There is good stuff in there though. I've been kicking this can up and down this blog for months, and almost certainly other bloggers have too. I haven't noticed it in MSM before now, but for example:
- Legislative Reality Check in November was one of several on Patrick and the lawmakers cutting the crap and getting stuff done together
- Deval's Second Chance in January went on about these missed opportunities and how he needed to shift to what works (This also ran as Deval Tries Another Door on BMG)
- Then coming up on three weeks ago, Attack of the Consensus Builders focused on the themes Goodnough used
It's not surprising that one or more Massachusetts bloggers noticed and noted the parallels and perils of Patrick and Obama. We don't have a lot of politicians campaigning on high ideals with a smattering of populism.
We are at a bifurcation or rather a three-way fork. Nationally, we can do the fearful, no-big-changes GOP way, the woman with the stick saying, "I got your compromise right here!" or the Deval-style aspiration/consensus guy.
Those of us who hopped into Deval's bag of promises are largely still hoping and anticipating good stuff. I did have overly high anticipation that he could build the teams and lubricate the compromises as he did in the business world. That has happened only at low to moderate levels.
The hungry, hungry hippo next to the picnic table, of course, is funding. Patrick's visions and programs to lead us politically, in policy and economically will only come for those who can pay for them. At the moment (year), the reactionary forces typified by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, but certainly not limited to him, have stifled most advances.
There has not been sufficient outcry by voters or courage by lawmakers to catalyze the state change required. The commonwealth has been foundering for two decades and reactionaries need a dope slap, likely several.
They are terrified of raising any taxes. Odd though, isn't it that they let then Gov. Willard Mitt Romney pretend that his multiple new and increased fees weren't taxes because he said they weren't.
We see what failing to pay for the necessary can do. Education, public safety, business innovation and on and on worsen and fail. The inevitable fixes only become more expensive. We now can look at a worst-case future of being like Michigan.
Perhaps having these issues aired in the Times will help, even if they are expressed imprecisely. Certainly if the MSM here were doing their civic duty, the news and editorial pages will increasingly carry calls for the legislature to enable and not obstruct the necessary maintenance and improvements we need so desperately. Years of pretending things will suddenly become great without intervention and taxes haven't done it.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, legislature, Obama, New York Times, Blue Mass Group