Mass Republicans: Whatever you say, Dems. Like we care. We’re spending January 6 with Parents Against Mask Mandates to “unite” “New England communities” “for a night of education … and action.”
If you have yet to encounter Geoff Diehl, whether through our coverage of the man or in public on the campaign trail, we’re sorry to have to inform you that you will probably be seeing much more of him as 2022 slugs on. Like it or not. Probably the latter, if you’re reading the Dig.
And there’s even worse news; a whole lot of Republicans in Mass actually heart the Trump-endorsed Diehl, a megaphone for anti-mask crusaders and various other right-leaning door knobs. As Patrick Cochran reported for the Dig in October, before Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he will not seek reelection:
In the 2018 primaries, Diehl cruised past two more moderate candidates, picking up 55% of the vote in a three-way race. Baker had no issue winning his 2018 primary, though he lost nearly 100,000 votes to a fringe hard-right candidate with very little campaign infrastructure or name recognition.
As Cochran wrote in an analysis published since Baker’s announcement:
Democrats called Baker’s decision a “takeover” by the rightwing core of the Republican Party. “Charlie Baker was pushed out of office by his own Party which has completely adopted the tactics and policies of Donald Trump,” Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford said. “The MassGOP’s hand-picked candidate for Governor, Geoff Diehl, is a Trump loyalist whose extreme politics match the hate and divisiveness peddled by the national Republican Party.”
You really have to hand it to Bay State Dems, who let Baker dunk all over them for years and barely bothered to play defense, but now get jumpy when an extremist with good hair throws a South Shore soiree. Rather than swiftly running the Republican governor out of this purported blue utopia, the majority party’s instead trotted out a gutterbound parade of lilliputian politicians who in turn receive brobdingnagian beatings at the ballot box. There are currently some excellent ideas in the air around the open gubernatorial race, and Harvard prof Danielle Allen and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz are worth hearing out. But they’re also facing a cocooned suburban mob of yahoos, and that’s where the state party steps into the picture. Wearing shitkickers and N95 headgear. Since they’re aware of the pigpen reality that they can’t get more than a blip on the five o’clock news about this race or any other unless they pitch party packs of partisan Viagra that get Sully in Scituate hard between traffic and weather.
As the MAGA saga goes, this week the Mass Dems are back trying to tap into waning anti-Trump outrage in their base by drumming up noise about some obscene January 6 event that Diehl attended in Abington. As if the advertisement for the Mensa International colloquium wasn’t telling enough: sponsored by the South South Grassroots Alliance, the organizers boasted affiliation with “Abington Againt Mandates [sic], Motherlode of Hanover,” and “Rockland Parents Against Mask Mandates,” and promised to “unite” [people] with other New England communities for a night of education, community, and action.”
There were also featured speakers, Braintree School Committee Member Matthew Lynch among them. Here’s his bio via the crew behind the Community Action Collaboration in Abington:
Matt Lynch is a former teacher and coach from Braintree. He graduated Braintree High School in 2005 and began working in BPS in 2010. After graduating from Boston College with a history degree, he worked in a variety of moderate Special Education programs at BHS. … After a decade of service to Braintree Public Schools, Matt was run out of his job by local activists after attending the Jan 6th rally. Instead of letting that be the end of the story, Matt wasn’t done giving back to the town of Braintree. He rallied the residents and won a seat on the Braintree School Committee, in which he hopes it to be a “2nd shot heard round the world.” Matt said “the public schools are heading into some tough years and I want to be apart of the rebuild. Now is the time to stand up and get involved.” Matt also served in the Air National Guard as an Intel Analyst for 6 years with 3+ years of active duty service. He is a decorated veteran of Operation Freedom Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.
In response to which the Mass Democratic Party and its Chair Gus Bickford said this in a media release:
Today, one year after Donald Trump inflamed a brutal insurrection at the US Capitol, Geoff Diehl has a campaign event where he will share a stage with a speaker who proudly joined the insurrectionists at the Capitol. Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford has issued the following statement: “Democrats and many Republicans chose to mark today’s anniversary of the insurrection by remembering the heroes that defended the Capitol and working to protect our democracy from future threats. But not Geoff Diehl. Geoff Diehl has chosen to campaign tonight alongside one of the people who proudly joined the insurrectionists at the Capitol. Rather than condemn the violence of one year ago, Diehl is celebrating it. Geoff Diehl is not fit to be Governor.”
And to think, some jackass or another from one of these two diarrhea parties will be the next person elected to paddle this state down the toilet.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.