I didn’t see any posts, for example, about the story on his laundering of campaign contributions through the Democratic party, which although not illegal is not strictly kosher (sort of a corporate loophole of his own), and is a jarring mis-fit with his rhetoric about politics as usual, special interests, etc. To me, his biggest slide has been in ethics, and if we can’t trust him, all the rest is tenuous. Above all, we hungered foran honorable government.
Now, we’re off on another campaign, the national one, leaving Patrick largely to himself. It’s so hard to keep track of the details of proposals, sometimes hard even to know if a plan is good or bad without a lot of research and background. But the ethics problems are pretty clear.
Voters often put people in office based on the promotional brochure, and then keep them there out of inertia or familiarity or memories of the campaign, and in the end, there’s no real accountability. In “The Activist’s Handbook,” Randy Shaw talks about the need to keep a relationship of “fear and loathing” with electeds — especially the good guys — so that they are afraid of us, rather than being able to take our continued support for granted while they stray off into political expediency. I think Deval Patrick is counting on imprinted loyalty for forgiveness, and responding to the corporate interests he disdained when he ran. He probably figures when the time comes, his grassroots organization will spring to life, with HOPE and BELIEVE and TOGETHER banners, and he’ll pull it off again.
So let’s make it easy to hold him accountable when the time comes, for good and for bad, and keep a running record.