Markey slams Trump in Tisbury

U.S. senator holds town hall meeting before a large crowd.


Updated June 25

Sen. Ed Markey told an overflow town hall crowd on Sunday afternoon in Vineyard Haven that “we have to continue to put excruciating pain on President Trump to change his policy on immigration.”

The Bay State junior senator, an early and enthusiastic critic of the Trump administration, told a supportive crowd of more than 200 people in the Hebrew Center that he is headed for the Texas-Mexico border next week for a fact-finding tour of the facilities and the condition of the “2,423 children” detained there and in facilities across the U.S. “We need to shine light on these atrocious policies,” he said.

He told reporters in a brief press availability before the town hall that the U.S. Senate “is now the protection for the country, and I feel fortunate to be part of that. It is hard to stop anything bad in the House of Representatives with Speaker Paul Ryan rubber-stamping the most radical proposals. But you need 60 votes in the Senate, and we’ve denied most of what he’s passed through the House,” he said, noting that Republican Senator John McCain’s “no” vote saved $800 billion in Medicaid spending from being cut.

“We have an election coming, and we need more House and Senate seats to improve the system of checks and balances. We need to organize, not just agonize. If we organize we will win,” he said.

Markey, a veteran of “15 or 16” town meeting formats since the 2016 presidential election, had a supportive crowd, warmed up by Isaac Taylor leading a singalong of “This Land Is Your Land,”

an a capella national anthem from Nanauwe Vanderhoop and a rousing introduction from state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth.

Then Markey hit the ground running, and maintained a fast pace for nearly two hours.

In answer to a press question on the impact of the rapidly changing news cycle on individual issues such as gun laws and healthcare, Markey said, “Trump has largely put all the major issues in play. There’s a return to individual issues periodically, but it’s the full smorgasboard of political controversy that drives the resistance movement in Massachusetts, whether it’s guns, science, women, the environment, and more recently, immigration. But [resistance] has been there since the beginning. The same themes keep reoccurring, and so does the level of response to those issues,” he said.

The news cycle does have an impact. “I would love to talk about the 360,000 new jobs, blue-collar jobs, being created in the energy sector, but the immigration issue needs attention now,” he said.

Markey told reporters and the crowd that there is good news on Alzheimer’s cure funding, on the opioid issue with $3 billion passed and a more comprehensive bill on the way in a bipartisan effort, and with a net neutrality bill for Internet protection he helped shepherd through the Senate recently by a 52-47 vote.

With regard to need for a more detailed Democratic agenda and stronger individual voices to tell it, Markey’s comments gave rise to a thought that Democrats may be playing a long game by providing Republicans with enough rope to hang themselves.

“We don’t have one person running for president, so a single voice isn’t in place, but 90 percent of Democrats are running on the same issues,” he said, noting that Republicans are defining themselves by positions in support of unpopular issues. “The American people like the Affordable Care Act now. They don’t want it taken away, and a lot of Republicans who supported repeal are scrambling now,” he said.

He pointed to recent elections as a barometer that Democrats are on the right side of voters’ beliefs. “Terry McAuliffe won re-election as Virginia’s governor in a close race a few years ago. Democrat Ralph Northam won by almost nine points a few months ago,” he said.

Markey took questions related to clean energy, the Pilgrim nuclear plant, immigration policy, the 2018 midterm election, and how to support progressive candidates in other states.

On clean energy: “We’ve come a long way since the original Cape Wind project a few years ago,” he said, referencing the Vineyard Wind project, to be located 15 miles off the Island. The 800-megawatt plant is expected to provide power to 600,000 homes. “We have to be careful to protect the fishing industry, but this will create thousands of good jobs. We have replacement clean energy sources for Pilgrim,” he said.

On the decommissioned Pilgrim nuclear plant: “Pilgrim is one the five worst-run plants in the country. We need to keep a careful eye on it to avoid problems with spent fuel removal in order to protect from the threats of terrorism, hurricanes, and flooding. Fukushima should be our teacher.” Fukushima is a nuclear plant in Japan that had reactor damage following a tsunami in 2011.

On immigration: Markey thanked West Tisbury resident Robert Knight for a concise, accurate statement of actual immigration law, compared with a welter of inaccurate and confusing takes by the Trump team. “You explained it brilliantly. The policy was when you came to the border you were put in asylum status to await a hearing. I think we need to find out what is going on in countries like Honduras and Guatemala that leads their citizens to flee in fear.”

On midterms and identifying candidates to support: “Races in states such as Nevada and Arizona are opportunities. Go to the RealClear Politics website for assessments on all the races.”

Updated to include more details from Sunday’s town hall forum. – Ed.


  1. The only thing this politician is interested in protecting is his reelection. His statement which included: “The American people like the Affordable Care Act” highlights the need to find an Alzheimer’s cure, especially in the Senate.

    • I agree 100% Old Man. Did anyone in attendance ask Mr Markey to explain what he has done for the people of this commonwealth in the 40 yrs he’s held office? He spoke at my High School graduation 40 yrs ago and I haven’t heard one iota of truth coming from him in all that time! He’s your typical politician!

      • Agreed! Democrat or Republican enough is enough 40 years as s career politician Mr Markey! We need term limits.

      • what are you asking him to do?

        MA ranks pretty high in most categories. When you compare MA to a typical red state MA looks even better.

        ……but I’m sure you hate every politician? Right?

  2. So the Senator is headed to the border to gather some facts to support his prejudicial opinions – good boy.

  3. Markey and his lot are going to get Trump re-elected again. Condescension and now ostracism like the Red Hen refusing service to Sarah Sanders remind everyone of Hilary’s deplorables statement that got 63million voters to elect trump. We don’t like Dems sneering at us, lecturing us on what toilets to use and we don’t think it’s unreasonable that illegals not take their children on dangerous illegal crossings of borders. Markey and his buddies are playing right into Trumps-hands.

    • You are right on point! This behavior from the left is out of control and unheard of in American politics. What are we going backwards? No one with a stable mind will vote for a Dem now. The problem is we have instability as a majority on this rock. Just imagine if Obama or Valerie Jarrett got kicked out of one of our island joints….all hell would break out. The hypocrisy of the left is astonishing.

      • There is a law that forces one to bake a wedding cake. But apparently no law forbidding discrimination for political affiliation.Restaurant owners are free to refuse service to Obama. What a country.

        • Yes. It was because of his religious beliefs. He said all along he would SELL his cakes to anyone. He just stated that he wouldn’t make a custom cake for a same sex couple. NOT POLITICAL

          • No. The Supreme court didn’t rule in his favor because of his religion, it was because of his “strongly held moral convictions”.

            Political convictions and moral convictions can be construed as one and the same. One does not need religion to hold moral convictions.

            I think you’re delusional if you claim one refusal of service as much different then the other.

        • Vanadium do words have meaning to you. The baker said he would bake a cake for the gay couple. He would not make a customized cake celebrating a gay wedding. He is not refusing service. I would not bake a cake with a swaztika on it for some supremacist couple.

          • Sooo…uh yea….words have meaning…..and it is your words that are now equating the swastika with that of the names of a gay couple. Eh? I think you are confused…..but carry on. Clearly anyone exuding that analogy isn’t worth the time.

    • Conservatives are lost in a world of confusion and misplaced anger and liberals are now considering joining them on the dark side. Remember, Republicans are the folks who gleefully voted for a man who openly bragged about abusing his power to grab women by the pussies. Who mocked a disabled reporter on live TV. Who has had multiple affairs while married. Who cheated workers and is under investigation for exploiting his foundation for personal gain. To top it all off, investigations into people associated with his campaign have turned up a dozen indictments, many of which turned into guilty pleas, and at least two convictions with jail time.

      The Party of “family values” and “right to life” gleefully elected an actual human representation of all the bible teaches you not to be. Nothing “love thy neighbor” in the platform of the modern conservative.

      • I voted for his policies not for his persona. I have stated this on this venue many times. A gentleman or woman who ruins this country is not preferable to a scoundrel who makes America great again.

        • I’m glad you agree Trump is a scoundrel, but what delusions have you clung too in order to feel your Oranged faced messiah has any policies in place that don’t benefit only the tiniest sliver of the rich elite of the world? If that’s your standard…He’s got very little to show for being such a terrible person. 😉

          • Tiniest sliver Vanadium. Whatever one thinks of Trump his policies are lifting millions of Americans lives. Black unemployment rates are the lowest in 40 years.

          • Yikes!!! The depth of delusion of the modern Republican is deeper than the Mariana Trench. Please enlighten me. What policies are you crediting for the increase in “black” employment?

            ….because last time I checked….employment numbers were good and bettering before your Oranged Faced Messiah was even in office.

        • I have never seen more people willing to believe lies and then spread them more than Trump and his supporters. These are the delusional (and racist) fools who bought the Birther garbage. Really, after that, what more is there to say? Well, there’s this, Andrew. Trump does indeed take credit for the black unemployment rate, but they have declined before Trump took office and not because of him. Trump is a liar and conflates everything, from the small size of his hands, to the small size of the crowds at his inauguration, to the smallest accomplishments. Repeating Trump’s lies still don’t make them true. Why don’t you speak to a Harley Davidson employee, or a member of a union, and then get back to us about how Trump is making lives better. Tell me who is doing better because of anything Trump has done that does not include what he (and you) are lying about?

    • This is going to be the new norm in our country. Liberals kicking out Republicans from their restaurants, and Republicans refusing service to Liberals. You can’t ask tolerance of only one subset of the people. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? If you’re OK with the baker refusing service you have to be OK with the restaurant refusing service.

      Liberals have been holding themselves to higher standards for so long and now with a demagogue as the leader of the Republican Party the liberals are starting to give that up. Republicans have now lowered the bar of civility for our entire nation and the liberals should let them own it.

        • You mean recent past. We will all fall victim to the paradox of tolerance. I’m not going to hold one political Party at a higher standard then another. Not anymore at least.

          • A far distant past! I really started to crumble when Bill Clinton got elected. The moral compass of our generation disintegrated!

          • Bill Clinton? I suppose you’re under the delusion that he was the first leader to ever cheat on his wife?

            The Oranged Faced Messiah currently occupying the White House has a well documented record of infidelity that we were all aware of well before his election and yet Republicans still gleefully pulled the lever for him. I think theories about where our “moral compass” did or did not disintegrate are frivolous.

  4. Reading the above comments, was pure pleasure.
    To my astonishment, sanity reigns on Martha’s Vineyard !

    • Nevertheless, when politicians like Markey come to MV they are in their “safe space”. Between the limousine liberals and the bamboozled snowflakes they can always count on obsequious adulation.

      • He is a Senator of MA. Did you want him to go have a rally in Texas? When do you think Trump is going to come here for a rally? Ha! Your Oranged faced messiah hasn’t the gumption for that I guarantee it!

        • Trump has good enough judgment not to waste his time on Snowflake Island. Good to know that so many democrat votes are concentrated in blue states like Massachusetts. You know why (?).

          • So ……you are perfectly OK then with Malarkey staying in his “safe space” just as you are Trump staying in his.

  5. Local opine. Sanity reigns in only a few people on MV. Respectfully the MV Times has always treated me well.

  6. I’m tired of any politician making a career out of politics! I do not think our founding fathers intended for citizens the spend 20-40 years in political office. Mr Markey Democrat or a republican we are in dire need of term limits!

    • Aye, and strict voter requirements – like speaking English, and knowing the number of states.

      • You will eliminate more Republican votes than Democratic ones if you start asking hard questions like how many states there are.

      • English is not our official language. Anyone running for public office should know this.

        How many voting districts are there in the US? Someone running for national office should know this one, too.

        • 57. Number sound familiar? Of course it does but partisan amnesia will kick in.

          50 states plus DC plus 5 territories plus military overseas equals 57. The number was on somebody’s mind while campaigning because they weren’t the sort to neglect citizens because of where they lived.

  7. The problem with requiring the “high road” from liberals, when the POTUS calls women “fat pigs”, tweets that RBG is “incompetent” or encourages his base to “beat the crap” out of protesters and he’ll pay the legal fees, is that eventually even a Mother Teresa is going to cheer when the obscene, uncivil schoolyard bully gets his comeuppance. If you surround yourself with promoting Trumps lies and bad behavior, you have zero credibility to remark on anyone’s civility.

    • Sarah Sanders is now saying that Democrats support “open borders and rampant crime” associated with open borders. This of course is a blatant lie. Why must we tolerate such ugly lies? Why would anyone support such liars and think they have an ounce of moral standing? These are the birther people, so what did anyone expect? Trump and all his lying enablers will reap what they sow. That’s how the world works.

      • I agree. I would let Sarah Sanders sit in her seat at my restaurant unattended until she left. The payola media and government landscape we must endure these days gives all of these hacks quarter. We are our only hope now.

          • Tell you what….Wear your favorite Chinese made hat or apparel supporting your Oranged Faced Messiah and I’ll be sure to refuse service to you should you come to my place of business. 😉

        • What is laughable is a Republican asking anyone to be held at a higher standard then they would hold the dear members of their own party.

  8. Maxz. It is demonstrably true that Dems support sanctuary cities which are a veritable Petri dish for unchecked crime. As for birther people, after one year of Obama even the Kenyans denied he was born there.

      • All depends on what you mean by “nice”. It’s pathetic not to know or to pretend not to know what “sanctuary” means, and not be able, or pretend not to be able to distinguish between “sanctuary cities” and “open borders”. People with a solid moral footing know the difference. They have no need to lie about it as if they were the same. Those without a moral footing, like Trump, lie about it and about everything else, too, big and small. Trump supporters without a moral footing pick up the lie and spread it. Sometimes when I read a comment that is oblivious to the obvious racism in it, I just have to shake my head and wonder what kind of god these people think they worship.

        • They don’t worship a God of any sort. There is only anger and confusion, not deliberation and reasoning. God is merely the exploitation of a vessel at which Republicans claim some moral high ground while subjugating actual responsibility into oblivion. Debating solid rock bares more fruit as it is more quickly determined to be useless then your hopes of getting through to a modern Republican.

        • No doubt you prefer the “moral footing” of those who call for the public harassment and intimidation of public officials, and those who discriminate against folks in their restaurant based on the patron’s employer. Democrats are becoming a real piece-of-work. We’ll soon find out if the electorate is as confused as you.

          • Remember back in 2012 when a baker turned away Joe Biden from his cookie shop and received praise from conservatives? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Google it and educate yourself. As far as conservations overlooking the immoral, racist, misogynist “scoundral”-in-Chief because they think he can “Make America White Again,” that just makes all the nonsensical blather about creation vs creator just that: blather. It is immoral to make excuses for evil, for lack of compassion, for lying, trading your oul for thinking you’ll get back your white privilege and money associated with being at the top of top of the totem pole. For several years now, I have not given any business with those on island who openly express their racism and lack of compassion for other human beings in social medea. Thanks to Islanders Talk and Islanders Unfiltered, I know exactly which landscapers, plumbers, fix-it people, hardware stores, etc etc to avoid. Standing behind one’s moral beliefs is fine with me, and it goes both ways…. if you actually have any moral footing, that is. The first and foremost one doing the ugliest form of harrassment is Donald Trump, every time he opens his mouth and every time he sits down to Tweet. Being blind to reality to cover a lack of morals and the most basic ethics is not a good look.

          • hanley– the only people who have stated that shucksabee was asked to leave because she worked for trump is fox news and people who want to believe them. She was asked to leave based on her own deplorable words.

        • Maxz please tell us where one gets morality from. You talk about moral footing but don’t explain where it comes from. How does one know if something is moral or not. Does morality have its corporate residence in say the DemocraticParty. While you are at it explain ethics to us also. Is it whatever you say it is. Please enlighten us.

          • Andrew– you identify the morality problem precisely– It is not what you or I say, or what god says– remember the Christian god had people slaughtering their neighbors, enslaving people and selling their children. Many Christians also think the god of Islam encourages their followers to do the same– morality does not come from god– any god– it comes from the combined senses of our society and from an inner truth that you wouldn’t know if it walked into you.
            I may not be able to clearly define morality to you, but I know immorality when I see it —

  9. maxz, you are the one that needs to check facts. The shop owner didn’t want a photo op in his store during the campaign. He didn’t refuse to serve Biden. You seem stuck on your hatred for the POTUS….please stop vilifying him. Hey, I couldn’t stand Obama but I didn’t let it take over my life…nor did I blame him for all the wrong in the world. Show some tolerance, if you can muster any. God Bless

  10. Hanky and Andrew are defending liars who promote violence (“I’ll beat the crap out of em”), and who have no problem seeing crying children torn from their parents. Sarah sanders was not harassed. She was asked to leave. Too bad there weren’t more decent German citizens like that who refused to serve Nazis. People with a moral footing don’t have to ask what is moral. Trumps immigration policy is immoral. Every decent person knows that. People go to war and die To defend their moral footing. It takes courage to stand up against an accepted evil, like the behavior of an immoral “scoundrel” who is still supported by hypocrites who sound like they’d defend Nazis making Germany “great” again. Dont talk to me about that liar sanders who pretends she doesn’t condone disrespectful crap foisted on all of us every minute of every day of the week by her boss.

      • Godwin suspended the law after Charlottesville.

        As to the question of why Germans allowed the Nazi party to continue: be quiet or enable too long and it’s too late.

    • It is worth noting that all of the measures implemented by Trump were set in place during the Obama administration, and before.

      • hanley– what a joke — ” all of the measures implemented by Trump were set in place during the Obama administration, and before ”
        really ? I can believe that if you are talking about the economy– but not tearing families apart at the border– yes, the Obama admin did remove a few children for safety reasons, just like child welfare will remove a child from an abusive home..
        But to say the policy to separate families as policy was Obama’s idea is a ludicrous lie.

        • So Trump has zero tolerance but Obama had some tolerance. Trumps separates many but Obama only a few. One is bad the other is not bad. I understand.

          • let me explain it to you , Andrew– a 6 year old kid and has a father named Bill. Bill drinks a lot, beats his wife and kid and keeps all his trash spread out in his living room. Child welfare people come in and put the kid in foster care– that’s what Obama did– he separated families when the parents were abusive— That is not bad–
            trump takes away kids from all fathers named Bill. That is bad—
            I know you understand–but you have to defend the great leader–

  11. I am not aware of any legislation in the area of immigration enacted in the Trump administration. He is working with what he inherited, but he does want some changes. If Trump has exceeded his authority under existing law I’m sure appropriate lawsuits will be forthcoming.

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