'The governor was so angry ...'
Massachusetts Liberal has a good analysis
of the Patrick administration's inept negotiating strategy
in the face of Sal's 'bare-knuckles'
opposition to the casino plan:
Ultimately though, the big loser is Patrick. He put forward a poorly constructed proposal, gambled he could win it all after DiMasi met his offer to negotiate with a reasonable counter-offer, then launched yet another attack on DiMasi when an olive branch was more appropriate.
Hub Blog would add, somewhat counterintuitively, that the entire episode displayed Sal's weaknesses as well as his strengths. Despite a poorly constructed proposal and amateur-hour tactics, the administration still pushed DiMasi to the limit. Sal, at times, looked more desperate than determined. He sweated -- violating the old axiom about not letting them see you sweat. Hub Blog's mind keeps drifting back to Sal's recent crackdown on members who were openly lobbying for his job. ... One last thing re Massachusetts Liberal's post: I hope the Patrick administration doesn't draw the conclusion that it needs to move from Dukakis I to Dukakis II tactics and stratagies. Remember: the Hack-Progressive Alliance can trace its roots back to when Dukakis decided it was better to play along with Billy and the boys rather than confront Billy and the boys. The trick is how to confront them. One doesn't do it with half-baked proposals and ham-handed dime-dropping tactics. Setting aside the arguments for or against resort casinos in general, the fatal flaws in Patrick's casino plan were: A.) He proposed it too early (and should have let the legal and political dust settle after the Middleboro vote fiasco. B.) He didn't include the existing racetracks C.) He sold the idea primarly as an 'economic development' plan -- a bogus claim that was rightly ripped apart. I.e., you confront with smart plans. This was not a smart plan. ...
OK, so relations between Deval and Sal are at a low point. But check out these articles (here
) on Eliot Spitzer and his dealings with the New York legislature. The following scene, in which then Gov. Spitzer met with allies who tried to convey that his governing style wasn't working, is astounding:
They took their seats in the governor’s suite, seven or eight men in a tight cluster. Mr. Cantor, glancing at his notes, cataloged their discontents. At the end the governor leaned in, his face less than 12 inches from Mr. Cantor’s.
And Mr. Spitzer began screaming.
“You have no standing to lecture me,” he said, expletives punctuating virtually every third syllable. “You’re part of the system that is the whole problem in this state.”
A year’s worth of perceived slights poured out, as he recalled old political races gone bad and proposals that had died in the Legislature. Curse piled upon curse, spittle flying.
“In the world of politics, calculated rage is really common,” recalled a man who was in the room. “But this was not calculated; this was pure rage and kind of scary to watch.”
Let's be glad it hasn't come to this in Massachusetts. ...Update
-- Andre writes in about confronting hacks:
Well, yeah, all that, plus if you try to confront the hacks over their opposition to gambling, you're doing it without most of your natural allies.