‘They damned near passed ...’:
Been real busy of late (mutual-fund scandals
and things like that), but wanted to post a few good emails related to the ‘A renaissance for a city of Brahmins and beans’ earlier this week. From Lexington Reader:
“RE: E.J.'s article.
You mention that Mass. voters went with the Gipper twice, in 1980 and 1984. ... But don't forget that during that same era voters also passed Prop 2 and 1/2, which put a screeching brake to the escalating local property taxes; that once Dukakis served out his second term as governor in 1990, the voters have chosen Republican governors in four consecutive elections; and that in 2002, they damned near passed a proposition that would have eliminated the state income tax entirely! Overtly liberal? Perhaps. Unpredictable? You bet. In fact, unpredictable enough that I'll bet fifty cents right now that if Kerry takes the Democratic nomination and continues to campaign the way he has, then he won't break 53% in Mass in November -- and I might even put a few dollars on a wager, with some decent odds, mind you, that Bushie takes Massachusetts outright from ‘My initials are JFK.’”
Hub Blog’s response
: Tempted to take that bet. I think Kerry will win Mass. After all, the hacks will be lining up for fed jobs -- and have a powerful incentive to turn out the vote. But on the other hand, then again, etc., it didn’t work for Shannon. ... Al Gore’s state also turned on him. So it’s not a far-fetched notion. ...
‘Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts’:
Again, re ‘A renaissance for a city of Brahmins and beans.' Reader No. 1:
“It's always dangerous to argue without going to the data, but I think Massachusetts voted for McGovern in 1972 for one reason: Vietnam. Universities are prominent in our local zeitgeist and universities were the focal point of anti-war resistance.
“Also, Vietnam was one of the principal factors in the collapse of the old liberal Republican vanguard that played a leading role in Mass politics. The old Ivy leaguers in the suburbs just couldn't support the war and the administration that was trying to get out gracefully. Watergate finished off the Elliot Richardson wing out here, but there was trouble long before that. Actually, this was part of the reversal of roles, where a lot of ‘Reagan Democrats’ voted Republican for a couple of years as Hub Blog notes. On the other hand, that last Reagan win in Massachusetts was 20 years ago... and this is the state that's legalizing gay marriage.
“So I respectfully submit: not only is Massachusetts more liberal than when we voted for Reagan 20 years ago -- Massachusetts is more liberal today than in 1972 when we voted for McGovern!”
Hub Blog’s response:
See above post and response for part of my answer. Also keep in mind the dwindling number of people who now call themselves Democrats or Republicans in Massachusetts. The majority of voters are now Independents, whom I’d generally describe as conservative on fiscal matters, liberal on social issues. There are a lot of business folks who have moved into Massachusetts in recent decades (high-tech, mutual funds etc.) who have offset the ‘70s academic tilt. ...