Saturday, July 01, 2006

Reilly Fails Yet Another Leadership Test

Leave town for one day and the pols act up worse than usual. Thursday night's Dem debate of gubernatorial candidates found Tom Reilly showing yet again 1) why he is really a Republican and 2) why he doesn't have the leadership ability we need now, and always.

Reading his pronouncement that we need to let the public vote on the anti-same-sex marriage amendment, I recalled a work by one of my favorite poets, Frederick Nicklaus. One of his starts:
I remember a horse in Indiana;
it came from the fields, it ran alongside
the bus. I remember its reddish hide.

But believe me, I failed the fright of its eyes.
Well, likewise, SSM is Tom's horse and repeatedly, he has been unable to deal with it and even unable to look directly at it. For the debate, the Globe coverage notes that Reilly was the only of the three candidates to say he favored ramming this amendment through this ConCon, the next one and onto the 2008 ballot.

That can't be too much of a surprise. Reilly has made himself the catalyst for this expensive, time-consuming and divisive process.

We would expect a decisive governor to bring his executive machete into the jungle that has grown from Republican and legislative inertia and inattention. We have had one governor after another enabled by a do-nothing General Court hiding from key issues -- failing the fright of their eyes -- while our economy sputters to a halt and our infrastructure collapses. Instead, they let anti-equality legislation advance under the guise of perverted democracy.

The most cynical among them, such as POTUS-envying Gov. Mitt Romney and the poorly directed Archibishop Sean O'Malley, echo "let the people decide" spouted by the ballot-initiative abusing VoteonMarriage.

So, as AG, Reilly had at least three chances to lead on this amendment and the related 1913 marriage laws currently in court proceedings. Instead, we are left to see what he has not done.

As AG, he did not lead the drive to remove the 1913 laws from the books and when Romney urged him to wield them as weapons against homosexuals, he actively participated and did not then demand quick action from the General Court to repeal them. Instead, he did the I'm-only-following-orders-and-enforcing-laws routine.

Likewise, over his entire tenure as AG, as it became increasingly obvious that small, narrowly focused special interest groups has subverted the ballot-initiative process, and our dull-witted governors did not act, Reilly did nothing. Here again, his role included identifying this threat to our laws and constitution. We needed and need a leader to say giving the majority the ability to strip civil rights from a minority is wrong. We need to clarify the legal process here.

Silence from Reilly has been followed with, as he said at the debate, "(the public) should vote on this."

No, they should not, and he should not accept the tyranny of mob rule, not as an AG and not as governor.

We'll deal with the whole debate as related to these two issues in future posts. Meanwhile, the transcript is here.

Unfortunately, neither Deval Patrick nor Chris Gabrieli took the lead here when they had the chance. Both said they were strongly for SSM. Patrick wished there'd be no vote on the amendment at this month's ConCon. Gabrieli seemed befuddled and would say only that he would work against a ban as governor. Patrick at least said that he thought the Supreme Judicial Court had ruled properly in Goodridge.

These candidates are all going to have to speak to ballot initiatives. Letting small hate groups and church politicians run your legislative agenda is no way to operate.

Apologist Note: If you are a Reilly fan, you can pretend with Scot Lehigh that unlike what everyone else heard, the debate was great for Romeilly, excuse me, Reilly. Lehigh is the main Globe anti-Deval-Patrick op-ed guy and lives in a fantasy world.

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