Friday, September 03, 2010

No-Show: Overlap of Cowardice and Calculation


Races in MA? Yeah, we have heated elections this year.

Trying to chill their own though are a surprising number of candidates. They mingle with voters. They hug the gray heads. They appear solo on Chris Lovett's interviews.

What they don't do is mix it up. They do their damnedest not to debate. They keep their interviews few and short. They don't even show for those wishy-washy public forum thingummies.

A tip of the toupee to the Needham Patch for covering the 50% 9th Congressional show yesterday. The short of it is there were two chairs on the dais for the Dems and two for the Republicans headed for the September 14th primary. One from each party was occupied. That did not include incumbent Rep. Steve Lynch or the GOP's Keith Lepor.

To their credit, Democrat Mac D'Alessandro and Republican Vernon Harrison stated their positions and kicked around areas of contention.

You needn't be a cynic to take Lynch to task. He has spent this campaign season saying how gutsy he is. That has not included facing any public challenges of any sort. His hiding from criticism of his record or mouth-to-ear combat scream arrogance as well as cowardice.

Disclaimer: We at Left Ahead! have been unsuccessful in getting Lynch on our show. His campaign has blown off repeated phone and email requests. Recently several contacts with people at his HQ and with campaign guy Conor Yuntis face to face have produced firm promises to set a date for a show before the primary. When Yuntis asked one time how long I wanted and heard that our guests went for 30 to 60 minutes, he said Lynch would be intimidated and suggested 10 or at the most 20 minutes. Even with reminders, nothing has happened.

Challenger D'Alessandro is not timid. You can listen to his podcast here.

We have other anti-democracy, anti-openness types this time. In particular, Secretary of State Bill Galvin has similarly avoided as much public exposure as possible. Challengers independent Jim Henderson and Bill Campbell have been out there, available, and calling for debates. A huge difference for them is that they'll have a shot, being on the ballot in November.

For the 9th though, Lynch knows that he only has to hide a little longer to avoid comparisons with D'Alessandro. Only one Dem makes it through the primary, likewise on the Republican side.

The incumbent cowering in the back room is a simple idea. If don't come out to detail and defend what you've done in office, voters may figure you've been on OK job and re-elect you.

I for one am pissed...mightily. For me, an incumbent candidate who doesn't have the courage to stand up to challengers in debate can't expect us to believe he'll stand up for us in Congress. Someone who hides in the tent while the battle rages has lost any claim to victory and the honor attached to the struggle.

We've had a democratic process in place here for centuries, a tradition most evident in campaigns for office.Do you suppose Lynch, Lepor and Galvin had an exemption for their civics and history classes?

I say if they won't talk in front of you, don't vote for them.

Hider and Loser Note: It's a very small universe and unscientific, but so far we have seen that those few who hide from Left Ahead! podocast lose elections. It doesn't necessarily work in the inverse, that is, those who join us don't always win. However, the likes of Martha Coakley when she ran for the U.S. Senate illustrate the conceit. Blow off Left Ahead! (as surrogate for voters) at your own risk.

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