Mr. Bass, now candidate Bass, has more to answer for than his Blue Dog Republican record. He needs to explain why his species of Bass only swims upstream when irresistible political opportunities present themselves. He needs to justify why the alluring siren song of the open congressional seat that used to lovingly cradle his backside is the only thing that’s called him out of safer waters?
Because while the state he calls home and the party he claims to cling to, suffered a series of political setbacks at the state and local level, (arguably as a result of Charlie’s dedicated support for the Bush national agenda), Mr. Bass—the experienced politician—was AWOL. So term limits, those forced upon him by the constitution through the electorate, took on a whole new meaning.
I can’t find any substantive evidence that Charlie Bass supported or defended a Republican, (or a conservative or republican idea) in New Hampshire after he lost the CD-2 House seat in 2006. There is no sense of pervasive presence. No one’s been talking about him. He hasn’t been seen speaking at any tea party rallies. Did his name ever show up in the paper? He was not out stumping for state senate candidates. No one has seen him backing municipal candidates on email lists or on facebook. And I doubt he’s been seen doing lit drops or standing on frozen street corners holding signs for NH House reps. In fact his own local party can’t place him at any GOP meetings, and he hasn’t bothered to answer any of the thousands of emails he’s been sent in the past few years by his own local committee.
And yes it matters. Just ask the activists, some of whom are Republican congressional candidates for both district races, going out on a limb to help local candidates every day. But Charlie Bass appears to have term-limited himself right out of local New Hampshire politics. Until now.
Just a short four years since his disappearance and we are meant to embrace Mr. Bass like a newly driven snow. "He’s Baaaaaaaack." So is four years in the political wilderness all it takes to get your term-limits virginity back?
Charlie has viewed the New Hampshire political landscape from afar and sees his chance to get back to the Mother Ship. But to do that we need to ignore some history. And he’s hoping that his newly pronounced love for the Tea party will get him back in the bedroom. He Loves the Tea part. Just loves them. Well we’re not that easy Charlie.
If you can’t be bothered to be a New Hampshire Republican when it’s not convenient or popular, we won’t put any stock in your efforts to represent the party in Washington now. We do not believe that you are prepared to go to DC to represent people you couldn’t be bothered with when it wasn’t politically convenient. And we do not believe, knowing your moderate philosophy about expanding the role of government that you would now work to pare back the massive state whose ball you helped push faster and further when you and the majority had a shining opportunity to roll it back in a real and meaningful way.
So if you want to play the political Prodigal son, it’s going to be tough love this time around. The Tea party does not turn on the idea of sending an “experienced” DC politician to the US House. Those are the ones we see causing all the grief. What we need are several hundred regular, common-sense legislators who want to mug the corporatist-government-first-bureaucracy and leave it bleeding to death in a dark alley.
And to do that, we need legislators who are actually connected to the state and the people they hope to represent, so that they can better understand why these people have sent them to DC. Candidates who’ve been connected and connecting with the people who make politics happen from the bottom up in New Hampshire, not from the top down in Washington. That’s the experience we want in the Capitol, and based on my investigation so far, you abandoned us in 2006 and never looked back.
Showing up now makes you look like you feel entitled to the seat. And that’s Bass Ackwards.
Cross Posted from NH Insider