Gloucester Daily Times
---- — To the editor:
As partisan a Democrat as I may be, I hope that Luke Noble, the chairman of the city’s Republican committee, is correct about the future of the GOP — at least at the local and state levels (letter, the Times, Wednesday, Aug. 21).
I say that because I am a firm believer in a vibrant, functional, and intelligent two-party system of government and, despite being a Democrat, I think a more vibrant and functional Republican party in Massachusetts — one cut from the same bolt of cloth that once produced the likes of President Dwight Eisenhower, Sens. Margaret Chase Smith and Edward Brooke, former Govs. Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci, and our own state Sen. Bruce Tarr would be a good thing for Massachusetts.
But more importantly, I think it would be a good thing for the nation for such Republicans at the state and local levels to increase their influence within the party and their political profiles across the country.
That’s so to counter the overwhelmingly white, far right, Tea Party” style extremists who have so hijacked the once great party of Lincoln at the national level in the nearly five years since the first mixed race president was sworn into office.
Think about it.
Given how far to the right the GOP has moved in recent years, Ronald Reagan, the man today’s right winger extremists claim to revere and hold so dear, would — given his history of raising taxes on numerous occasions and compromising with Democrats when the interests of the nation called for it — be an unacceptable presidential candidate to the right wing extremists who now dominate the Republican Party’s presidential primaries.
That strange — dare I say, frightening — irony should be lost on no one.
To think that a Tea Party extremist like Richard Mourdock could defeat a highly respected, balanced federal budget amendment supporting, career conservative incumbent U.S. senator like Richard Lugar in Indiana’s GOP Senate primary last year — with claims Lugar was too moderate, and with pledges to the Tea Party base to “never compromise” with any Democrat in the Senate — also reveals how extreme the base of the GOP, and the pols who pander to it, has become.
That’s proven to be good news for Democrats in several U.S. Senate races since 2010, because voters in the general election in at least four states rejected the Tea Party extremists nominated by the equally extremist members of the GOP base in Nevada, Delaware, and Missouri, in addition to Indiana.
So, I sincerely hope Mr. Noble is correct about better days being ahead for the GOP locally and at the state level.
I also hope Massachusetts Republicans will play a key role in taking their party back from extremists like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz who now so dominate the base and, thus, the coming presidential primary contests — before the once great party of Abraham Lincoln becomes even more irrelevant at the national level than it already is.