Stop beating up Seth Moulton
He’s always tilted at windmills; that’s what he does
LONG BEFORE Ayanna (Change can’t wait) Pressley defeated incumbent Mike Capuano and long before Joseph (I can’t wait) Kennedy III began ruminating about a run against US Sen. Edward Markey, there was Seth Moulton.
Moulton ran against incumbent US Rep. John Tierney in 2014 and won, becoming the first candidate to defeat a sitting Massachusetts congressman in a primary since 1992. He took a lot of heat for bucking the wait-your-turn mentality that tends to dominate in Massachusetts politics, but that didn’t stop him. He went against the tide – that’s what he does.
He served four combat tours in Iraq, a war he spoke out against.
He joined former governor Michael Dukakis in pushing for a rail link between North and South Stations – an expensive, transformative transportation proposal that is derisively dismissed as another Big Dig.
Now Moulton is on to his latest quixotic quest, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, arguing the country needs a younger Democrat who describes himself as progressive yet practical, someone who can bring the country together and not divide it. “It’s time for the generation that fought in the Iraq War to step up. It’s time for the generation that sent us there to step aside,” he says.
On paper, it’s a pretty good message. Diane Hessan, who is tracking the shifting attitudes of a group of 500 voters, says many Republicans on her panel are looking for an alternative to Trump but not finding it among the field of Democratic candidates, most of whom have moved far to the left on the big issues.
“Given that nearly 100 percent of my 500 voters are distressed about the divisiveness in our country, and nearly 100 percent would like a leader to bring us together, perhaps there is a candidate who can inspire us behind new common-sense, less hateful messages that both Democrats and Republicans could support? That may be our only hope for keeping the United States united,” she wrote in a column this week.
Few view Moulton as that guy – he’s had zero support in every qualifying poll for the debates since he entered the race in April – and the congressman has been lampooned for thinking he was ready to run for the nation’s highest office.“America simply doesn’t see what he sees when he looks in the mirror,” said Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker. “Running for president was a premature — make that a rash — move….He has always treated the job he has like a steppingstone to his true destiny, and voters tend to resent that. His time as a congressman could be done.”
Maybe. But Kennedys have always treated their jobs in Congress like steppingstones to their true destiny, and it hasn’t hurt them that much. Moulton may be guilty of overreaching, but it’s nothing new. That’s just what he does.