Thursday, June 01, 2006

Democrats for Sale?

How many Dems can you buy here for $2 million? We should know this weekend at the Democratic Party convention.

Chris (or is that the Christ, come to save us?) Gabrieli has spent much of his largely self-funded campaign lucre on broadcast ads. That's nice of him not to tax our brains with reading or thinking. Thanks, Gabby.

This blog is full of disdain for the unDemocratic and undemocratic rich guy trying to bypass the process and buy his way to 15% of the delegates to appear on the party primary. The line-jumper mentality speaks loudly, and in places like BlueMassGroup as well.

Yet, I know no one who says he is dumb. He clearly knows that even here, where we self-identify as educated and thoughtful, we skim news and opinion. We pretend that a few minutes of TV or radio chatter preps us for the big issues. Right.

The majority of households here, as in the rest of the country, do not get a daily newspaper. We can pretend that we get more news from the Net than we ever did, but that's not convincing. The bulk of us admit to getting most of our news from TV talking heads -- brief, simple-minded, and not demanding.

It was only a couple of months ago that we went to a large dinner in Brookline tabled by UUs. The state, town and denomination are all and each known for political involvement and pinko politics. Yet, the people at the table did not know the candidates, had no sense of the issues, and had not heard of Deval Patrick (or maybe thought they might have). I have run across this elsewhere, but the place and people surprised me.

If this group was so out of it, Gabrieli has done the right thing in hitting broadcast with easy-on-the-mind ads. He has already shown that his real abilities are 1) getting on statewide ballots, and 2) losing. It would be best not to dwell on specifics.

At least in his remarks to the June 1st Bay State Banner, Patrick thinks the 70s and 80s style buy-TV/buy-elections ploy can be trumped by the much older door-to-door one. The Banner quotes Patrick on Gabrieli as:
He is a nice enough guy, but his candidacy doesn’t mean a thing. Just as the insiders’ strategy has failed to perform any magic, the money strategy has also failed. The only strategy that counts is the one on the ground. And that works both politically and philosophically. It’s the only way to get the people who have checked out to check back in.
Come this weekend, we'll see whether you can buy Democrats with bucks, or whether they demand ideas in payment.

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Anonymous said...

You really must think that the Massachusetts Democratic Party's convention delegates are plain stupid.

It's pretty insulting.

The candidates all have messages, ideas, positions, etc.

Gabrieli got in late, so he's playing catch-up by airing TV ads early? Is there a problem?

The delegates are all intelligent adults who can make up their minds after observing all of the information out there. That is also exactly why your contention that Gabrieli is "bypassing the process" by getting in late is utterly absurd. He's playing by the rules and the rules make it harder for him because he got in late. End of story.

And I don't think people were saying Gabrieli was all that unDemocratic when he was whooping Kerry Healey in the 2002 Lt. Gov. debate, or when he founded Mass2020 (the state's most cutting edge education policy analysis center), or when he led the fight last year to expand stem cell research.

If you don't think the delegates can make up their own minds, either you think they are stupid, or maybe you are the unDemocratic and undemocratic one.

massmarrier said...

Breathtakingly brilliant! A reasoned, intellectual tour de force!

Thanks for the laughs, Anonymous. The Pee Wee Herman style I'm-rubber-you're-glue ("...maybe you are the unDemocratic and undemocratic one..." was a particularly nice touch.

The facts remain that Gabrieli doesn't respect the delegates or voters. He seems to figure he can just manipulate them with his bucks and attitude. We'll see this weekend how many buy into that sleaze.

Anonymous said...

"He seems to figure he can just manipulate them with his bucks and attitude."

Not to be repetitive, but you seem to think delegates can be bought by nothing more than "bucks" - which means you think they're stupid. Sorry if it seems "Pee Wee Herman-esque" to you (how ironically mature of you!), but that's how it is.

Not to mention that Gabrieli is not just throwing money out there. His ads talk about things he has DONE - working for better education, stem cell research, creating jobs. He has DONE this, while others have just talked about it.

So what's your big grudge against him?

massmarrier said...

He's weak and not ready for prime time, as a governor. The aspects that make him a good VC do nothing for the commonwealth.

He's high on tactics and low on policy and strategy. His alleged platform is really a VC effort on stem-cell research, which certainly will not save us nor substitute for a recovery program. The rest of his platform is snippets of this and that, like Healey's. He's had many months of planning this, and this is the best he can produce? Not impressive.

He may debate well, but that does not substitute for broad expertise and in in-depth program for Massachusetts.

Apparently you and I look at what he promises and see very different things. You can believe. I don't.

Perhaps he'll give a great speech at the convention and show that he has some solid substance. He has a long, long way to go from what he's shown so far.