What have you done except complain?

    Are you not a local professor who has clout? I see your op’eds in the Lowell Sun.

    Have you called Congresswoman Tsongas or any other elected official to discuss how you can help this “Global Crisis”?

    I hope that you have called someone or all of them.
    Wait, your are probably waiting for them to call you because you are too busy with your 3 classes and protected tenure.

    Give me a break — go out and try to earn some money instead of pontificating to the masses on a local blog.

    What a joke !!!

    By the way Lynne and John Cox on the same side? I might vote for Caps just to see these two at the victory party together.
    **********Politics make strange bedfellows*************

    [Editor’s Note: This comment was barely let through. Your second comment was NOT let through, as it contained over the top personal attacks that were unnecessary and not contributing anything what so ever to the conversation. This is your warning about your conduct on the blog, because your second comment was not acceptable here. Please refrain from this sort of vitriol against another commenter. Thanks. –Lynne]

  9. TheKLYAM Says:

    One of Mike’s campaign choked up seriously when he made the allegation that “nobody in Congress would ever support the abolition of the Federal Reserve System.” Well dumb ass, there is at least one guy and his name is Ron Paul. Caps is just a stooge like them all, Republican and Democrat, who would never vote against something…that caused an economic crisis. Okay, cool. You’ve proven that you want to be a slave of big government causes. You are totally going to get my vote. Not.

  10. Lynne Says:

    Whine whine whine…

    Ron Paul is a crazy dude. If that’s your idea of an ideal candidate then I can’t help you…

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