This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2020.
GOOD UPDATE! Ed Markey defeated Joe Kennedy III in the September 1, 2020 Massachusetts Democratic primary by a margin of 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent. Markey became the first to defeat a Kennedy running for office in Massachusetts… ever. Yay yay hooray!
Support Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey in his bid for re-election to a second term. He’s being primaried, for fuck’s sake, and it is COMPLETE BULLSHIT, for serious.
As you might have guessed, it’s me, Sarah Jane, writing this one, and I’m more than a little pissed off.
I’m from Massachusetts, and in Massachusetts, and Ed Markey is a goddamn excellent Senator. God. Damn. Excellent.
Everytime I check his Twitter feed, he’s doing what I want him to do, and he’s on top of a mess of other things that I had no clue about.
I mean, this guy has been fighting the good fight for net neutrality. He’s trying to get a universal flu vaccine to happen. He co-wrote the Green New Deal with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, FFS, what else do you need?
Ed Markey is rock solid, and he’s more than earned a second term. I am entirely unsurprised that many people who staffed Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign immediately redirected their energies to him after she left the race.
Why is this get-behind-Senator-Markey post necessary, you might ask? Why is he unsure in his position?
Because he’s being primaried. By someone who is less progressive than he. And because said challenger has the last name of Kennedy, which is well nigh magical in Massachusetts, that twerp might just succeed.
Joe Kennedy III is, at this writing, the House Rep for District 4 in Massachusetts. He’s the grand-nephew of President John F. Kennedy and longtime Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. He turns 40 later this year.
Evidently, he thinks he should be a Senator, and he’s getting antsy and wants to knock off Markey, despite the fact that Markey is, really, no kidding, doing absolutely stellar work.
And while he has since walked this statement back, Kennedy justified his pro-marijuana law stance by saying, “If you smelled [marijuana] in a car, you could search a car…When it became decriminalized, you couldn’t do that.” [Here’s the Boston.com story that contains the quote. You’ll have to scroll down a ways.]
Again, a crap-ton of horrified Dem friends must have schooled Kennedy, because he has since voiced support for decriminalizing marijuana laws. In an op-ed for STAT, he wrote:
“My concerns about the public health impact of marijuana remain. But it has become clear that prohibition has wholly failed to address them. I believe legalization is our best chance to actually dedicate resources toward consumer safety, abuse prevention, and treatment for those who need it. It is our best chance to ensure that addiction is treated as a public health issue — not a criminal justice one.”
If this was a Scott Brown situation–if there was a Republican in this Massachusetts Senate seat, things would be different. Kennedy would be the obvious choice under those circumstances.
But! I see no reason, absolutely no reason at all, to throw over a solidly progressive Democratic sitting Senator doing exceptional work for the state and the country just because there happens to be a younger guy named Kennedy who wants the job.
Please support Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. Put him in your Core Four for 2020, and tell your friends to do so. The Democratic primary takes place on September 1, 2020. The Cook Political Report rates the Senate seat as Solid Democratic.
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