For years, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has remained far below radar detection. From time to time Markey would emerge to espouse one progressive position or another before skulking back into hibernation. Hell, most Massachusetts residents couldn't pick Markey out of a lineup.

Markey and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) became fast friends and probably swapped Karl Marx trading cards to pass the lonely hours in the loony left wing of the Senate chambers. But Markey and Sanders were going nowhere fast. That is until Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drove the Democrat party into a tree and somehow made Bernie Sanders look sane.

Bernie gave relevance his best shot in 2016, but after selling his supporters out to Clinton decided to purchase a lovely home on Lake Champlain instead. Hmmm.

Ed Markey, on the other hand, has never really had a shot at relevance. There just were never enough socialist kooks like him in government to make anyone sit up and notice. Until now.

Markey's eyes glistened and there were hints at a pulse when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed him her Green New Deal plan. Eliminate fossil fuels, free everything for freeloaders, ban airplanes, open borders. Whoa! Markey saw visions of the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez shining through the clouds. He signed on immediately.

This could be it—Markey's one shot at relevance. But then mean old Donald Trump said to thunderous applause that America would never become a socialist country. Nancy Pelosi chuckled as she dismissed the Green New Deal, a plan that could have been put together as a parity by the Republicans. In humiliation, Ocasio-Cortez was forced to remove the plan from the internet. And so it goes. Ed Markey's one shot at relevance was a fleeting moment in time.

Taylor Cormier/Townsquare Media
Taylor Cormier/Townsquare Media

Markey is up for re-election in Massachusetts next year. He's managed to survive re-election for dozens of years now by simply keeping his head low and staying out of sight. After all, he's a progressive socialist. What more do you need to be elected in Massachusetts?

Don't worry. Ed Markey will land on his feet. He always seems to, even though most in Massachusetts have no clue as to who he is.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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