Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jeff Jacoby Hates Massachusetts

So, I originally didn't want to give Jeff Jacoby's Blame Massachusetts First rant in the Sunday paper more attention than it deserves (and it deserves exactly none), but seeing that some others have given their opinions, I thought I'd contribute to the noise. First, if you haven't read it, Jacoby's thesis is that people are not leaving Massachusetts because it's too cold, or too expensive, or too hard to find work, but that they are fleeing the state because they're ashamed to have Ted Kennedy as their Senator. That's a crude simplification, but it's a crude column -- Jacoby has no data to back up his claim. A more generous reader would say that Jacoby's larger point was that the state is so packed to the brim with Democrats that conservatives who are denied a voice at the polls are instead voting with their feet.

But here's my question: if there are so many people so fed up with Democrats in Massachusetts, why are Republicans not able to fill the void? Not just that, but why aren't they even trying? No Republican is currently slated to run for any of the state's Constitutional offices, aside from the Governorship. As for the statehouse, Mass. GOP spokeszombie Darrell Crate has supposedly lined up about 70 Republican challengers for the legislature, but that's only about half as many as in 2004 and he's not telling anyone who those 70 candidates might be. Perhaps they are still smarting from those 2004 elections where every Republican challenger was rejected, and then some. But again, how do these Democratic victories fit in with the narrative that people are sick of Democrats?

Now, I'm the first to admit that elections in Massachusetts are not competitive enough, but I think it's silly to claim that this is the reason people are leaving the Commonwealth and it's doubly silly to blame Democrats for the fact that Republicans aren't challenging them.