'Cleaning the mess on Beacon Hill':
A reader from Brighton, who's no big fan of Shannon, writes this about why Mitt's repeated calls to 'clean up the mess' and 'cut waste' on Beacon Hill ring hollow, though it may be a laudable goal:
"Just a note on the political culture here in Massachusetts. The last governor who really tried to upend the patronage system on Beacon Hill was Michael Dukakis in his first term. His campaign manager got a handshake and a thank you, but was refused a job. Dukakis tried to get rid of the Governor's Council, and failed. The legislative leadership hated him. The liberals were angry because he cut services and bailed on him, supporting Barbara Ackerman in the 1978 primary. The conservatives were angry because he raised taxes. The state police were giving out 'Dump the Duke' bumperstickers at some of their stations on the Pike, they were angry over their pay and lack of overtime. Car repair dealers went after him because of proposals to crack down on unneccessary repairs. One special interest group after another had it out for him. The result was that he lost in the 1978 primary to Ed King. Once he got in again after the 1982 election, he had learned his lesson and did not attempt any of this the second time around."
Hmmmmm. I could say, 'Well, there's always hope,' but I fear he's right.
Reader No. 1 responds
: To add to the reader from Brighton's accurate recollections of the Golden Age of Reform ... Scot Lehigh's comments
this morning on how Weld changed the Beacon Hill mindset a decade ago were right-on. Romney surely knows this, but is apparently afraid to talk about it. (Shannon probably will never understand this point because she has accepted the State-House-centric view of the world as fixed and immovable.) Of course, the Weld-Cellucci administration also helped bequeath two calamities which are major factors in the current political environment:
1. The infamous post-1994-reelection legislative payraise deal between Weld and Bulger. It signalled that it was safe again to head to the trough.
2. The Big Dig -- By the time the financial dimensions were officially acknowledged, it was far too late to do anything about it. ("Blowing the whistle on the Big Dig" most emphatically does not mean eliminating union construction jobs. ...)