Republicans fancy themselves the party of beer drinkers. But here in Massachusetts, they’re all about the whine.
If you need help with your New Year’s weight loss goal, consider watching the video of MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons and some of his fellow whine-aholics as they binge on grievance during a recent meeting in Worcester. (Hat tip to Globe columnist Scot Lehigh who first reported on this stomach-turning event.)
Lyons faces a tough fight for reelection as party chair later this month after yet another disastrous electoral cycle for local Republicans that cements his hard-earned reputation for incompetence. But don’t log on expecting introspection or humility.
For Lyons and his allies, it’s all about nefarious forces – most notably former Gov. Charlie Baker – allegedly trying to destroy their hard work by “interfering with every single thing that every volunteer, every donor and every candidate has done.”
Among the “evidence” offered by Lyons: a Baker-aligned PAC’s support last year for Democratic Rep. Jonathan Zlotnick of Gardner, who breezed to victory over Republican Bruce Chester. It’s unclear what ties the Baker administration had with Zlotnick, a moderate Democrat endorsed by police and correction officer unions. Perhaps Baker and company just preferred him to Chester, whose website features a talk he gave at the Lunenberg Public Library defending George W. Bush’s prosecution of the war in Iraq. You don’t hear that one much these days, especially not from politicians hoping to attract support from Democrats and independents.
But policy differences don’t loom large in Lyons’ world. It’s all personal.
His intra-party critics have “aggravated” Lyons by allegedly calling him names, a difficult problem for right-wing snowflakes who love to dish it out but can’t take it. There’s a vast cabal involving people “at the highest levels of the party” out to smear him, he insists. Why, even former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan – a sober conservative by any measure – is part of an elaborate conspiracy “to create a false narrative for the Boston Globe to call me a racist bigot,” Lyons says.
What’s next – Lyons critic Howie Carr is a front for the deep state?
Does all this sound familiar? It’s the projectile paranoid vomiting that is the political trademark of the Trump era. And the former president’s compulsive projection of his own flaws onto others is mimicked by Lyons, who sprinkled his lengthy rant in Worcester with repeated claims that resistance to his self-serving “leadership” proves “people only care about themselves.”
The event was capped off by a testimonial for Lyons’ fantasies from Geoff Diehl, who claimed, “Chairman Lyons is doing the best he can to expose the problem.” Sure, just like when he dropped tens of thousands in scarce state GOP funds on a pathetic last-minute effort to unearth non-existent dirt on Maura Healey’s personal life.
Narrow-minded self-delusion, narcissism, vindictiveness; the grapes of wrath yield bitter whine. But credit Lyons with one astute observation – however inadvertent – during his belated Festivus commemoration.
Why is this state so blue, he asked? His answer: “It’s not because of the Democrats, it’s because of the Republicans.”
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