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The Progressive Update (8/27/2020): Massachusetts Primaries & the Alex Morse Smear Job

The Florida Primary was a bit of a standstill for progressives. The biggest disappointment was that Debbie Wasserman Schultz won re-election with a 44 point lead against progressive candidate Jen Perelman, despite the fact that the former was in trouble for physically assaulting a minor just a few days before the primary. On the plus side, we did see some noteworthy primary victories in red districts. Alan Cohn managed an 8 point lead against conservative Democrat Adam Hattersley in a race the previously looked like it was going to be much closer, Pam Keith won her primary by almost 60 points, and Cindy Banyai managed a surprising upset against her district’s 2018 nominee David Holden.

On top of this, Monique Worrell won the nomination to be Orange-Osceola State Attorney, Eliseo Santana won the nomination for Pinellas County Sherif, and Chad Albritton and Jack Porter have both won City Commissioner positions. Even when we under perform, we still win some.

Our next primary is in Massachusetts, and this is looking to be quite special. To start, we have a heated Senate primary between Progressive Incumbent Ed Markey, and Corporate Democrat Joe Kennedy III. For a while, it was looking like Joe Kennedy was going to walk away with Ed Markey’s Senate seat, and that we were about to lose one of the few progressives voices that we have in the Senate.

The past few months saw that change when Ed Markey started to lean into his relationship with Bernie Sanders and AOC, and embrace his more progressive nature. While Ed Markey’s record is far from flawless, he has started to show a significantly greater contrast to Joe Kennedy’s stale platitudes and corporate speak. It is only a given that most people will vote for a boring young man over a boring old man as long as the media tells them they are the same policy wise, but Markey has done a lot to prove that he is a genuine progressive, and he has been much more successful at appealing to today’s progressive youth as a result.

Now Markey is leading Kennedy in the polls and in fundraising, and Kennedy has had to go back on his pledge to not use Super PACs, as well as trot out the whole Bernie Bro err… Markey Bro narrative in order to discredit Markey. Kennedy even got Nancy Pelosi to endorse him. Yes, the woman who has spent the past few years saying that primary challengers to incumbent Democrats are wrong, endorsed a primary challenger to an incumbent Democrat.

As if her silence on the millions of dollars spent by corporate Democrats attempting to Primary AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib despite the existence of the DCCC blacklist wasn’t enough, this basically confirms what we knew all along; Nancy Pelosi is the enemy of the left, and is thus the enemy of the people. Thankfully, it seems as if Pelosi’s endorsements hasn’t done much considering that Markey is continuing to surge, and will likely walk away the winner.

But Markey’s race isn’t the only one involving Establishment fuckery. Richard Neal, 30 year incumbent, Ways and Means Committee Chair, and former Springfield Mayor, is facing a primary challenge from Holyoke Mayor and Justice Democrats endorsee Alex Morse. Alex Morse is the last Justice Democrats candidate who hasn’t had their primary, and this could also be the biggest Victory for them yet.

Richard Neal is the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, which means that he is in charge of the party’s finances. He’s also the top recipient of corporate money in congress, even more so than the Republicans. This has resulted in Neal protecting Trump’s tax returns in order to protect his own tax returns from being released, and has resulted in him killing a bill to end surprise billing at hospitals. All of this is on top of shit like voting in favor of the Patriot Act, the Hyde Amendment, DOMA, SESTA/FOSTA, and constitutionally banning flag desecration.

But Richard Neal really went out of his way to show just how corrupt and scummy he is when he bribed the College Democrats to spread rumors of Alex Morse committing sexual misconduct with students. Thankfully, this smear job was quickly exposed and everyone who rescinded their endorsements have since re-issued them. In fact, it seems as if this attempt to smear Morse’s public image has given him a massive boost in donations and exposure, and it may have helped him in the end.

But I do feel it is necessary to express just how disgusting and vile of a tactic this was, and I will need to go into a bit of detail. Alex Morse is a gay man, and it is quite clear that the claims are made to tap into decades old homophobic stereotypes from back when we still had anti-sodomy laws. From back when fear mongering about gay men praying upon young boys in public restrooms were still commonplace.

Richard Neal is a vile homophobe, and so is anyone else who aided in this disgusting smear attempt. This disgusts me on a personal level because not only am I gay myself, but I’m also a trans woman. I’m part of a group that is hit with the brunt of these types of disgusting smear attempts by Fascists and TERFs all the time. I’ve literally had people tell me that I’m a freak and a pedophile based solely on the fact that I’m trans, and it is that same type of abhorrent prejudice that is being used to fuel this campaign against Alex Morse.

And for those that feel as though they need to consider the possibility that Morse actually did prey on his own students despite the scathing lack of evidence, I feel the need to remind people what the purpose of the #MeToo movement is. The me too movement was created to hold powerful people accountable for their crimes that they have gotten away with due to their immense wealth and influence.

This accusation against Morse is the exact opposite, it exists to protect a powerful, corrupt man from someone who threatens his authority. It is a vague claim that was released three weeks before election day, so that there is conveniently not enough time to have a full investigation into these claims before the primary, with the express purpose of punishing Morse. It is a claim that seeks to not only ruin his political career, but also his life and his reputation, and all because he sought to challenge someone more powerful than him.

I feel the need to bring this up because if this smear works, then they will use this any time a progressive challenger pops up. There is already a similar accusation put forth against Nancy Pelosi’s primary challenger Shahid Buttar, a Muslim man who is also a part of a minority that is a victim to negative stereotypes, one week after #PelosiMustGo started trending on Twitter. While there is a bit more credence to the accusation against Buttar than against Morse, and I do feel that there should be an independent investigation (especially since there is actually enough time for one in this case), it’s still important to keep in mind who benefits from these accusations. It is entirely possible that some people on the left are also predatory scumbags, hell there have already been a few this cycle, but they also tend to be more transparently scummy, and are less likely to inspire a mass progressive movement if they aren’t at least good at appearing as if they share those values.

And because I already know that there will inevitably be one of those people that will go “AHA, you are defending Morse and Buttar but you weren’t saying the same thing when it Biden/Trump/Kavanaugh that was accused! SUCH SAVAGE HYPOCRISAHH” just as their face begins to resurface from their anal cavity so they can get high off the smell of their own farts. I have considered not even addressing these people because they are so painfully stupid and disingenuous that they will only ever listen to whatever their tribe leader tells them believe, but I do think there is something that needs to be spelled out for the rest of us.

Pointing out that someone has “political bias” is one of the most stupid and pointless arguments one can make, and politics has a LOT of stupid and pointless arguments. Yes, I do in fact believe that the accusations against Morse and Buttar are false but the ones against Trump and Biden are accurate. It’s called “examining the facts and basing your decision on evidence and reason rather than blind partisanship.”

Both Trump and Biden have a several decades long history of corruption and scumbaggery, and both of them have been shown to not respect the boundaries of women, or women in general. Both of them also have multiple accusers and have tried everything they can to hide these accusations from the public. If you choose to ignore these facts, then you are a blind cultist and a rape apologist.

While there is a small chance that Buttar could have actually done it based on the evidence provided (although nowhere near as much evidence as against Biden or Trump), Morse had an active attempt at entrapment against him, and the worst they managed to get him to say was “How’s the rest of your weekend?”

Leftists really need to stop falling for the trap of thinking it’s wrong to appear “biased.” No fucking shit we are biased against corrupt, bigoted warmongers, who will do anything to hold onto their own power and wealth! STOP TRUSTING ESTABLISHMENT POLITICIANS!!!

Thankfully, as previously stated, this power grab failed and has made voters more likely to support Morse. As if that wasn’t enough, AOC decided to step in and endorse Morse as a fierce rebuke of Nancy Pelosi’s aforementioned endorsement of Joe Kennedy. This means the Pelosi and Neal may have very likely screwed themselves over with this shitty move, and thank fucking Goddess for that!

And if THAT was not enough, Neal may not even be the only Massachusetts Incumbent to lose re-election. Massachusetts District 8 Incumbent Stephen Lynch is also facing a tough bid for re-election against Robbie Goldstein, a physician who is attempting to primary the 19 year incumbent. While Lynch does not have anywhere near as much influence or power as Richard Neal, it should be noted that his voting record is even worse. Hell I think Goldstein himself said it best.

The Affordable Care Act. I think this is disqualifying. Rep. Lynch voted against the largest expansion of healthcare since Medicaid. I will get us to Single Payer.

H Amdt 509. The infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Rep. Lynch voted to prevent any federal funding for abortion. Abortion should be legal and accessible. Always.

The Defense of Marriage Act. Rep. Lynch claims he failed to oppose a law to prevent the federal government from recognizing marriages between LGBTQ people because of an “email glitch.” I married my husband Ryan in 2008, and I will never let anything stop me from fighting for my community.

H. Res. 990. Rep. Lynch was the only member of the MA delegation to put his name on a resolution declaring support for ICE, in a time where they have been indiscriminately targeting citizens and terrifying vulnerable populations.

H.R. 849. Rep Lynch voted to terminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board tasked with keeping Medicare spending down. Republicans have been systematically dismantling our healthcare infrastructure and Rep Lynch has helped.

H.R. 5895.Rep. Lynch voted to slash funding for clean energy programs and repeal the Clean Water Rule. This makes no sense. I’ll fight for the Green New Deal and target funding towards communities of color especially impacted by environmental degradation.

In 19 years, only 5 bills written by Rep. Lynch have been signed by the President – two commemorative, two renaming post offices. I’ll show up ready to lead. This district deserves a rep who will do more for them than just vote. #MA08 deserves a Congressman ready to fight for big, transformative change.

The most recent poll shows Lynch leading Goldstein by 7 points with 29% of voters undecided. The same poll also shows that voters in the district are strongly in favor of a candidate who is progressive, pro-choice, and in favor of Medicare for All. Considering that this poll was over three weeks ago, it is entirely likely that Goldstein could have either shortened that gap or even overtaken Lynch at this point. If Goldstein wins, then Lynch would be the first incumbent Democrat to lose to a non-Justice Democrats challenger this cycle.

Lastly, the is the eight way primary to replace the aforementioned Joe Kennedy as representative of Massachusetts 4th Congressional District. The most progressive candidate in the race is former Wall Street regulator Ihssane Leckey, whose most recent poll had her tied for 5th place with epidemiologist Natalia Linos with 9%. While Leckey may seem like she’d pretty far behind, it is important to keep in mind the that poll is over two weeks old AND that the margin of error is 4.9%. Considering that the current front runner Jake Auchincloss is at 14%, it’s pretty safe to assume that this will be a very close race, and that it is entirely possible for Leckey to make a come from behind vitory.

We are at the point where it is entirely possible that Massachusetts could send three more progressives to congress in an absolute blowout for the left. If we thought that Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush’s victories were big, just wait and see the type of reaction that Pelosi and Schumer have to this.

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