Do we want to win or just make a point?
I was ecstatic when Scott Brown won the senate seat along with many of you. Scott was there at the right time, handled a few key points--like "with all due respect, it's not the Kennedy seat"--extremely well and benefited from Coakley's string of gaffs and miscues. A great time was had by all.
Fast forward to November 2012 and the energy was noticeably absent from his race. By that time, Scott had taken a couple of votes that disappointed conservative Republicans; the one closest to the election being his vote against interstate authorization for concealed carry permit holders. In a microcosm of what happened to Mitt Romney, too many Republicans sat at home, refusing to vote for a candidate who didn't line up with them 100% on all of the issues.
This again is going to be a time when we can insist on a complete DNA match before casting our votes, or we can look at the bigger picture of whether we'd be better off as a state having a Republican senator.
Let's take the Pro-Life / Pro-Choice debate as an example. Who in this race says they are pro-life? Sullivan, Gomez and Lynch. Who has promised to work to reverse Roe v Wade? No one. What practical difference is there between the candidates on this issue? None.
Dan Winslow supports a woman's right to choose and has proposed legislation to make adoption less onerous and less expensive with the hope that this alternative will be a realistic choice for women who cannot be mothers.
Mike Sullivan's website reads: "I will promote policies to simplify the process of adoption, recognizing that there are many loving families who are eager to adopt a child only to find the process excessively complex and expensive."
Is there a difference here? Yes. Dan Winslow has actually filed legislation to make this happen.
What about gay marriage? None of the five support the Defense of Marriage Act.
What about transgender rights? Let me be unequivocal about this issue. The transgender bill that the legislature passed in November 2010 did not have anything in it relative to the use of bathrooms. The "Bathroom Bill" portion of this legislation was removed by an agreement which was brokered by Dan Winslow and several Democrats who saw the potential problems that the original language could create. I fume when I hear one of my friends declare that Dan Winslow voted for the Bathroom Bill. Now you know why.
Why Dan Winslow can win in June
Although, as I've pointed out, that there are few, if any, practical differences between the candidates on social issues, the perceived differences will work against Sullivan or Gomez in the June 25th general election. Dan Winslow will be able to focus on the big issues of jobs, the economy, national security, etc., free from getting entangled in a social issues debate that is simply unwinnable in Massachusetts.
Dan Winslow versus Markey or Lynch in a debate would be highly entertaining. From personal experience, I can tell you that Dan is quick on his feet, inspiring, energetic, and will leave people scratching their heads wondering why the Democrat was so unprepared.
Dan Winslow has shown time and again that he can generate ideas that people from both sides of the aisle can embrace. When Republicans talk about repealing ObamaCare, Democrats and middle-of-the-roaders shut down and stop listening. When Dan talks about Excel & Exempt, a proposal in which states that comply with a minimum standard relative to universal health insurance would be exempted from ObamaCare, now all of a sudden there's an idea that has appeal to both parties.
Dan is always looking for common ground upon which compromise can be reached. This is what we need in Washington, D.C. Enough of the foxholing. Enough of the division. Enough of the partisan politics.
Where have all the statesmen gone?
We have one in our midst. He is Dan Winslow.