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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mitt's legacy

With Kerry Healey accepting the mantle of the Republican gubernatorial nomination (and the whole bleeding, virtually moribund Massachusetts GOP) it's probably a worthwhile time to a look at the legacy she inherits from her predecessors -- Weld, Cellucci, Swift and Romney.

Let's start with the obvious -- the inherent political and moral dishonesty of Willard Mitt Romney. As the hagiographic tribute delivered at the Lowell convention showed, the man is running hard for president on image and rhetoric that can't be matched by results.

When the GOP took the keys to the corner office in 1991, they promised to restore Massachusetts to the luster it had before being tarnished by another Bush. Having pooh-poohed the Massachusetts Miracle, Weld and those who followed offered promises of a return to economic growth (good jobs at good wages), educational excellence, a place of tolerance and openness where you would be proud to raise a family.

Despite protestations that Healey would be her own person, it's fair to say she represents a continuation of Romney-Healey administration. A quick look shows why she's running away.

Instead of growing, Massachusetts is shrinking. Jobs are disappearing, while housing costs are forcing young people out of the state. The economic promises were unkept.

Then there's the social promises, either unkept or subject to massive flip-flops. And of course, there's the national "leadership" in opposing gay marriage, a civil rights advance that has not brought the Commonwealth crashing to its knees in moral anarchy.

To be sure Romney actually did play a role in the health care debate, but was hardly the leader being touted by national pundits.

So as Mitt exists stage right, it's only fair to ask Ronald Reagan's favorite question: Are you better off now than you were four (or 16 years) ago?

Or to reverse the English on a 1946 Massachusetts Republican campaign slogan and ask: Had Enough? (sub required)


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