Fur shore, dood, MA's campaign to replace US Sen. John Kerry is already in the mud. Faux indignation follows each pronouncement of little-bit-ahead leader Ed Markey. There was the whore monger and more recently the fake cries of racism.
It'll only get worse. Even with a new GOP party chair here, the dreadful craziness and irrationality of Scott Brown's failed calumny of Elizabeth Warren last fall still is the tone.
Consider those two examples. First Markey will attend a fund raiser for his campaign co-hosted by former NY Gov. Eliiot Spitzer. Also, Markey really hates the Citizens United decision and compared it judicially to the Dred Scott ruling of 1857 when the US Supreme Court tortured Constitutional law to uphold slavery.
That fund raiser is in the DC home of Spitzer's sister. It's private and asking $500 to $5,000 per. In case you have had more important issues to consider, then NY AG Spitzer spent a lot of money on prostitutes. He resigned in 2008 with hints of impeachment for to rumored fiscal improprieties related to his lusts. He's pretty much rehabbed himself — writing for the likes of Slate, teaching at City College, lecturing and such.
As one of her first public acts, the new MA GOP head, Kirsten Hughes, got low and nasty on this. As the Globe reported it:
“You are judged by the company you keep and it’s disgusting for Congressman Markey to rub elbows with a man best known for his solicitation of prostitutes,” Hughes said. “Instead of lining his campaign coffers with donations from the disgraced Eliot Spitzer, Markey should immediately cancel the fundraiser and denounce Spitzer’s abhorrent and unacceptable behavior. Anything short of a public condemnation and cancellation would send the wrong message to women everywhere.”From that same GOP with its current and long history of plug nasties — serial adulterers, tax cheats, and far worse — as candidates as well as supporters, that's some guts she showed. Pots and kettles, dear.
For the Citizens/Dred thingummy, The Phoenix' David Bernstein doesn't think it'll last or have much impact. Not only do I agree, but I think Markey offered a fair comparison that deserves consideration.
Negative reactions to it may say more about New Englanders than Markey's remarks. He delivered the analogy in the Berkshires and The Republican on masslive.com sought out Springfield NAACP President The Rev. Talbert Swan II to view the video and react.
He concluded, "I don't think he had an ill-intent making the comparison, but it's an ill-timed statement (noting it is Black History Month)." However, he also said, "I don't think I would have compared any Supreme Court decision to the Dred Scott decision that subjugated a whole race, but I do understand the parallel between the two cases. The Dred Scott ruling denied rights to human beings and made them property. The Citizens Untied case took property and gave it human rights."
Those who try to play racial games with this and avoid Markey's ideas should note Swan's clarity.
That brings up the provincialism issue. Not only Bostonians but many other New Englanders have real problems with abstracts and even metaphor. They can be confused by them, can fall back on literal interpretations, and seem to lack literary contexts.
While I've spent the majority of my life in Boston, I've lived in many places and spent some of my most formative years in the South. The contrasts in speech, writing and thinking North and South are abrupt and revealing.
There are good fiction writers up here, but not all that many. Contrasted to the Deep South, New England is the home of philosophy and hard and soft science writing...serious (and generally literal) stuff. You'd be hard pressed to find a Southern city or town without its famous native novelist or playwright.
That is nowhere as obvious as in daily conversation. Classroom, grocery, bar, living room, backyard BBQ, floor of the legislature, Southerners love their words, their tropes, their puns, their analogies. They as a group take great pleasure in turn of phrase and comparisons. It's a form of mental calisthenics that may not serve any great purpose, but lubricates interactions considerably.
That's why it shocks me so much to see the terrified alter kaker Sen. Lindsey Graham act out like such a Yankee on the cabinet nominee hearings. He picks up verbal crumbs and figuratively runs about the hearing room holding them high and squealing. We understand he's trying to convert his legacy of decades as a wishy-washy sort with uncharacteristic bombast. It doesn't suit him or his heritage.
Here, we'll see how far Hughes and other attack sorts can carry these small socks of shame they think they found. I suspect not that far. However, I also suspect they just won't stop trying.