Friday, March 13, 2009

Southie Befuddles Mayor Hopefuls

Welsh lad Maewyn Succat was enslaved and taken to Ireland, where he eventually became St. Patrick, after escaping and returning. We impassioned provincials here imbue his name with the quartet of holiness, things Irish, fun, and up-yours-ness.

Here, we've managed to turn the wearing of the green into the swearing at the gays. The Wacko Hurley team in Southie won the right to be petty and discriminatory from the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet how odd that the parades in Ireland don't have any problem with GLBT marchers.

Oh, the joy of being so wrong so long and find it a source of identity and pride!

This year, Ethan Jacobs over at Bay Windows did his expected excellent job of covering the Boston mayoral candidates' stances. The me-too Globe's John Drake did a weak cover today.

The short version is that Mayor Tom Menino will do his usual work the crowd from the sidelines thing (seemingly politically effective). Sam Yoon will march and bluster about the anti-gay unfairness. Michael Flaherty will plead Irish-Americanism and personal tradition to march. Kevin McCrea will boycott the event after his meditative enlightenment.

The big surmise on the coverage is in this year of a mayoral election, who's helped and who's hurt by the parade decision. In reality, the stress might be better placed. South Boston is no longer monolithic politically and as such does not sway elections like the bad old days when it wrested the voting power from the WASPs on the other side of the channel. This could well be the last year anyone gives a shamrock leaf about it.

As much as I admire Sam Yoon (smartest guy in City Hall in my view), he's not showing insight or courage here. He plays the martyr saying that because he wrote a protest letter to the anti-gay parade forces, he'd been forced to be the butt end of the parade as punishment. Aww. Yet, he marches.

BW quotes him this as, "When I’m elected mayor I will invite the GLBT community with rainbow flags to march behind me in my mayoral contingent, and we’ll see what happens." That fails the leadership test badly. Do it or don't. Finessing the rules confuses people — they expect plain talk from a mayor.

Kevin McCreaMichael FlahertySam Yoon

Flaherty is equally weak, trying to avoid the issue by saying he's been marching in it from childhood. Well, he used to wear diapers too.

The more potent whiff here is of McCrea. He says he thought about it for a long time and he told BW:
My position would be I’d love to sit down with the parade organizers and say, look, it’s 2009. I’d love to march in the St. Patrick’s parade and I’d love to march with my gay friends, and let’s break down the walls and allow the gays to march. If they continue to exclude gays I won’t march in the parade. If they include gays then I would love to march in the parade.
That level of insight and coolness may hurt him with the anti-gay forces, but there are a ton more equality minded Bostonians. It looks like a smart gamble for a small to medium sized pot.

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Anonymous said...

Your attack on Sam Yoon is not fair. Menino fully participates in the proceedings ... he just does not march the route. He will be at the parade using the power of incumbency to do media hits. He will attend all the parties in Southie too. If he was truly boycotting, he would stay at home altogether. But you can't turn your back on a whole neighborhood because of one whacko called Wacko.

Yoon is hardly playing the martyr... I don't think anybody questions his stance on equal rights. And you know what - you can bet the farm that Wacko Hurley wont be voting for Sam Yoon for Mayor.

massmarrier said...

Attack? You think that's an attack? Hardy har.

Sam's a lot tougher than that and he'll get a lot worse. He'll get real attacks now that he's running.

He's being wishy-washy on this, as in "Cut out that evil or I'll send you a strongly worded letter!" He wants everyone to like him simultaneously and that's not going to happen.

Itty boo on getting bumped to the back by the Wacko crowd. If he wants to take strong stands, he'll have to do that and take his lumps.

By the bye, I really do like and respect Sam Yoon. He was too soft here though.

Anonymous said...

Bay Windows did a great job getting these answers out of the 4 mayoral candidates. Their editorial in the same issue goes one step further:

Rob said...

I don't think McCrea's statement is any less meaningful than Yoon's. Does he really think the organizers who took this thing all the way to the Supreme Court will lay down their swords simply because Kevin McCrea asks them too? Cmon.