Choose your enemies wisely — or have them choose themselves? David did a nice job taking apart the warning of three supposedly conservative Dems to Patrick’s campaign, which is plainly meant as a shot across the bow that Patrick will meet resistance from entrenched interests in the Democratic establishment.
Look, Patrick does indeed need to reach out to more conservative voters. That is the way of the world: you win your party’s nomination, then appeal to a broader audience. (I asked Patrick about that back in June, at the convention. Here’s his answer on mp3.)
But contrary to some posters here, the most important thing about this particular story is that it’s not about liberal vs. conservative. I don’t fear “the party tearing itself apart,” at least not because of this latest salvo from the O’Flaherty wing of the party, if you can call it that. This is the hackocracy defending its turf.
O’Flaherty in particular cannot be called especially conservative. Sure, he’s been anti-gay marriage and pro-life, but he’s also anti-death penalty, anti-tax rollback, and his antics in the Melanie’s Law showdown are the stuff of legend. Gene O’Flaherty as Crime Dog McGruff? Please.
For his part, Sen. Steven “Bechtel” Baddour is a charter member of the Big Dig Culture, having accepted $30,000 of contractor-related contributions from 2002 to 2005. This is while co-chairing the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. Baddour claims “You can’t make a connection between the campaign side and the governing side.” Yeah, that’s the ticket — in fact, hardly anyone is ever swayed by campaign cash from special interests, right? Let’s try giving a trial judge a few thousand bucks and have him claim that it doesn’t affect his judgement. Patrick has vowed to fix the Big Dig Culture on Beacon Hill; you think Baddour might have a problem with that?
(For his part, Ernie’s got a lot on Conley.)
Maybe I’m projecting, but I’ll bet that things like
Zell’s O’Flaherty’s antics, and Baddour’s blatant conflicts of interest are exactly what all kinds of people — liberal, moderate and conservative — want to change. Like mildew, these guys can flourish under the protection of a Democratic super-majority. Patrick represents much more of a threat to that culture than any Republican governor ever has.