|We need Shaunna O'Connell batting Bruce Tarr battling Dan Winslow battling Sean Beilat. Better yet, we need an "outside" candidate to come in too (I hate the term "Tea Party Candidate," but someone in that category.
At the heart of elections is the age-old question of "are primaries good in the long run for candidates?" I don't think the answer is the same in ever circumstance, but in THIS situation, the answer is an unequivocal "yes."
The MassGOP has been in a stagnant stage for two years. At its pinnacle was Scott Brown's election in 2010, which was the culmination of a half dozen outside circumstances that had nothing to do with the former Senator.
There is no way any argument could be made that the MassGOP is in a better situation today than it was January 13, 2010, and there isn't been any real shakeup since then.
Charlie Baker cleared the field for his gubernatorial run and ended up losing pretty significantly. Same with Richard Tisei that year for LG. The two chairman's races since then was "establishment" vs "insurgent" and after Bob Maginn won handily, it took arm twisting and probably other shenanigans for Hughes to win.
Here is what will happen in a bloodbath of a primary:
Candidates will be forced to give their stance on important issues
Where does Bruce Tarr stand on guns? What about Dan Winslow on abortion? Or Shaunna O'Connell on anything other than EBT fraud? All of these would be answered in a primary season, and it'll get press out about our candidates and these issues.
More attention would be given to "our" candidates and issues
The MassDems have the man power and funds to brand the MassGOP as they please. Every candidate in 2012, regardless of where they actually stood on issues, was labeled a right wing extremist that makes Sarah Palin seem moderate. By sending three or four candidate across the state to promote their candidacy, it'll help bring to light issues other than social issues.
The "divide" will be important
The same members of the MassGOP support the same people. Walking into the chairman's election last week, I could've picked out a majority of Kirsten Hughes' supporters, and I probably could've guesses where the House and Senate Caucuses stood with 85% efficiency.
It's stale, and isn't getting us anywhere. It's time to split the establishment and see who they back in a primary when asked to "compete" for support.
It'll force candidates to broaden themselves and where they stand
The MassGOP is filled with people old enough to be my parent or grandparent. While the MassDems are focusing on issues impacting growing voter blocks like minorities and younger voters, Republicans are being cast as a one trick pony. It's time to force candidates to take a bigger platform (a US Senate run) and discuss bigger issues.
It'll teach us how to campaign again
Look at who leads the Republican caucuses on Beacon Hill. When was the last time Brad Jones went door knocking? When was the last time Bruce Tarr really had to plan a direct mail campaign?
These are the guys who are supposed to lead PACs to get more candidates to run and help fill their caucuses. By getting them out there, forcing them to talk about important issues, it'll help out everyone.
Like I said, when I wrote this, I was hoping for a primary with Kerry Healey or a Romney to battle someone like Winslow and someone else. Of course, anyone who had any type of state-wide name ID isn't running. The point still stands. Get four or five candidates out there and have a bitter primary.
Matt Elder is a political consultant. Follow him @CouncilorElder