So I read this hilarious David Brooks column. Without saying as much, Brooks seems utterly horrified at Rick Perry. Personally, I don’t care what David Brooks thinks; the Republicans could nominate David Brooks and he’d still find an excuse to write a preening column endorsing Obama one week before the election.
But he concludes with a thought, variations of which I’ve seen a few times:
The second line of attack [for Romney] is to shift what the campaign is about. If voters think Nancy Pelosi is the biggest threat to their children’s prosperity, they will hire Perry. If they think competition from Chinese and Indian workers is the biggest threat, they will hire Romney. He’s just more credible as someone who can manage economic problems, build human capital and nurture an innovation-based global economy.
I don’t want to turn this into bash Massachusetts time; plainly that’s not my intention. By any number of measurement it’s a nicer place than Texas (divorce rate, illegitimacy, literacy, personal income, summer weather). But Brooks (and some others I’ve seen but ignored) specifically asked who is more credible at “manag[ing] economic problems, build[ing] human capital[,] and nurtur[ing] an innovation-based … economy.” Perry has done just that in Texas; during the current downturn, the strength of the Texas economy that Perry has presided over has caused the state to really stand out. Romney was governor of Massachusetts for four years, during which … well, I guess it was a fine enough state to live in, but I don’t remember stories about the booming Massachusetts economy, or Massachusetts doing markedly better than other states, or Massachusetts being the place to move,the sorts of stories we’ve seen about Texas for most of the last decade.
So looking at their track records, why would Brooks so flippantly assert that Romney’s “just more credible” on this front? Beats me. My presumption is that there is a subset of respectable Republicanish types who view any believing Christian from south of Mason & Dixon as nothing more than a backwoods culture warrior. I’m already seeing Perry being painted in this way, but I don’t get the impression that’s how he’s running his campaign (notice Jonah’s article doesn’t really show any examples of Perry picking these fights). He’s got a genuinely excellent record of achievement in public office to run on – better than any Republican nominee’s since, at least, Reagan – and I’d prefer to see the northeastern snoots at least pretend to address that before blowing him off as some bumpkin who’s unfit to carry Mitt Romney’s sandals.
From David McCullough’s biography of our most famous native son:
But when on Friday, June 30… a small delegation of town leaders made a formal call on Adams, he received them in his upstairs library seated in his favorite armchair. They had come, they told the old patriot, to ask for a toast that they might read aloud at Quincy’s celebration on the Fourth.
“I will give you,” Adams said, “Independence forever!” Asked if he would like to add something more, he replied, “Not a word.”
Five days later, on July 4, 1826 Adams died at home in Quincy, aged 90. More than 500 miles away and only a few hours earlier, his friend Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello. It was 50 years to the day since the signing of the Declaration that Jefferson had written and that Adams had made possible.
The Provincetown school system will revisit its controversial policy of making condoms available to all students, with no age restriction, after Governor Deval Patrick expressed concern yesterday that very young children would have access to them.
A day after the new policy caused a media firestorm, School Committee chairman Peter Grosso said that Provincetown would probably limit condoms to fifth-graders and older. His stance stemmed from a conversation he had with Superintendent Beth Singer, author of the rule set to take effect this fall.
“She said the School Committee is going to have to revisit the policy and definitely reword it so it’s self-explaining, and possibly wording it so that maybe there would be an exclusion of the real young grades,’’ Grosso said.
Provincetown is, of course, somewhat what Massachusetts is to the rest of the country. But still…
“I have two reactions to the election in Massachusetts. One, I am disappointed. Two, I feel strongly that the Democratic majority in Congress must respect the process and make no effort to bypass the electoral results. If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate.
I am hopeful that some Republican Senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform because I do not think that the country would be well-served by the health care status quo. But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened. Going forward, I hope there will be a serious effort to change the Senate rule which means that 59 votes are not enough to pass major legislation, but those are the rules by which the health care bill was considered, and it would be wrong to change them in the middle of the process.”
Our toast: “To the Constitution of the United States: fear and consternation to its enemies; courage and wisdom to its friends; and DOWN WITH OBAMACARE!”
If you had told me a year ago that on the 365th day of the Obama presidency, a Republican would win Ted Kennedy’s seat in a campaign hinging on Obama’s signature issue, I would have told you that your storyline was not believable.
Wow. Wow wow wow. Three cheers for the voters of Massachusetts!
Unsatisfied with changing the rules regarding US Senate vacancies — for the second time in five years — Massachusetts democrats have a new plan to protect their complete dominion over us proles their constituents’ interest.
Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the CommonwealthWilliam Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.
Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.
In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Here’s video evidence that Obama is dead. Coakley could have gotten a more vigorous endorsement from Teddy himself.
George Bush was in his final year or two, dealing with an opposition Congress, before he looked anywhere near this tired. For all the press accolades that Obama has gotten for being in shape and playing lots of basketball, he looks like hell these days. Considering that he’s the only thing separating Joe Biden from real power, I hope he starts taking better care of himself.
For the second time in five years, Massachusetts has changed state law to ensure the state’s Democratic monopoly its citizens are properly represented in the US Senate:
BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick today named Paul G. Kirk Jr., a former aide and longtime confidant of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, to Mr. Kennedy’s seat.
“He shares the sense of service that so distinguished Senator Kennedy,” Governor Patrick, a Democrat, said at a news conference in Boston. “The interests of the commonwealth have never been more vital or at stake in the Congress today.”
Mr. Kirk, a longtime friend of the Kennedy family and onetime special assistant to Senator Kennedy, is scheduled to take the oath of office on Friday and serve until a special election on Jan. 19; he has pledged not to run in the election. He said on Thursday that he would keep the late senator’s staff in place.
Mr. Kirk was the favorite of the late senator’s wife and two sons, as well as some officials in President Obama’s administration, according to people familiar with the matter. The president issued a statement after the appointment was announced.
Oh, thank God. Imagine if we had appointed someone had been appointed who wasn’t the preferred choice of their lordships. But that’s not the real scandal:
Just before Mr. Kennedy died on Aug. 25, he asked the legislature to change the law and let Mr. Patrick appoint a temporary replacement for his seat until a special election could be held. That election is scheduled for Jan. 19.
Although Mr. Kennedy did not mention it when he made the request, it is clear that Democratic votes will be crucial to passing the contentious health care legislation making its way through Congress. He was a champion of overhauling the health care system, but with his seat empty, Democrats in the Senate are not assured the 60 votes necessary to pass the legislation.
Under the State Constitution, Mr. Patrick has to take the unusual step of declaring the law an emergency to make it effective immediately; most new laws cannot take effect for 90 days.
In my last post on this subject, I went out of my way to polite. Now I’m just angry. Kennedy had been dying for over a year and his illness prevented him from “properly representing” his constituents since at least March. If he honestly cared about representing his constituents, he could have resigned months ago and would would already have had a special election and a new senator by now. But now because of one senator — a frickin’ senator! Who cares? — was too proud and thought himself too important to resign when he should have, we have to pass an ex post facto law to change the way we elect senators for the second time in five years.
Shame on Deval Patrick, shame on the state legislature, and shame on the people of Massachusetts (of whom I count myself) for electing these corrupt asshats.
The Boston Globereports that Massachusetts’s leaders have all but agreed to change state law to allow Governor Patrick to appoint an interim senator to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s seat.
As has been noted elsewhere, this is disgusting on a number of levels. First, Kennedy was the driving force behind the current vacancy law, which was enacted in 2004 for the sole reason of denying Mitt Romney the opportunity to select a replacement for Senator Kerry, should Kerry have been elected to the presidency. Second, we are only in this current “crisis” of not having two D-MA senators during the health care fight because Kennedy stayed in office until, literally, his dying day. Third, there’s a sickening sense of entitlement among our political class that they have a right to fill this seat immediately with a chosen crony; when it comes to inter-democratic politics in Massachusetts, we citizens are just along for the ride.
On the off-chance that Governor Patrick has second thoughts about his participation in this (and on the even remoter chance that this post reaches his desk) I refer him to the fine example set by Governor John Jay of New York when he encountered a similar situation in the spring of 1800. New York Republicans had just won a startling victory over the Federalist incumbents in the in the state legislature election, largely due to the unparalleled politicking of Aaron Burr. Since the new legislature’s first job would be to choose New York’s electors for the upcoming presidential race— and since New York was the key to Vice President Jefferson’s campaign strategy — the election had incredible national ramifications.
Alexander Hamilton, New York’s leading Federalist, was horrified. He had worked as tirelessly as Burr during the election, but without the colonel’s political ingenuity or light touch. In addition to being personally humiliated by the loss to his long-time rival, Hamilton was terrified that Jefferson would ruin America’s finances and drag it into war with Great Britain.
Paranoid and desperate, Hamilton wrote Gov. Jay – his close friend and political ally – and begged him to invalidate Burr’s victory by changing the law to create a second, special election for the state’s Electoral College delegation:
[I]n times like these in which we live, it will not do to be overscupulous. It is easy to sacrifice the substantial interests of society by a strict adherence to ordinary rules…
[S]cruples of delicacy and propriety ought not to hinder the taking of a legal and constitutional step to prevent an atheist in Religion and a fanatic in politics from getting possession of the helm of state.
Though Jay shared Hamilton’s worries about Jefferson, he was disgusted by the suggestion that they change the rules mid-stream for such nakedly partisan reasons. He never responded, and simply filed the letter away with the following note:
Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt.
History is watching, Governor Patrick. Take note.
Lomask, Milton. Aaron Burr: The Years from Princeton to Vice President, 1756-1805. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1979. pp. 240-247
Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton, Penguin Group USA, 2004. pp 609-610
Brookhiser, Richard. Alexander Hamilton, American. Touchstone, 1999. pp 147-148.
Freeman, Joanne. Affairs of Honor, Yale University Press, 2001. pp 231-234
Romney won’t run for Kennedy’s seat. It’s an open seat, in a year that will be the best chance for Republican pick ups since 1994. And Romney can’t be bothered to try to pick up this seat.
He’s a one-term governor who refused to let his constituents pass judgment on him in a reelection bid. His most remarkable political feat thus far has been his failure to unite conservatives against John McCain in a Republican primary. And he lost a senate bid a fifteen years ago. He’s stiff, comes across as the guy who will say whatever he thinks will get him elected, and has a history of saying whatever he thinks will get him elected.
It makes me cringe when conservatives talk about him like he’s some sort of hero, and the obvious conservative candidate in 2012. If he’d won a senate seat next year, I would have reconsidered. But it should be obvious that Romney has no faith in his ability to win in his own state, and Republicans are damnfools if they think he can win elsewhere. He is a sure loser, and the sooner more Republicans get past him, the better we’ll be.
Boston is celebrating the Celtic’s championship win with a parade that’s going by my office. As part of the celebration Old South Church‘s bells have been ringing for the last hour. Though odd, it sort of made sense to play ‘Danny Boy’ a couple of times. But the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’? ‘America the Beautiful’? Now Beethoven? Sheesh!