Since lately, I’ve enjoyed the wrath from both loony right wingers, and well-meaning fiscally conservative friends, I felt it was time to maybe show my softer, more sensitive side, and admit something rare.
I might be wrong this time about it being impossible for Leah Cole — because she is an out-numbered Republican — to develop into an effective State Rep for Peabody.
But … before you get too excited, understand that my proclamation comes with an asterisk.
You see, before I can be proven wrong, Ms. Cole needs to stop hanging out with the wrong element on Beacon Hill.
Cole needs to change mentors, and start learning a few things from Rep Brad Jones (R-North Reading). The House Minority Leader is an excellent example of how a Republican can get things done for his district at the State House, despite being out-gunned 5-to-1 by Democrats.
Knowing that he’s outnumbered like Custer at Little Big Horn, Jones wisely picks issues on which he knows he can get consensus with Democrats. It’s how Jones and the other 20 other pragmatic Republicans in the Great and General Court get things done for their districts.
But right now, since Leah Cole would rather follow those more interested in obstruction than bi-partisan solutions, there’s a problem.
Cole’s mentor is a right wing ideologue from Andover named Jim Lyons. Lyons, whose handed Cole a few juicy checks for her campaign war chest, is the King of Chuckleheads on Beacon Hill. If you’ve ever heard him on the radio show of hack newspaper columnist Howie Carr, you’d realize how out there on the fringe Lyons is when it comes to issues. Like Carr himself, I’m talking tinfoil hat crazy, and an always angry-at-the-world demeanor.
Not only is Lyons an obstructionist, but earlier this year he marshaled his handful of extremist lunatic pals, and tried to oust Jones from the position of Minority Leader. Why? Well, they don’t like it that Jones is willing to find consensus with Dems, and make government work for the people of the Commonwealth. Thankfully, there weren’t enough wing-nut votes to get the job done. By the way, Jones got overwhelming support from the Republican caucus, which voted 21-0 to keep him as Minority Leader.
And guess what? Knowing his coup was going to fail big. Lyons had his merry band of right wingers, including Ms. Cole, not show up for the vote.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, and obviously Rep. Lyons isn’t, to realize that you need some support on the Democratic side of the aisle to get issues advanced, whether they’re policy or parochial,” said Jones, during a time when Lyons and his goons failed to oust him. “That’s just a mathematical reality, as much as I may not or he may not like it to be the case.”
Brad Jones is a Republican rep who gets it.
And if Leah Cole would only listen to the wise Rep from North Reading instead of a crackpot from Andover, even I might change my mind about her potential future effectiveness as Peabody’s State Rep.
Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody