Remember just a few months ago when Scott Brown was elected to the US Senate, winning the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy and everybody was talking about how it signaled the rebirth of the conservative movement, not just in Massachusetts but nationwide? Even Brian Camenker of MassResistance was giddy about it.
Well, it looks like the dream has quickly faded, as Camenker and other Massachusetts conservatives are vowing to sit out the coming election:
Social conservatives – abortion foes, gay marriage opponents, transgender rights critics – may sit out the 2010 election, a Massachusetts hard-line conservative activist said Tuesday, arguing that no statewide candidates for office have championed their views.
Brian Camenker, executive director of MassResistance, which pointedly opposes gay and transgender rights, said he hopes social conservatives punish the Republican Party by staying home in November, and he singled out Republican gubernatorial nominee Charles Baker as “tone deaf” on social issues.
“He thinks he can just be Bill Weld again and that’s going to work,” said Camenker, referring to the Republican governor elected in 1990 on a platform that largely eschewed divisive social issues. “It’s not going to be as effective as it used to be. I don’t think he gets it. I don’t think he understands the passion of people on this issue.”
Social conservatives, who typically identify more closely with Republican candidates in Massachusetts, are conflicted this year, with a gubernatorial race that features three major candidates – a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent – who agree on the validity of gay marriage and the right of pregnant women to choose whether to have an abortion.
“We’re certainly going to be telling people to sit out this race,” Camenker said. “The Republican Party needs to be taught a lesson that they can’t consciously take social conservatives for granted.”