Maybe it's been the fact that we've been subjected to terrible leadership on the state and federal level in recent years and are anxious for change. But can we get a grip please?
Let's start locally. While I am a bit troubled by the slow pace at which things percolate through the Patrick administration (still waiting for that transportation bill and the education readiness plan -- realistic about property tax relief) I am not ready to jump on the bandwagon that declares Deval toast after just half a term.
Maybe because I don't like the options.
But I really have an issue with "process liberals" who clamor for swift action in the most unrealistic ways. Take ethics reform.
Patrick has shown considerable alacrity in putting together a panel to find ways to tighten up ethics laws which are not, with all due respect to current Speaker Sal DiMasi, the toughest in the nation.
A special panel convened yesterday for a public hearing and is expected to make a plan public next month. We hope.
But that's apparently not good enough:
Shirley Kressel, a Boston neighborhood activist, said corruption is rampant and called on the panel to hold its deliberations in public. "I think we should establish it's not a problem of a few rotten apples," she said. "The public perception of the problem is that it is business is usual."The problem is not with the special panel. It is with the Legislature that will be required to enact legislation. Making the special panel deliberations public will only slow down the process. The time for a public debate is when (and hopefully not if) the Legislature take this up.
On the national level, I had to rub my eyes a few times to make sure I was awake when I read this gem:
Couple that with all the whining on the left about the "return of the moderate Clintonistas" and you have a think Obama has finished his appointments with an all-white conservative male team.
Bill Richardson, announced yesterday as the nation's next commerce secretary, became the first Latino nominated for President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet.
Hispanic lawmakers are serving notice to Obama that they don't want Richardson to be the last.
But I leave it to the President-elect to offer the best counterpoint.
"I think people are going to say, 'This is one of the most diverse Cabinets and White House staffs of all time," ... adding "There's no contradiction between diversity and excellence."The Bush cabinet also offers a great evidence-based argument. Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice will not rank among the top secretaries of state although none of that team will be remembered for its distinction no matter their gender or ethnicity.
In some ways, Patrick is getting a better deal here -- he is being criticized two years into a four-year term. Obama is still 47 days (and counting) away from even taking office.
Some advice to my fellow liberals. Have some spiked egg nog. Do your bit for the economy and buy some presents for friends and loved ones. The difference between an Obama administration and a Bush administration will likely take our breaths away.
We've waited eight years. Let's actually see a full picture before we pass judgment.