Deval Patrick’s Tired Star Turn

A Keller at Large blog

Thanks, Kennedy brothers.

Ever since JFK, you give a Massachusetts politician a convincing re-election win and a compelling personal story with an image-making machine behind it, and look out world, here they come to save the day. For two generations, we’ve been the Universal back lot of political hubris, where serial ambition rehearses its next star turn.

And now we know what the “new kind of politics” Deval Patrick promised us was – another dose of the same old bitter medicine.

Let’s stroll down bad-memory lane: Dukakis, jamming unaffordable health-care “reform” through for use as a campaign prop, while papering over a huge budget deficit; Weld, embassy-hunting at the White House before they’d even bussed the empty longnecks at his re-election victory party, and bailing out mid-term; Cellucci, gone to Ottowa at mid-term; Romney, grabbing for RGA markers even before mid-term; John Kerry. In a few years, maybe Scott Brown too.

It never seems to result in any benefit to the citizens. Mostly, it comes out of our hide. Bills filed and budget cuts made for their branding value, not their moral and fiscal logic. Positions taken and political alliances formed with more regard for their political payoff than their benefit to the state. A shrinking from hard choices that might not play in the greener pastures of the future.

What if, come budget crunch time this year or next, a watershed bill curbing public employee benefit costs – like the plan design reform the governor says he backs – comes up for a vote, and a scene descends on Beacon Hill like the one in Wisconsin? Would Obama surrogate Deval Patrick be willing to take the heat, especially if his position conflicted with preferred White House policy? Or would our latest national-figure-in-the -making be an easier mark for the most powerful pressure groups within his party?

Presidential name-floater, senatorial hopeful, CEO on the make for the choicest board of director slots, or just retro-egomaniac, it really doesn’t matter what brand of soap the new Patrick PAC (YesPAC? WePac? Or CanPac? So many choices) winds up peddling. It can’t be good for us, this all too familiar retro-new politics, whatever self-serving goal it’s striving for.

More from Jon Keller
  • Mary Kelley

    This is not a news article but an opiniion piee. Don’t put it under local news – it is not news. How is Deval Patrick an Obama surrogate pray tell??? Who wrote this article? Please credit the writer since not all of us agree and would like to respond to the writer.

    • StanleyRamon

      My guess is that this has been mistakenly placed under “news”. Ever since CBS switched over to this new web site there have been problems, too many to list here. I didn’t even recognize this (in my news feed) as a Jon Keller opinion, if it is, until Dan Kennedy twittered about it. Ironically, I was reading Mr. Kennedy’s opinion on anonymous comments at the same time.

  • BostonIrish

    Meet the new Patrick. Same as the old Patrick. He’s an embarrassment. I can’t stand the Governor. And you get what you vote in. I didn’t.

  • mikey

    Too bad Patrick “the empathizer” doesn’t have the whatevers to follow in the footsteps of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Instead, we’re stuck with another boatload of Patrick’s “warm & fuzzy” B.S. Great.

  • taxedout

    More jobs going away, and your still waiting for the train to show up on time…Roads suck, traffic backed up all the time, any pension reforem??? How’s that alternative energy thing going??? Gas up, going out much??? Had your oil tank filled lately??? My My My, highest paid people in the state Work for the state, surprised???? Still think we are going in the right direction, almost March, any correction to sick time by back???Any changes to the health plans for state workers to pay thier share???? Parole Board fixed yet??? State full of Whiners who just ain’t smart enough to figure out they are being Stiffed!!!!

  • emom

    I just laugh at the governor,, every time he opens his mouth, it means more obsceane spending and major service cuts to folks like you and me, our aging population is suffering and he DOES NOT CARE, show me he cares for the ederly, show me he cares for the children, show me he cares for the dissabled, show me he DOES NOT WANT MORE OF OUR MONEY that we work so hard for and MUST fork over to his inflated bloated igo, and all his relations that are working for him… hOW ABOUT GIVING THOSE JOBS, TO THE ONES THAT TRUELY NEED THE JOBS, yeah useless is more like it and extremely uncaring for the ones that fund his wallet

  • Under the Golden Dome, Vol. II, No. 1 « Lovers Muggers and Thieves

    […] Keller bemoans Patrick’s roving eyes. (WBZ) Let’s stroll down bad-memory lane: Dukakis, jamming unaffordable health-care “reform” […]

  • taxedout

    His next book…How to Fleece Sheep!!!!

  • Bruce Gabriel

    My fellow citizens elected Deval Patrick to a second term so possibly they deserve the sort of political opportunism he is and will be providing. However, I don’t deserve it because I have never voted for him. I can’t stand his policies.

    “The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act or re solve. Government cannot relieve from toil. It can provide no substitute for the rewards of service. It can, of course, care for the defective and recognize distinguished merit. The normal must care for themselves. Self government means self support.”

    “Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.”

    Calvin Coolidge

  • emom

    I am sick that anyone in this state truely beleives this man , Which shall be nameless since I have no amount of respect for him. He has doubled the taxes of us, taken away services to vital areas, and then tells us he will make more cuts so unfair of him to think that way….

  • emom

    Oh and when asked hard questions, he does a great job at skirting around those questions. People have asked WHY so many times he can only SMILE and say well these are hard times and in order to balance the budget we have to make hard choices, REALLY, some off my hard choices where less eating out, less buying my favorite coffees from the coffee house, makikng more meals from scratch, less, entertainment on weekends, and buying things on the discount rack, in the end ITS a huge savings and I am able to once again to have some enjoyment,, However he only wants to cut, cut , cut, and then pocket pocket pocket the rewards for himself and then walk away from those he hurts, why cant he be honest and come clean on the real reason he does what he does, selfishness.

  • taxedout

    The operative word in the title………TIRED!!!

  • Maybe MA Teachers are paid too much...

    … because a lot of Keller readers apparently have no idea how to spell correctly, use proper grammar, or produce coherent thoughts.

  • taxedout

    Pal if your biggest problem is the spelling here you may want to go to the MENSA site. We are hear for conversation, sorry not everyone is as litrate as you!!!!

  • taxedout

    14 out of 26 companies the gov gave TAX breaks to never lived up to thier comitment to hire and creat jobs… All the tax breaks were paid by YOU….Pay up dummies!!!

  • taxedout

    He’s out of state now, working for his Buddy. Not to worry the rest of the people you voted in will take Good care of you in his absence!!!

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