The really big question for us is what Governor Deval Patrick will do when (and it is when, not whether) Senate President Bobby Travaglini stymies him. Patrick has the Herculean labor of making Massachusetts work again, both literally putting the people to work and figuratively getting the gelding legislature up and running.
His relatively tame and non-committal inauguration address yesterday (text here and video here) did not lay out his agenda with specifics, as we can expect in budget and policy addresses later. He did not even iterate his strong statements earlier in the week that he would work to defeat the dreadful anti-marriage-equality amendment at this year's ConCon.
Activists Note: If you are still fretting about what you can do, click immediately to this week's Bay Windows. It includes great coverage of what you can do now and later. , a timeline of this whole mess (including some cautionary lessons), and even a clear scolding of MSM and bloggers who bought into the crap that only pro-marriage-equality folk are obligated to play by all the rules and fair play.
Trav's concept of leadership seems to be a control game, regardless of how little gets done or who gets hurt. While Patrick could run over him in a big battle or two, that's terribly inefficient and not suited to Patrick's cooperative style. The best bet seems to be to let Trav take the credit for breaking logjams and innovating.
Of course, that is absurd on many levels. Trav has never been a leader, does not come up with great ideas, and executes poorly. The idea that he would deserve credit for suddenly championing brilliant strokes is, shall we say, an anomaly. On the other hand, Patrick can likely pull this off. Trav has a terrific ego, while Patrick seems to have left his puerile control needs and vanity in Milton Academy or Harvard We really only need one to be mature for this to work.
Our senate president clearly is not suited for the 21st Century in general and for changing times in Massachusetts in particular. He has already shown that he wants to play some sort of street game where he gets to pick the teams and make the rules.
Yet, if anyone can work with him and let him pretend to be the big shot, it's Patrick.
We must wait and watch while Patrick specifies his legislative and policy goals. Then the first (and second, third and fourth) time Bobby thumps his flabby chest and plays silverback, we expect Patrick to win while letting the display go on.
Bobby has been looking out the window since his heart operation, cancer treatment and realizing his kids are nearly ready for college. It would be great if he left soon, but only if we had someone on the senate side like House Speaker Sal DiMasi to give us some real leadership and morality in the office.
Meanwhile, Patrick has shown himself a great pragmatist, who works with what he has.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, amendment, same sex marriage, ConCon, Travaglini, Deval Patrick