Did it ever occur to you that as hard as you would like to learn, some things may just be beyond your understanding? Here are a few of my examples:
- College education costs - why do they increase greater than the inflation rate every year?
- Why do traffic jams just suddenly clear up without any sign of the cause as you regain speed?
- Despite the complaints about the inadequacies of one-party government, why are only 11% of Bay Staters registered as Republicans?
There are just so many things that defy rational explanation. And now, after seeing the headline that Elizabeth Warren had doubled Scott Brown in first quarter fund raising, I am having another of those moments. What can possibly qualify Elizabeth Warren for US Senator?
It's all so strange to me. In a state filled with Democrats, why isn't one of the many long-term elected officials running for Senate? Doesn't that seem more logical - putting up a candidate whose record can be judged on a broader scale? After all, wasn't it Congressman Capuano who spoke so passionately about retaining Teddy Kennedy's seat when Martha Coakley was the favorite to assume his position? Why has he taken a pass? But there are so many other choices, so why not our own Congressman, James McGovern? He has a great name for a politician, and he has proven that he has all the liberal credentials that a Massachusetts Democrat could hope for - and then some. Seems perfect.
But instead it's Warren, and a lot of people, particularly from out of Massachusetts, have donated a lot of money to her campaign to get her elected. But why? What do they know that we don't? Or, is she just being put up by the Democrat National Party to be the "Sotomayor of the Senate"?
Ms. Warren has never held an elected office. Her background has been in academia and she has written a few books. She has taken credit for providing the "progressive" philosophy to the Occupy Wall Street Group which apparently means that she is strong on redistributed wealth and long on "free stuff" distribution. Doesn't this makes her something like a community organizer?
She has even been called "the Hollywood 'it' girl" by no greater authority than MSNBC. Now there's a qualification.
Is this the "new normal" for candidates for the Democrat Party? At least she hasn't voted "present" yet.
Compare this with the experience and qualifications of Senator Scott Brown who began his political career as an Assessor, before being elected to the Board of Selectman where he learned how Town Government ran in the real world. He was subsequently elected as a three term Representative to the Great and General Court, before being elected and re-elected as State Senator. Brown has learned that in the real world Republicans must learn how to work with Democrats if anything is going to get done for the people they represent. And, for the past two years he has been our US Senator, even as he continues to serve in the US Military.
How can the qualifications of these two candidates even be compared ... unless experience doesn't have value any longer.
But here's the thing, according to the US Congress Votes Database, Senator Brown has voted with the Republican Party only 72% of the time, a fact that has disappointed - and even angered - a good number of his supporters who have wanted him to be a more conservative voice. Compare Brown's record with Senator John Kerry, better known for attempting to avoid his fair share of taxes on his yacht, despite being reputedly the wealthiest US Senator, who voted with Democrats 97% of the time - placing him among the least bi-partisan Senators. Even Congressman McGovern "only" votes with the Democrat Party 93% of the time.
The point is that as a Nation we need the Parties to work together far more constructively to achieve positive solutions that advance the culture and maintain our place in the World community. Senator Brown has learned from his years of experience in Massachusetts government how to work with the other party. If he is not the kind of Republican politician that Independents and even disappointed Democrats can support, then I fear that all is lost for Republicans in Massachusetts.
As I said, there are a lot of things that I do not understand. Perhaps some of you will fill in the gaps.