Still, there is annoyance with the praise among the Democratic grass roots.
Charley Blandy, an activist and cofounder of Blue Mass Group, the state’s top progressive blog, said the din of Democratic praise “is frustrating a bit. I understand where that comes from and I understand as the state’s bureaucrat-in-chief, that Baker has cultivated a cooperative relationship with various officials, including the [Boston] mayor and including members of Congress.”
Blandy expressed a desire for Democrats to more forcefully call out Baker’s “lack of ambition, an agenda that doesn’t comport with the gravity of the problems we face.”
Can we state the obvious? Charlie Baker gets graded on a steep curve, as a Republican who (mostly) doesn’t resemble Donald Trump. That’s an exceptionally low standard, one that we should conscientiously disavow.
My appeal to Democrats who are charmed by Baker: Let’s ask ourselves a few simple questions. And ask: Wouldn’t a Democrat be better?
- Does Charlie Baker have a vision for transit? He is scotching the plan for a transformative West Station; hasn’t endorsed a regional rail system that would make more sense; and — as far as I can tell — has no plan to adequately fund the T, or even relieve it of its debt burden.
- How’s the T doing these days? Been on a stopped Red Line train lately? Or one that caught on fire?
- Relatedly, how’s your car commute these days?
- Why has Baker supported more gas pipelines to the tune of $3.6 – $6 billion expense to ratepayers? Is that the only, or best way to deal with capacity issues?
- Does Baker support 100% renewable by 2050? Or a carbon-neutral state by 2050, like Mayor Walsh does with Boston?
- Does Baker support the Fair Share ballot initiative — the millionaires’ tax, that polls at 77% support?
- Why doesn’t Baker support universal pre-K — a public policy slam-dunk if ever there was one?
- Does Baker support a $15 minimum wage?
- Does Baker support paid family leave? Would he sign it if the legislature passes it?
- Why does Baker support collaborating with ICE; at the expense of protecting our neighbors, their children, and human dignity?
- Relatedly, why is he willing to send MA National Guard helicopters to the Mexican border, but not help to Puerto Rico?
- Does Baker have a plan to address health care costs, beyond simply dropping poor people from eligibility?
Etc. When Marty Walsh talks about Baker’s allegedly long list of accomplishments, can you list them?