Now this is a lede. Matt Viser, take a bow.
Senate President Therese Murray escalated tensions among leading Democrats on Beacon Hill this week, calling Governor Deval Patrick “irrelevant” during a radio interview and saying she wished he would be more conciliatory with the Legislature.
Just about sums it up right there: Hey Mr. Irrelevant, be more conciliatory! “We really need him.” Or not.
(I do wish the papers would not frame this as “Democratic infighting,” as if party were particularly salient in MA right now. Unless and until the Republicans make themselves relevant again, these are the divisions we're going to see: Institutional prerogatives, not party power; parochial vs. state-wide concerns; special interest vs. public interest.)
I'd suggest that to the extent that any legislators are feeling in the least bit electorally vulnerable, Deval Patrick is being precisely the partner they need. In light of the revenue “catastrophe”, tax increases are necessary. They are not, never are, will not be popular. But they can be understood and tolerated if the public has confidence their tax dollars will not continue to be flushed down the toilet. The Governor's proposed reforms are a good-faith attempt at providing exactly that — political cover for raising the necessary revenues.
Unfortunately, the Senate decided to fear the MBTA Carmen's union more than taxpayers, and choked on ethics reform.
The Gov's trying, Madame President.