"We shouldn't have to cajole our junior Senator to do the right thing. Someone strong, or unusual--or both--needs to run against him."
Fortunately, someone strong and unusual is running for the Democratic Senate nomination.
Someone strong in character. Someone unusually gifted with intelligence and compassion.
His name is BOB MASSIE.
If you've been around Massachusetts politics for a while you remember when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1994 and The Boston Globe endorsed him by saying "Massie's candidacy promises an integrity of head and heart that doesn't come along often these days."
If you're just hearing about him for the first time, please read Renee Loth's op-ed piece in today's Boston Globe that gives a brief overview of Bob Massie's life and career.
Then follow me below the fold for some of the reasons why I am enthusiastically supporting him.
is passionate about inclusive justice
is a leader who does not wait for others to act before stepping forward with concrete proposals to solve specific problems
is a strategic thinker with a quick mind who is thoroughly familiar with Massachusetts and national politics
is an environmental activist and advocate for sustainable prosperity
is concerned about the sociopolitical effects of the spread of casino gambling on the poor, gambling addicts, and other vulnerable people
is a leader who can negotiate with people of diverse interests to get things done
has an expanded view of how the economy works: social spending is investment in a common dream, building the kind of country that lives up to our ideals and the expectations of the next generation
is a man whose lifetime of personal struggles have made him sensitive to oppressive systems and able to identify with the marginalized and the rejected.
has a doctorate from Harvard Business School and knows how to speak the language of the business community
wants to address unequal opportunity and the "Two Americas" divide between rich and poor
has no patience for petty politics and the distractions of small-minded squabbling
is an Episcopal priest who can go toe to toe with anyone about moral issues without being rigid or bombastic
has campaigned statewide, has networks of connection all over the Commonwealth, and is the only candidate of the potential names being discussed who has ever won a statewide primary
Many Bay Staters still have a gaping hole in our political hearts where the Lion of the Senate used to be... he roared on behalf of "the least of these" for decades, and now there is an aching silence.
For so many years we just knew we could always count on him.
But now we have someone representing our Commonwealth who just doesn't fit the Senatorial mold to which we have become accustomed.
Massachusetts is used to having a Senator of big bold vision whose first instinct is to be on the right side of important political decisions.
Massachusetts is used to having a Senator who doesn't have to stick a finger in the air and check which direction the changeable political winds are blowing, before he knows which action helps the arc of the universe bend toward justice.
Massachusetts is used to having a Senator who is not hamstrung by the need to obey the whims of petulant party leaders; Massachusetts is used to having a Senator who is the leader others want to follow.
We need a Senator like that again.
Bob Massie is the first Democratic candidate to declare for the 2012 Senate campaign in Massachusetts.
He starts off as the ultimate underdog, needing to raise a lot of money to level the playing field against his likely opponents in the Democratic primary, and against the tsunami of Citizens United money the Republicons will pour into this race to try to keep Scott Brown in the Senate.
But we have seen time and time against that the candidate with the most money does not always win.
Victory in Massachusetts comes to the candidate whose political strengths most closely match the political moment.
In 2012, Bob Massie is that candidate.
He is a fresh face and an old hand. He has new ideas and time-tested experience. He is an idealistic visionary and a results-oriented pragmatist.
He is a survivor who has arrived at this moment against all odds after a life of hardships and second chances. His whole life is a miracle, and I personally believe he was spared and resurrected for exactly such a political opportunity as this.
Getting Bob Massie the Democratic nomination and then sending him to Washington to replace Scott Brown will ensure that Massachusetts is properly represented in the United States Senate again!
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Here are few inspirational highlights from Massie's speeches and writing over the years:
"We are taught - falsely - that we must accept injustice because of the physical limits of the earth. We accept - wrongly - that what is defines what will be. We think that we are confined by our material conditions, but I believe that we are mostly hemmed in by our lack of dreams."
"What transformations will be possible in the future? We will only find out if we dream the biggest possible dreams ... If there is one motto that I would like you to write down and pin by your bedsides so that you see it every morning when you wake up, it is this: Reality follows ideas."
"Every day we make choices that (either) support or suppress the moral immune systems of our society. Do we seek security, or do we seek justice? Do we blame, or do we forgive? Do we fear, or do we love? It will be up to you - and people like you - whether tomorrow's inventions will be stolen by the cruel and the powerful - or employed to achieve prosperity and democracy for all."
And my favorite:
We are in a long struggle;
Longer than you or me or
Anything we know.
from far behind to far ahead.
It doesn’t hang on any one thing or person,
But comes from the deepest longing
Of the whole universe for justice
And for peace.
We must defy the darkness...
No matter what.
No matter what.