- GOP Gabriel Gomez is running against Democrat Ed Markey for Massachusetts Senate seat
- Paul Begala: Gomez is styled as a "new kind of Republican," but that's far from true
- Begala: His military record is impressive, but his politics are standard old GOP
- Begala: He opposes Obamacare and abortion and is on the side of the wealthy
I suppose Republicans are to be congratulated for nominating a Latino Navy SEAL as their Senate candidate in Massachusetts. I recall when GOP lowlifes mocked and lied about the war heroism of John Kerry, and just last year Mitt Romney was saying the DREAM Act was a "handout" and Latinos voted for President Obama because they wanted "gifts."
But if you're looking for a "new kind of Republican," Gabriel Gomez is not your candidate.
He has called himself that. But in a recent debate, he admitted he would vote for Supreme Court nominees who would repeal Roe v. Wade. Nothing new there. He opposes the assault weapon ban, which even George W. Bush supported. So to the extent that's new, it's moving in the wrong direction in the eyes of most Bay State voters.
He opposes Obamacare, even though it's working in Massachusetts already, and it was so dear to the heart of Massachusetts' legendary Ted Kennedy. Same old stuff.
He has said he is open to repealing the home mortgage deduction for middle-class Americans but helped himself to a $281,500 income tax deduction in 2005 for not making changes to the facade of his pricey house. Republicans hammering the middle class but helping the rich -- that's not exactly new either.
Oh, wait. Here's something new. As a private equity financier, Gomez -- in the words of the Boston Globe -- served as a director of several companies "while they took on significant debt and cut jobs or moved overseas." A Massachusetts Republican who got rich while laying folks off and shipping jobs overseas? Where have I heard that before?
Gomez is not a new kind of Republican. And that is why he is going to lose.
In the Senate, Democrat Ed Markey will fight alongside Massachusetts' rising star, Elizabeth Warren; Gomez would cancel her vote. Markey will support President Obama; Gomez will oppose him. Markey will stand for progressive change: an increase in the minimum wage, universal prekindergarten, tax fairness, rebuilding our roads and bridges and more. Gomez will empower obstructionist Republicans like GOP leader Mitch McConnell and the tea party extremists.
That is why Markey will win and Gomez will lose: because it's not enough to just say you're new. Heck, I could say I'm George Clooney, but it won't change the fact that I'm a middle-aged balding dude. Gomez's military record is impressive, and his immigrant story is all-American. But his politics are just more of the same old Republican line.
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