Between the Lines: Elizabeth Warren's Sox Appeal

The Massachusetts GOP knows it takes a little more than a barn jacket to win a Senate race.

Comments (3)
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Never have I been prouder, more impressed with myself, more assured of my self-worth.

Nah, I didn't win anything—not yet, anyway. But now that I know what it takes to win, you'd better watch out. I'm not ready to announce my plans quite yet, but let's just say I've started putting together an exploratory committee with an eye toward a U.S. Senate seat.

To be honest (and I'm not sure how much longer that will continue), I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever running for an elected position. Not that I have anything particularly ugly in my closet—in fact, compared to someone like Scott Brown, who got pinched shoplifting at the age of 12 and posed nude in Cosmopolitan at 22, I'm so clean I squeak—but given some of the intemperate things I've written about politicians over the years, I didn't think either of the two major political parties would want to do me any favors.

But now, thanks to the fuss the Massachusetts Republican Party is making over Elizabeth Warren's recently announced bid against Scott Brown, the incumbent U.S. Senator who upset state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election to succeed the late Ted Kennedy, I have seen that at least one party would be thrilled to have me on the team.

"Professor Warren Can't Name Single Sox Player," reads an email I received last week from Tim Buckley, mouthpiece for the Massachusetts GOP. The email continued:

"In the latest evidence that Professor Elizabeth Warren comes from a world of Harvard elitism and is far removed from the middle-class values she claims to represent, Professor Elizabeth Warren couldn't name a single member of the Boston Red Sox when asked yesterday. &Warren's performance calls to mind Martha Coakley's infamous gaffe when she claimed that Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan in January, 2010."

Initially, I was surprised to see how badly out of shape Buckley twisted the truth. Warren, a Wall Street reformer and consumer financial protection hawk, didn't say she couldn't name a Red Sox player; she merely declined to do so. Initially, I saw her refusal to play into the dumbing-down of politics as a sign of strength and intelligence.

But now, having seen the GOP attack replayed in all the major media, I see that Buckley and the boys are onto something—something a sports-loving middle-aged white guy like me should be proud of.

You see, not only can I name pretty near every Red Sox player from this year's squad, I can name most of them going back to the 1967 Impossible Dream team. I can also name a pretty good number of New England Patriots and Boston Celtics. I'm not as good with the Bruins—I'm kind of a fair weather hockey fan—but I know who Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara are.

Since I was I kid, I've always thought of professional sports as pure entertainment—unless you actually made your living as a pro athlete, that is. In fact, I've often felt a pang of guilt at how much time I waste reading box scores and watching sports on TV. As an adult, I've really only taken a few sports seriously: running, cycling and skiing (because they keep me in shape) and hunting and fishing (because they've taught me much about myself and the world around me.)

But those sports don't count for much in politics. Running is too pedestrian; cycling is too easily associated with the French; skiing is too easily confused with cross-country skiing, which is totally fay. You might think of hunting and fishing as manly, but they don't seem to do much for politicians, and claiming to be a hunter can be downright dangerous. Republican Mitt Romney's claim to be a "lifelong" hunter, for example, almost backfired when reporters learned that he didn't own a gun and had only been on two hunting outings—one hunting quail on a private reserve with GOP fundraisers—in 45 years. Lucky for him, he knew what to say: "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times." (Romney's line fell flat with the editors of Field and Stream, but we all know they're just a bunch of Harvard elitists, anyway.)

And speaking of elitists, I know some voters might be tempted to write me off as one of those "one-issue" candidates. To you high-minded folk, I make this promise: I have a lot more in my quiver than a solid command of home team rosters.

I also have a brown barn jacket and a pickup truck.

Comments (3)
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Hey Tom... I dont own a gun either but I have been hunting varmints all my life too. Its called a BB gun or air rifle. Some people hunt with bows as well. Many people have no choice being that the laws dont allow them to own any guns. Massachusetts doesnt even allow hunters to drive past their state with rifles in the car.

Learn to think outside the box.

Posted by Nick on 9.20.11 at 16:56

The laws allow law-abiding people to own guns, Nick.

Romney got caught in a fib, Nick, not a DUI that keeps him from possessing a firearm.

Also, Nick, huinting rabbits is not like shooting rats at the dump. Rabbits are a game animal and require a hunting license. Bow hunters similarly are required to have a license..

I have no idea what your last line means--Mass laws have no impact on someone driving "past," so I assume you mean "through"--but again you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. While the Commonwealth is indeed on the National Rifle Association's list of 10 states with special provisions, all states are subject to the FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act, which protects those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions which would otherwise prohibit passage. The NRA says this about carrying a gun through MA:

"Nonresidents may possess rifles, shotguns and “ammunition therefor” without a license or FID while traveling in or through the Commonwealth, provided that the rifle or shotgun is unloaded and enclosed in a case. A nonresident without a license or FID may also carry or possess “conventional rifles, shotguns, and ammunition therefor” if the person meets the requirements for such carrying or possession in the state in which he or she resides. Persons in possession of firearms or ammunition who are moving into Massachusetts or returning to the Commonwealth after an absence of at least 180 consecutive days must obtain the proper credentials within 60 days of entry in order to continue to possess the firearms or ammunition legally.

A nonresident “may carry a pistol or revolver in and through the commonwealth” for purposes of attending a competition or a meeting or exhibition of collectors, or for hunting, provided the person has a valid carry permit from another state whose issuing requirements meet certain guidelines specified under Massachusetts law. If the person is traveling for hunting, he or she must also possess a hunting license issued by Massachusetts or the state of destination. Massachusetts will also issue qualified nonresidents a one-year license to carry a firearm in the Commonwealth.

The possession of so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity feeding devices” (except those “lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994”) is forbidden throughout the Commonwealth. An earlier-enacted ban on “assault weapons” that applies only to Boston theoretically allows for covered firearms to be transported or possessed in certain circumstances. Since Boston is authorized under the law to establish its own roster of banned weapons, firearms that are not considered “assault weapons” under state law could conceivably still be covered by the Boston ban. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617)660-4780 or the State Police at for further information."

Oh, and if you're still with me, Nick: if you're bitchin' about MA gun laws and you think Republicans with NRA cred are the answer, Mitt Romney is not your man. The other thing that came out during his bullshit effort to look like an outdoorsman: of his 50-plus years, he was only a NRA member for one year.

Posted by Tom on 9.20.11 at 20:46

Tom certainly helps illustrate the holes in our state constitution that allow for posession of such weapons of mass destruction. Contact your legislators and urge them to vote to ban all private gun ownership.

Posted by tiedyeguy on 9.21.11 at 12:23



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