Recent MA Democratic History

I’d like recommendations for the best essay or book on the recent history of Democratic politics in Massachusetts.

I ask because, though I’ve been here for ages, I’m Not From Here. Some of the fractures and frictions that the new Senate race has exposed seem very puzzling. When our friend eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii wrote in a recent post

Hey Nick Collins, sorry to tell you this but it’s a Dorchester senate seat not Southie’s. And, btw, you’re not true Southie. Your father is from Charlestown.

he’s using a language that’s familiar but also distinctively Boston. (It’s almost like Victorian England: “You call yourself a Smithfield man, but everyone knows that your grandpa was born in Clerkenwell!”)  I don’t think that in San Francisco, say, people would care much over whether a candidate grew up in Twin Peaks and not Mission Terrace.

I’d like to understand the origins and nature of the Lynch/Silber/Flynn Democrats — and whether, for that matter, I’m correct in viewing these as a faction at all. I sense that this goes back to busing, but I don’t know this. Who’s written the story?

Recommended by david, jasongwb.


52 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. My thoughts on MA Democratic history

    The factions didn’t start with Lynch or Silber or Flynn. IMO, it dates back to 1978 when Ed King challenged and defeated Mike Dukakis. Dukakis appealed the the liberal base and broke his no new taxes pledge by increasing them, furloughed murderers, while King was a law and order guy, wanted tax cuts, pro-business, and happened to be pro-life. My guess is Dukakis appealed to the 60′s generation while King appealed to the WW II generation. Of course, Dukakis defeated King in 82 by like 4-5 points. Lets not forget, Duke had like a 20 pt lead all summer but then King closed fast and had it tied two weeks before the primary. I remember, we at the King Campaign felt very good. Then Francis Bellotti launched a criminal investigation against a Ed King cabinet member, aka a dirty trick, and Dukakis ended up winning.

    King left the party and Dukakis ended up be a disastrous governor by 1990. Round three happened when Silber took on Bellotti, it was King vs Dukakis. Both Silber and King benefitted from a angry electorate when they won. After Silber, the WWII generation passed away during the 90′s and the MA Democratic Party shed the conservative wing and became what it is today.

    I hope this helps, I look forward to what others have to say, interesting subject.

    • A hilariously distorted history.


    • King appealed to WWI generation, not WWII

      Your finger must have slipped. Or maybe it was the 1898 Spanish-American War generation. Anyway, somewhere between 1898 and 1917 seems about right for Ed King.

      • The World War II generation

        are in their 80s and 90s now. Thirty-four years ago, however they were still a big part of the electorate. They were the generation that got us into Vietnam, supported the war, sent 60,000 Americans off to die, and led to the deaths of millions of Vietnamese. That’s why they call them the greatest generation. King may have been part of that generation, but they were alive and well during his tenure and after. They were in their fifties and sixties when he was elected.

        In 1978, the 60s generation would have been about 30 years old. As baby boomers, they may have been a demographic bulge, but I don’t think so.

        There was an ideological difference between King and Dukakis, but it was basically the divide of the 60s.

  2. For very recent history...

    …it just so happens I ran across this from last week in the Boston Globe.

    • Good article

      Kuttner is a great author and right on point here, love the Mikva quote (dont want nobody nobody sent). I think at the statewide level this is true, but within the Legislature there are still too many ‘regulahs’ and not enough reformers. And I am hoping the new Progressive Democrats organization can start affecting that change, and that Deval and Warren use their organizations for these wider purposes.

    • It was a good article

      Ran on Sunday, but must have been written before last Friday. Someone forget to edit the sentence that Warren volunteers will work for Markey in order to keep Scott Brown out of the Senate!

  3. Ed King became a Republican, but

    he started as the Democrat that introduced contemporary conservatism to Massachusetts:

    King wasn’t a typical Democrat. In one debate, he managed to answer nearly every question by emphasizing that he supported capital punishment and opposed high taxes, welfare and abortion. He didn’t need to have presidential aspirations to be pro-life.

    Ray Shamie was the guy who effectively organized the Republicans during the Reagan era. That era lasted until the end of Mitt Romney’s only term as governor.

    Mike Dukakis was a wonk and skillful manager, not always a great politician. He lost in his first re-election bid because he failed to reward people for their support after his first election. This pissed off many of his supporters and the party apparatus. The result was Ed King, whose tenure was marked with cronyism and ineffectiveness. Dukakis’s second term is considered to be one of the most effective gubernatorial terms in the last 50 years. (I can’t find the link for that assertion, but it was in Commonwealth Magazine).

  4. I'd not put Silber in with Lynch and Flynn

    Lynch and Flynn come from the same place. Irish Catholic working-class South Boston. Silber was a career academic from Texas. He didn’t even live in Massachusetts until he was in his 40s. The only thing he had in common with the other guys is that he was to the right of liberal Dems on some issues.

    Silber’s main problem was that he ran BU like an autocrat, and had a prickly personality. He got flak for his regressive views on GLBT, something he might share with Lynch or Flynn to some extent. But they (particularly Lynch) are strong union guys. Silber first angered people at BU by trying to break a union in the 70s. He also called Massachusetts a “welfare magnet,” while neither Flynn nor Lynch made any issues about that. Silber did push integration at the University of Texas before coming to BU, something Southie (Flynn included) famously resisted.

    Anyone feel free to disagree, but I think places like Southie got their character from the virulent anti-Irish discrimination in the late 19th century. To get away from it, many new Irish-Americans moved to enclaves that were physically as well as demographically isolated. Southie and Charlestown are prime examples. The people there developed, over time, a much more neighborhood-centric worldview and a siege mentality. This may have been self-selection, since people who wanted to escape into an “us” were the ones who moved there in the first place. In any event, there’s a clear “us” mentality. If you haven’t been there a few generations on each side, who the hell are you?

    The ethos of old (since it is fading fast) Southie and Charlestown was Irish. Thus seriously Catholic, as you can see in Flynn’s views most particularly but also in Lynch’s social positions. Also blue collar and super-patriotic. The Irish Catholics wanted to show they really belonged in America back in the day with a huge show of patriotism. During the Cold War the Catholic antipathy for atheistic Communism only fueled this. No accident the K of C led the charge, in the McCarthy years, to add “under God” to the pledge. And no accident Southie’s St. Pat’s parade is run by the Allied War Veterans Council.

    Back in FDR days those folks would have been pretty populist on economics, but not really in the Eleanor Roosevelt progressive wing. The social changes of the 60s really didn’t sit well with them for the most part. Since then they’ve been Democrats by heritage and still somewhat populist on economics, but much more socially conservative than in, say, Cambridge or Brookline, and much more to the right on military issues.

    • Yep

      In a nutshell those are Reagan Democrats, pro-union, economically populist, but socially conservative and patriotic. I think this demographic is dying out. Tip O’Neil went against the war and in favor of choice not just out of conscience but he also saw the demographic writing on the wall and new the academic communities he represented were becoming far more liberal. In his biography O’Neil was shocked at an East Cambridge Italian parade how many of his supporters were mad he was so anti-Reagan “Hey Tip leave the Prez alone!’ they’d say.

      I’d say there are still pockets of them in Boston proper (look at the Romney wards and districts mostly Southie, the North End, and parts of Charlestown). The machine Dems aren’t a factor in Cambridge anymore (look at the fall of the Sullivan dynasty), and Curtatone comes from the old school of Somerville but has governed towards the new school a lot more. Toomey flip flopped on abortion, the death penalty, and gay rights after he got primaried by Avi Green. Peabody still had a pro-life, anti-equality State Rep Dem recently. Carl Sciortino beat back an old regulah Dem twice. So Medford, Malden, and W. Somerville have changed. So its a demographic thats slowly going away, part of why I still think it will be hard for Lynch to win statewide.

    • One of the better posts I have read

      Agree 100%. Good reminder that Silber was a Texan, who was also against the death penalty b/c he felt minorities were disproportionately sentenced to death than whites.

      Also, if you go back to th 1990 Weld/Silber debates, it was Silber who ran against the tax cutting measure CLT, Weld supported it. And Silber hammered Weld for supporting semi-automatic weapons. Silber said many times “the only animal hunted by those weapons is the human being”. After the massacre CT, his words came to mind.

      • A one-armed cranky autocratic college president from Texas

        was never going to get many votes in MA.

        • I wouldn't say that Merrimackguy

          Silber got more votes than Romney, Cellucci, Harshbarger, Shannon O’Brien, and Charlie Baker. Most important, he got mine, and not too many Democtrats earn my vote. Silber wasn’t cranky, he just didn’t take any guff.

          Have you seen Boston University lately? They built these beautiful dorms, you would swear it was a Ritz Carlton or you were driving in Ocean City, Maryland. The guy was born poor in the plains of Texas with a birth defect, and made something of himself, and gave back to the community with scholarships. He should be admired.

    • I agree with Fenway that there was

      some sort of reaction/identification of the Irish with the old Yankees who had been here much longer and were Protestant. My grandmother used to refer to a Protestant and Catholic wedding as a “mixed marriage.” I’ll save my personal history, which involve my great-great grandparents, a Puritan descendant and Irish immigrant.

      I’ve worked on two campaigns in Hampshire County and the Democratic apparatus still has the remnants of the Irish: DA Dave Sullivan; former judge Mike Ryan; former state rep Ed McColgan. When we still had a county commission, it was similarly Irish-centric. Former state treasurer, state rep, and gubernatorial candidate Shannon O’Brien’s father was a major power broker. If you find a list of Boston mayors, note the number of Irish mayors just after the turn of 20th century.

      I don’t know Boston well, but Southie reminds me of Fightin’ White Chicago with its racial resentment. This resentment isn’t uncommon in other cities where property values dropped mid-century and a lot of people moved to the suburbs. The Irish are also particularly clannish. My family stresses its Irish roots, even though we’re half-French Canadian. My father even likes to think our last name could come from a similar word.

      • I'd agree

        Though to be honest I found Southie a lot more welcoming to me and my brown fiancee a lot more than Bridgeport or Canary Park in my experience*. The Southside Irish and Polish have a much higher sense of a ‘fortress’ mentality since they are surrounded on all sides. The project to gentrify Southie has seemed to be a lot more successful than the project to gentrify Bridgeport.

        *and by ‘welcoming’ I mean the amount of dirty looks we got and audible whispers-zero on Castle Island several at the Bridgeport diner. The fact that she is Filipina may have something to do with it, I’m sure they thought she was Hispanic in Bridgeport and thus part of the ‘other’ ‘taking over’. Also Castle Island is not nearly as representative of Southie.

      • I'll share mine, briefly

        I’ll save my personal history, which involve my great-great grandparents, a Puritan descendant and Irish immigrant.

        My great-great-grandfather was a Puritan descendant whose family had settled in Vermont in its earliest days of English settlement (1760s). After his father died in about 1910 he and his mother moved down to the city. There he met my great-grandmother, Irish Catholic.

        So convinced was he that her parents would never accept him that he studied Latin and memorized the Catholic mass to pass himself off. Most people were trying to pass in the other direction. Because his name could be Irish or English, it worked. So well that none of us knew he (and thus we) had any Yankee ancestry at all until about a year ago. I’m 37 and my dad’s almost 69.

        • Okay, here's mine.

          My great-great grandfather’s descendants were original settlers of Hartford, CT. Followers of the Rev. Thomas Hooker. On the other side of his family was Deacon Samuel Chapin who took over the running of Springfield, MA after William Pynchon left the scene. He married my Irish immigrant great-great grandmother who was living in Holyoke, which was where he sold the stuff from his farm. He was a Yankee and Congregationalist. She was a Roman Catholic.

          They had two children: 1) a son who became a surgeon 2) my great grandmother who attended what is now Baypath College in Longmeadow. I attribute their success to the pentup energy of the Irish. My great grandmother married a protestant and he converted to Catholicism in the early 60s so he could be buried with her. Their daughter married my grandfather who was 100% Irish.

          • Who were your Hartford founders?

            I discovered I’m descended from Matthew Marvin and William Pratt. I think there’s another one but can’t recall the name.

            Also from Thomas Oldham, the nephew of a guy named John Oldham, who did the original scouting of Wethersfield (originally Watertown) a couple of years before Hooker came and moved the settlement to safer ground in Hartford. John Oldham was a hell-raiser and among the first English settlers in New England killed by Native Americans, setting off the Pequot War. His nephew Thomas, only a kid at the time, lived with him (more like traveled with him as he moved all over) and was there when he was killed.

            Very interesting that your great-great-grandparents had a “mixed marriage” like that. I’m figuring this is mid-1800s?

            • Last name was Easton.

              I believe it was Joseph Easton.

              Edward Chauncey Easton was my great-great grandfather. His family moved to Granby and farmed on Easton Street, the street where I now live. His father’s mother was a Chapin and he and his family moved to Granby in 1852. I’ll have to check my genealogy for dates. I’m waiting for Parents’ Night to start at my school. I’ll have plenty of time for stuff tomorrow.

  5. Be sure to read up on the '86 governor race

    The more details you find about the Republican candidates, the more fun it is. You can start with the Wikipedia page. It misses a lot of the juicy details, though. Royal Switzler and Greg Hyatt were classic characters.

    • Royal Switzler

      was last seen being an a**h*** at the Joe Kennedy-Sean Bielat debate in October. See 2nd paragraph for details (as I note in the comments, the nasty questioner was identified as Switzler).

      • Someone should have asked him

        Someone should have asked him if people had known he was lying about serving as a Special Forces captain in Vietnam (instead of a supply sergeant in Korea), wouldn’t all of his campaigns for the state House have been jokes?

  6. I think the best book that incorporates Boston/Massachusetts history, politics, bussing, Irish politics, and so, so, so much more is Common Ground. I’m sure others will nitpick aspects of the narrative he tells, but nobody did more work, turned history into something real and tangible, and really gave as good a feel for what Boston was like in the 70s.

    • Common Ground

      I really enjoyed Common Ground. Agree that it is a worthwhile read.

    • Common Ground provides a great intro to Massachusetts politics

      I also think Black Mass, while focused on the Bulgers and organized crime, has a lot of good information about the state’s political culture, if mainly from a Southie point of view (although Ernie might not agree.)

  7. Here's my recollection of the 82 campaign.

    I was out on the trail in Middlesex County with the Harshbarger campaign.

    Ed King’s people were called the “beer & pretzel” crowd.
    The Duke’s were called the “brie & chablis” crowd.
    and that says a lot I think. Dukakis never gave the impression that he was asking for your vote, King was a great guy in person.

    I don’t think I would call the second Dukakis administration all that effective. That was mostly PR. I was working in the health care industry and the “cost plus” payments by the state were wasteful. My company charged a lot but the state covered it. Then each year the administration would push large payments (one year $500M) into the next fiscal year to “save money.” Meanwhile nursing homes, etc couldn’t pay their bills because they weren’t getting reimbursed. There were all sort of scandals with organizations to which state services had been outsourced (like they were “nonprofit” because the people at the top were collecting huge salaries) . I was directly involved with another issue- the 03 consultants, where the Dukakis administration was artificially keeping the number of state employees down by hiring a couple thousand contract employees. Everything seemed to be put on hold while he was running for President.

    Oh, and Barney Frank had a beard in 1982.

  8. Danfromwaltham outed!

    In an exchange about John Silber above he wrote, “Most important, he got mine [vote], and not too many Democtrats [sic] earn my vote.” We’ll keep that in mind next time he claims to be independent.

    • Outed from what, Christopher?

      The last Dem primary I entered was when I voted for Chris Gabrielli in 2006. I thought I said this last week. No, I never voted for Deval, surprise surprise. Voted Romney/Brown last year, Brown in 2010. Yeah, Obama in 08 but more anti-Palin more than anything. W both times but I did like Dean in the 04 primary. Perot 92-96. Weld in 94 & 96, Cellucci in 98, Is this new, were you not around last year when I posted?

      I had a Silber bumper sticker on my truck, felt like a bad-ass. Dr. John was my favorite of them all. Of course I voted for Reagan and Papa Bush, I mean who didn’t, right?

      Gotta go to bed, Ed Markey’s district, where I live, is about to be flooded, I mean be buried in snow, caused by global warming. Be safe everyone, TT you later.

      • My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

        Of course I voted for Reagan and Papa Bush, I mean who didn’t, right?

        and just about everyone else on here who was old enough to vote at the time didn’t. Now I know not to take you seriously when you say you care about jobs and unions. Reagan? W? Romney? Please.

        Nice stupid joke about “global warming.” I don’t know how you voted for Reagan thirty years ago if you’re five years old.

        • Fenway49- what you were never taught or refused to acknowledge

          is the well documented fact Ronald Reagan was a true friend of the middle class, blue collar worker.

          In the early 80′s, Harley Davidson was about to go out of business, AMF ran them into the ground and the Japanese heavy bikes were cheaper and better quality. The new owners of H.D. asked the Reagan Adm. for help by imposing tariffs on the big Japanese bikes. Reagan, like Lynch will do today, put American workers first, ignored members of his administration, and imposed tariffs on imported bikes, in order to save Harley. Today, Reagan would need permission from the WTO. You know how the story ends, don’t you? Harley is a great American company, employing Americans.

          On the the auto industry. During the 80′s, most Japanese cars were built in Japan and were higher quality than the typical K-car or Chevy Citation. I drove a Trans Am with a 305 engine, but I digress. Anyway, Reagan, the big capitalist, got the Japanese to impose “voluntary quotas” on the number of imports, thus helping the U.S. auto industry. So yes, Reagan was a good friend, had the backs of those who got up and worked for a living.

          I do agree with you, Romney was no friend of the unions, but no more of an enemy either. Obama has done little to nothing to stop the job losses due to foreign competition as I have clearly demonstrated. So you must move on to other issues that concern you and decide from there.

          I hope is helps and gives you and others an insight into my thinking. As far as climate change comment, yeah it was a joke, hope you laughed.

          • Delusional nonsense

            Your perspective towards Ronald Reagan, the 80s, and labor is as delusional — and as nonsensical — as your tired “joke” about climate change.

            • On climate change

              I think its important we do not dismiss the concerns from the likes of Dans. Its an issue where we are all collectively f***ed if we do nothing, and its important not to be dismissive of him but take his reservations and knock them down and convert him to the cause.

              Climate change is not the exclusive purview of the limo liberals, not a fad fueled by liberal obsessions with the environment. It is a serious threat to all human life and to the ability of all people, particularly working people, to
              make an honest living this century.

              Look at the Fall River fishermen, they are not victims of an overzealous EPA, they couldn’t catch the old fish limit simply because the reality is there are not enough fish! This is not just due to overfishing but to warming temperatures that have been scientifically proven to kill off fish supplies and thin the layers of fish eggs making them more vulnerable to the elements and predators.

              Or farming, we are at risk of another dust bowl which would raise food prices for everyone and wipe out the family farmer. This past summer out here in the heartland we have had the worst drought on record four years in a row. And drought doesn’t just mean the local HOA forces you to water on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of everyday, it means that soybean crops in IL were at their lowest level which effects everything else in the food chain. Pork will go up since feed has gone up, if pork prices go up all the other meats are affected, milk goes up because cows are now more expensive to feed, etc.

              So right now in just two examples we have a massive interconnected economy where tons of average people are hurt by the environment, not to mention more frequent superstorms that are becoming harder and harder to recover from.

              95% of scientists agree on this, the ones that aren’t are being paid for by the oil industry. Its the same with tobacco, there is not 100% scientific consensus it causes cancer, but whats smarter lighting up in the hope 5% of scientists, backed by the tabocco industry are right or should I assume the other 95% are right?

              To put it in Reaganesque language, there is a bear in the woods, its climate change, and isn’t it better to be protected from the bear than assume its not there?

            • Absolutely

              When I was a blue-collar worker, I vividly remember the chairman of the board of the company I worked for gloating to us about Reagan’s first election. That’s who Reagan’s real constituency was. He never did a goddamned thing for me or any other blue-collar workers. Willie Davidson wasn’t one, in case you didn’t know.

              • Kirth said Ronald Reagan did nothing for blue-collar workers

                What a comment, I know, like paying tee-ball.

                Misery index (unemployment +inflation) was 20% in Jan, 1981. When Reagan left, it was 9%. This doesn’t help blue-collar workers? How about the price of gasoline? Reagan deregulated the oil industry, gas prices plummeted, economy took off like an MX-Missle. That Massachusetts Miricle was Reaganomics along Rt 128.

                Reagan didn’t fire the air-traffic controllers, he gave them 24 hours to get back to work. You know who was watching? The USSR, they knew they were dealing with a tough SOB so they came to the tables. Saving Harley helped approx 10,000 employees who are working today. He also cut everyone’s taxes by 25%, even blue-collar workers.

                Look at it this way Kirth, many people today want to regulate and tax small business and stunt their growth, in other words “you didn’t build that, someone else made it happen”. Reagan did what he could so a small business owner could one day, become a big business owner. That helps everyone.

  9. Outed for being mostly a GOP-sympathizer

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, though you would obviously get a lot of disagreement here. It’s just that your claims of “independence” sound about as disingenuous as Scott Brown’s.

    • Just strange really

      Choosing between Dean and Dubya in 2004? I’d like to hear the rationale behind that.

      And Ronnie Reagan contributed to American job losses in a myriad of other ways, he broke the backs of the air traffic controllers union, deregulated a ton of industries leading to bottom of the barrel wages, supported right to work laws, and appointed cronies of industry to the DoL to weaken OSHA and other reforms.

      But, unlike modern conservatives he was not a purist and broke his principles many times when it benefitted him electorally. When it comes to public statements he is probably the most radical pro-lifer we’ve had in the White House, but he did next to nothing on abortion, and putting Kennedy and O’Connor on the court actually saved abortion rights. Sure enough he won the womans vote both times.

      Against affirmative action but put several less than qualified conservative blacks in visible positions within his administration. He flip flopped on MLK Day. And every now and then supported vote winning ideas like the occasional tariffs to benefit one state he needed to win, bragging about raising farm subsidies at the 1984 Illinois State Fair, and amnesty for illegals making him one of the few Republicans to win over 30% of the Hispanic vote (first candidate in either party to run Spanish language ads). Oh and he ran on balanced budgets (LOL! look at the huge deficits that piled up!) and getting tough with the Russians hitting Carter for the Canal zone treaty and arms control before passing even more radical arms control during his own years in the White House.

      A charmer and political chameleon, not hero to any working American.

      • In other words, a grade-B actor playing a cardboard character

        “President Ronald Reagan” was nothing more than cardboard stand-up for the corporate interests who bought and paid for him — the man was debilitated with Alzheimer’s for his second term, for crying out loud.

        He may have been a very nice and personable fellow in person, many actors are. He was certainly not a hero, and “political chameleon” is a gracious characterization of his flagrant dishonesty/hypocrisy.

        • To be fair

          I will respect and defend aspects of his record, but the irony is the parts historians praise are the apostate ones that would drive him out of the Republican party for pursuing this day and age. So great Dan, he saved a Harley plant in a state whose electoral votes he needed, down the line every other policy he pursued cost American jobs, weakened labor, and hurt working people.

          He also was the first Republican to really capitalize on Nixon’s politics of resentment and make that an enduring and permanent fixture in American politics. The politics of resentment have also crippled our ability to make good long term policy decisions to help the entire country. Even today Obama can’t run on fighting poverty, ending economic injustice, or fixing our cities since the politics of resentment dictate that he can only be ‘for’ the middle class. Sure the middle class works hard, my parents are arguably from that demo, but my disabled father shouldn’t be forgotten, neither should my sister on Section 8 and working three jobs just to keep the bare minimum of insurance she needs to avoid fines, neither should be my friends in the military who will be out of work veterans tomorrow, neither should be my many neighbors here on the South Side of Chicago that have to face daily violence, substandard schools, transit, and food options, or New Orleans and Detroit which bare the scars of being totally abandoned by their government. In the 1930s voters would not stand for Northeastern bankers abandoning the midwestern farmers devastated by the dust bowl, for Western oil and railroad interests controlling our economy, or for Southern aristocracies blocking rural electricification.

          That vision died with Reagan and Democrats have only accomdated and watered it down rather than reasserting the Rooseveltian vision of a just society where everyone bears the burdens together. The sad thing is Dan would be helped

          • Don't forget the NLRB

            Reagan’s NLRB was the first one that was all-out anti-union.

            Reagan as friend of the working man. Now I’ve heard everything. Was Calvin Coolidge good for labor too? How about McKinley or Taft?

      • I know Dan

        Got a lot of Dan-like thinkers in my family, I’d say he is a Reagan Democrat in the typical ‘get government off my Medicare mold’.

        He reminds me of my dads cousin, a retired cop who was terrified Obama would take his social security away and wasn’t born here but would be the first in line at the SSA office to get his check.Or my ma’s cousin Anthony who wants to drive his gaz guzzling truck with impunity and bitches anytime the price goes up a cent, blaming those ‘Arabs at OPEC’. He is a populist who wants government distributed to ‘real’ Americans that look like him, bitches any time his disability or welfare checks come late but complains the second black women or illegal immigrants might be getting the same benefits. Wants cops to beat up any suspects they want, but god forbid we take away his right to an assault rifle. Supports the troops and flag and opposes any myriad of groups he alleges do not. Claims not to be intolerant but gets really mad at Hillary anytime she is on the screen and says that mosque in NYC ‘just’cant be built there-sacred ground’. Married and divorced a couple times but can’t wait to keep ‘those queehs’ from ‘wrecking the sacredness of marriage’, though the only times he goes to Mass are for funerals, christenings and weddings and you could tell he would rather be watching the Pats the entire time he is there. Liked Brown cause he drove a truck and was a real mans man, unlike ‘dat broad lawyer’.

        Not saying Dan and cousin Anthony share all the same opinions but they definitely come from the same ethos.

        • Not a Reagan Democrat

          dfw’s a Whatever Republican. AKA an Anti-Democrat, or in this context, a troll.

        • I know jconway

          He is just like my Democratic sister, who can afford to send her kids to a private school, but denies any voucher system to the poorest people in our country, who would like to remove their children from a failing school and into a private school.

          He reminds me of a friend of mine, she voted for Warren over Brown b/c she was told to by her husband, who works for the state. “Sorry” she said, “I have to support my husbands union”. “How about supporting your country” I said. The confused look said it all.

          jconway reminds me of my brother, Al. He is always complaining Big Business doesn’t pay their fair shair. He is a professor at a private university, living life on theories, not realities. He gets 0% interest free loans from this university, huge endowment in the billions of dollars, so I ask why doesn’t his employer pitch in and pay some federal taxes before asking those that pull the cart, to pull even harder and smooth out the ride for everyone else.

          Jconway is my neighbor up the street, who thinks it is “progressive” to layoff American workers in exchange for hiring people in other countries. I just simply ask to look in his ear in order to see if I can see through the other side.

          Jconway is like my aunt, who works in a nursing facility and voted for Obama. She emailed me asking me to write a letter to our represenrptatives asking not to cut the Medicare reimbursements to nursing homes. You see, they just got word they won’t be getting as much this year. I simply said “Obama told you his was going to do this, it was Romney who said he would put back the $700 billion”! I told her elections have consequences, so deal with it. Haven’t spoken to her since, truth hurts sometimes.

          Jconway reminds me of my Uncle Teddy, living on a six figure state pension. He favors Deval Patricks increase in the income tax. I asked does he pay the state tax or is he exempt? Oh he pays nothing, but wants the poor slob who drives a large car b/c he has 3 kids and a dog, to work more hours so the state can take more from him, under an idea we need a rail to Cape Cod. Oh yeah, let’s all hop on the Green Line with our towels and sunscreen and tubes, and go to Craigsville Beach, we will have a blast! Or better yet, let’s go to New Bedford and get some fresh seafood, we don’t want to drive, it will warm the earth.

          Jconway reminds me of an old timer who use to say “the unions built this country, we must support them all”. Yet, he is voting for Ed Markey who evicerated millions of them. Oh wait, I am taking about jconway….

          Please note, this was all in fun, I loved J.C’s comment above, poking fun at me, I hope the feeling is mutual.

          Oh, this storm looks to be a bust, no?

          • Its mutual

            We all trade in sterotypes, and I think you are far less bigoted than Anthony or the others. That said I am not latte drinking liberal, I like my coffee black and from Dunkins, and I am liberal precisely because I come from a blue collar background and government grants helped me graduate from an elite University, government hospitals were where my siblings and I were born, my sister is on section 8 currently and she and my mother have needed welfare in the past, and my parents are currently living solely on social security, the government pensions they paid into weren’t nearly as generous as Fox News would have you believe.

            I am a progressive because of where I came from not in spite of it.

  10. Beyond Boston

    You can find the same fissures outside 128 too. Worcester has sections of town strongly associated with the Flynn/Lynch sort of Democrats and others where the preference is for down-the-line liberals. It’s been a while since there’s been a gubernatorial or congressional primary that really tested these factions against each other there.

    One thing we’ve definitely seen play itself out in the Bay State, and this isn’t good for the state, is the intrusion of national factors into state politics. The national GOP brand became toxic that it rendered the state party non-competitive. Of course people like Weld and Cellucci used to do pretty well in parts of the state (Western Mass other than a few Springfield burbs, Metrowest outside of a few mostly small and very WASPy towns) that are now seemingly allergic to anything with an (R) label. The GOP also does better than it used to in towns in the Blackstone Valley and Merrimack Valley, but they seem to be locking themselves into state candidates whose agendas parallel those of the national party, for which it’s pretty much impossible to build a winning coalition in the state as a whole.

    That in turns allows the state’s Democratic Party to get pretty complacement and/or corrupt since there’s no counterweight.

  11. Feeding the troll

    Does every discussion at Blue Mass wind up being hijacked by Republicans? Just curious.

    But seriously: I’ve ordered a copy of COMMON GROUND. But surely there’s more here — a good academic overview, or a thorough journalistic review?

    For example: did bussing give rise to the Bulgers? Or did the Bulgers and their milieu explain why bussing was so toxic for so long? And is this still a critical fault line? I do notice how many people here, from the candidate on down to the old ladies who phone bank, goes out of their way to tell you where they went to high school….

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Wed 29 Mar 2:58 PM