Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Tom

The why isn't there, but the lead op-ed in today's Globe nails the what of Tom Reilly's gutless inertia. A former senior adviser who helped elect him attorney general in 1998 wonders where the Tom she believed in is hiding.

To us, he is just another not too pretty face with not very strong convictions. We see a bunch of them.

Reilly has pretty much blown any gay-rights cred he had, most recently by certifying the 2008 DoMA ballot question. As Mary Breslauer points to poignantly, he could have been a contender, at least for governor.

She writes:
The truth is, as a minority community, we look to the attorney general for leadership on matters of fairness and equality. None of Reilly's predecessors hid behind the old chestnut of ''I'm only here to defend the law." I surely can't remember any of them flapping the state Constitution around the air at a press conference that expressly excluded community leaders.

All of Reilly's immediate predecessors submitted legislation on a host of issues, including some that mattered to the gay community. All of them made independent, principled decisions on matters of great significance. And none of them interpreted the state Constitution, which was created to grant equality, to bolster an effort to deny equality to a single group of Massachusetts citizens.

And there it is. Reilly might be able to get on the ballot without the gay vote, without many civil-rights advocates who are shocked by his recent betrayals, and without the many minority groups who can only wonder whether he will feign only-doing-my-duty when it comes time to help or protect them.

As it is, third parties have a good chance of getting the liberal vote in the governor's race. Meanwhile, Deval Patrick is looking better. At least he walks it like he talks it.


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