Tuesday, November 6, 2012

For Massachusetts voters, Red Sox fans, and anyone in a blue state

In all the election coverage I've read in the past month or so, one of the posts that stuck out as making a particularly good argument was written by Cat del Valle Castellanos at CNN.

Rejecting any suggestion that she was merely adopting the politics of her Republican strategist father, Castellanos goes on to articulate several well-reasoned arguments for her support for Romney, including this passage:

Ultimately, my decision came down to this: I could not rehire Bobby Valentine.
Valentine, manager of the Boston Red Sox this past year, was fired after a horrible season.
His team's poor record wasn't entirely Bobby's fault. In fact, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, "Bobby was dealt a difficult hand." No doubt Valentine inherited a lot of problems.
But looking ahead, there was no reason for Sox fans to hope that next season Valentine would lead his team differently or deliver a better record.
Obama inherited a lot of problems, too. In his defense, our expectations for hope and change were too high. Unless he Midas-touched his way through the White House, Obama was destined to disappoint us.
But manager Obama has not achieved the goals he led us to believe he would. He has not turned his team around.
You don't keep a failing manager when there is an acceptable alternative. It's time for a replacement.
For my Massachusetts readers, I ask you to consider this argument on the rest of your ballot as well. Too many of this state's Democratic incumbents in Congress have lingered on for too many years without a challenge, and they are but a rubber stamp for Obama's failed policies. 

Scott Brown is the second most bipartisan member of the Senate, and has a track record of working with both parties to solve problems. His championing of the bill that finally banned members of Congress and their staffers from insider trading was an ethical reform that was long overdue.

Sean Bielat, running in the Fourth Congressional District, and Jon Golnik, running in the Third, both have practical real-world business experience that sharply contrasts with their Democratic opposition. 

The Herald News endorsed Bielat over Joe Kennedy III, basing their choice on Bielat's more substantive record and strength on the issues:
...Kennedy apparently hasn’t been doing his homework...as evidenced by his apparent lack of understanding of the issues. While he’s mastered the art of retail politics, in debate settings, Kennedy comes across as a weak candidate who merely speaks in partisan platitudes. Surely aware of this weakness, Kennedy’s handlers have limited his participation in debates and forums with his opponent. Kennedy may have been a stronger candidate had they not limited his opportunities to prove his mettle.
In the few head-to-head matchups the voters have been granted, Kennedy has simply been unable to match Bielat’s ability to debate policy. Kennedy has seemed ill at ease and has not demonstrated an understanding of policy implications beyond the standard Democratic talking points...
...the former Marine turned businessman has demonstrated deeper knowledge of issues and the ability to think on his feet. He’s proven to be an aggressive fighter and self-starter. [Bielat’s] his own man, and likely to remain so, rather than become a partisan pawn. He has developed and effectively explained unique, independent policy positions, rather than regurgitating his party’s talking points. In those areas — the areas that really count for a congressman — Bielat is the superior candidate.
I've met a number of the Republican candidates running in other districts around Massachusetts, both for the state legislature or Congress, and they show similar depth of knowledge on the issues and commitment to working hard to turn our economy around and restore fiscal responsibility to our government. Please consider giving them a chance.

Based on the news, press releases, and general chatter that I see, a similar dynamic exists in many other traditionally blue state districts around the country. You don't keep a failing manager when there's an acceptable alternative, and you certainly don't replace that manager but then fill all other staff positions with employees who backed the same bad ideas.

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