By Michael Goldman
Never thought I'd begin a column by agreeing with anything Republican congressional candidate Richard Tisei had to say, but for once we are on the same page regarding just exactly how he begins his next futile effort at public office.
Tisei is once again trying to unseat my former college classmate, close personal friend and former political client, U.S. Rep. John Tierney, and as such meandered up to The Sun to state his case for a second effort. (Yes, I'm voting for Tierney in both the primary and the final).
According to news reports about the meeting, Tisei apparently claimed he expects to start this campaign exactly where he left off his failed 2012 effort.
I agree fully with him that's exactly the point where he does begin in 2014, but I'd remind Tisei of the rest of the 2012 story he has conveniently forgotten.
Tisei did indeed lose to Tierney by a single point in 2012, but that was only after his own polls showed him leading Tierney by double digits a month before the November vote.
As the race went on, however, and the voters of the 6th District of Massachusetts got a better look at the two aspirants debating side by side, it was Tierney who roared back and won the contest, even receiving 10,000 more votes in the district than Elizabeth Warren while winning her election for U.S. Senate.
By using his 1 percent loss as a starting point for this contest, and assuming Tisei's slide continues at the same rate as it did during his massive electoral collapse in 2012, it is fair to extrapolate that by the end of this year's contest, Tierney safely will win not by a single point, but rather by double digits.
To be fair, at least some of the Tisei massive collapse had to do with his having to carry the burden of making a rational case as to why any voter in the 6th District would ever want to send anyone to Congress committed to keeping this Republican majority in power.
And make no mistake about it, Tisei is publicly and fervently committed to keeping in power John Boehner, who has been described, as the worst speaker in modern history; Majority Leader Eric Cantor, whose "Young Guns of the House GOP" political pact will once again this year spend millions to try and elect Tisei, even though Cantor repudiates at every turn the alleged social values of both Tisei as well as the voters of the 6th District; and House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan, who believes all abortion rights should be repealed posthaste.
The question, of course, is why?
While Tisei's decision to remain a member of a party whose social values he allegedly rejects is bizarre at best, it is also at odds with a growing number of his fellow socially liberal/fiscally conservative Republicans who have decided enough is enough.
Take Neena Laxalt, the daughter of the Republican former Nevada Gov. and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, a man long identified as one of President Ronald Reagan's best friends and a leading conservative in the 1980s, who recently changed her lifelong Republican registration to "nonpartisan."
Or Jimmy LaSalvia, the founder of GOProud who castigated his former conservative party members for their "tolerance of bigotry" adding, "I am an independent conservative. That sounds much better to me than 'gay Republican.' "
Or Pablo Pantoja, formerly the Republican National Committee Florida Latino outreach director, who explained his decision to flee his job, and his party, by detailing how his average conversation with rank-and-file Republicans on this issue had turned "ugly."
Or, finally Judge Carlo Key of Texas, who, after dropping out of Tisei's GOP, weighed in as to why he'll run next time as a Democrat, said, "I will not be part of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates, rather than disqualifies them."
So that just leaves one question Tisei seems unable to answer: Why remain a member of a party that rejects not only his alleged social values, but also the social values of the people Tisei hopes to represent on Capitol Hill?
The truth is it's a question he couldn't answer in 2012 and won't be able to answer in 2014 either.
Michael Goldman is a paid political consultant for Democratic candidates and president of Goldman Associates in Boston.