I need to explain a few things: First, I am not what you would consider a “political person”. Oh sure, I care about who gets elected to which public office and all, but aside from that, I find the entire thing to be something of a snoozer. Secondly, I am not into “political parties”. I am registered to vote and all, as an “independent”. (This is called “un-enrolled” here in the Bay state.) I don’t like political parties. In fact, I think it is time for the entire party system to be tossed in the garbage disposal of history. Boy, could you imagine how efficient everything would run, if there were no constant bickering just because Senator X is a Republican, and Senator Y is a Democrat? No “party whips” (that always sounds kinky to me), and none of this committee garbage. Talk about efficiency to the max. Legislative process, the way it was meant to be.
Third, I promised myself, and my readers, (Both of Them!) that I would not write about the technical side of Mac ownership, or do product reviews, (There are plenty of good, well-qualified people doing that already), or politics. My reasoning is that if you want a political column; just pick up any major market newspaper on any given weekday. Alas, I must break that promise, after watching what I saw on the evening of Thursday, September fifth, on the major market Boston TV stations.
What did I see? It was the televised debate among the four Democrats running for the office of Governor. They are State Senator Tom Birmingham, State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, former labor secretary Robert Reich, and former State Senator Warren Tolman. Now, I know that is “four”, not “three”, but bear with me. (The only Republican running is Mitt Romney. I’m getting to him)
The style of the debate was the usual: Several prominent local journalists asked a question, and the candidates answered the journalists, or responded to answers from their opponents. A debate among people running for public office should be an exchange of ideas, and the opportunity to defend a decision you have made in a present of previous public office. There should not be screaming, name calling, or accusations that “You did this, yes you did! But that is exactly what we, the people who were dumb enough to tune into this idiocy and stick to it, received.
Not one of these candidates answered a single question in a no-nonsense manner. No siree, we got meandering responses, and a seemingly endless stream of Ms. O’Brien saying that “I stand on my record”. Nope, no information or views were discussed, really. Several things came to my mind, one was a line spoken by that great actor William B. Davis, on that great TV show “The X-Files” Typically, Davis, playing the part of “the cigarette smoking man”, would advise an underling that if anyone finds out (Whatever skullduggery he was up to that week) that “In that event, I would strongly urge you to deny everything”. Yup, that is definitely what these four people, running for the states highest public office, did, all evening.
One thing that came to mind was a bumper sticker I saw on a recent Sunday bike ride. It read “Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, Make counteraccusations.” Oh yeah.
The other thing I thought of was how the entire event was coming closer, and closer to being an episode of “The Three Stooges.”
Yes indeed. (And I don’t mean any disrespect to The Boys! God bless you guys, wherever you are!) I thought that at any second, the picture was going to turn to black and white, and these four candidates would come out from behind their podiums, and commence with slapping, pie throwing, and saying such things as “Oh, a wise guy, Huh? Spread out!” This would be followed by more slapping, and perhaps some nutty stunts with hammers, brooms, or maybe a huge pair of pliers. Heck, maybe even a round of “Niagara Falls!! Slowly I turned!!”.
So lets see, how about Tom Birmingham as Moe? Tolman could be Curly, (Soitenly!) Reich could be Larry, (No Moe, No!) and Shannon? Well, she can do the role of Joe Besser, since I never liked the episodes with him. (I toyed with casting her as Moe, since I can easily visualize her saying “Why I outta…”)
This brings us to the Republican side of things. Alas, here we have Mitt Romney, who I think should be “Shemp”. For those who came in late, Mr. Romney is the man who saved the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, after all the scandals and corruption were revealed, and the possibility loomed that there may not be a Winter Olympics at all. And, I have to give the man credit, by all accounts, he did a fine job. (I don’t think he’ll fix me up with Dorothy Hammill though. Nuts! )
There have been some “snafus” though. First, Romney’s actual residency, and eligibility were challenged, first by acting governor Jane Swift, (She of the I.Q. of a doorstop.) then by the Democratic Party leaders. (That move did not go over well with the citizens, and thus, it bit them on the ass.) Well, the acting governor, sensing that she not would stand a chance against the better-liked Romney, announced that she would not run for the office. (She’ll be departing the job in January. Not to worry, her political pals have a job waiting for her, after she takes the long walk down the state house steps. )
Well, Romney may have some ideas, and he certainly doesn’t need the job of governor. He made his fortune as a big time venture capitalist, and lawyer. All good and fine, but the commonwealth is not a corporation People have to work and live here. So far, his TV ads have featured the man himself doing such jobs as working with a paving crew, selling sausages near Fenway Park, and driving a tractor. All good and fine, and he looks great on TV, but what about ideas? Nope. Plans? Uh-Uh. What he can do with the public office of governor? I’m not seeing anything like that. Sorry Mitt, but what about the out of control cost of housing in this state? Or the traffic problem, which is coming closer and closer to total gridlock? Not to mention the state’s pension system for state employees, affordable health care (A nasty one!), and some tax relief for people who don’t earn a quarter million a year? (Yeah, there are some of us, believe it or not Mitt.) Nope, I don’t see a thing.
There is one more “goody” worth mentioning in all this. All candidates have said that they will take on the reigning speaker of the state’s house of representatives, Thomas Finneran. If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, you won’t get this, so I’ll fill you in. This state has always granted an enormous amount of power to whoever holds the position of house speaker, so much so that some have suggested that it is really the speaker who runs the state. His antics involving patronage jobs, and revenge on any house member who does not tow the line, are the stuff of legendary political bosses and despots. It’s nothing new, it has been done by every house speaker for a long, long time, but this man is in a class all his own. Check out this website, if you are the least bit curious. At this site, you can even download a fact sheet, which details Mr. Finnerans ruthless antics. Be forewarned: If you consider yourself to be a “Loyal Democrat”, then what you read on the fact sheet should make you feel very, very ashamed. Side note to whoever will become the next Governor: Good luck dealing with Speaker Finneran. You will need it.
And that’s about it. The primary is Tuesday. By all accounts and poles, Shannon O’Brien will become the Democratic Party Nominee for Governor. Heh-Heh, I wonder if she, and Mitt Romney will do a reenactment of the “Cousin Basil” routine, for the amusement of us voters? That’s the one where poor Shemp gets the u-know-what slapped of him by actress Christine McIntyre, who believes Shemp is impersonating her cousin Basil. Considering the last debate, why not?