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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Battle for Bunker Hill Day

Col. William Prescott would be proud to know how many people are talking about the Battle of Bunker Hill. He might not be all that thrilled to realized how much of that conversation is muttered under the breath of people calling the Massachusetts Legislature a bunch of buffoons.

Yes, it is Bunker Hill Day in Suffolk County (some stirring description of the battle for those of you, like me, who forgot the stirring details of the loss of Charlestown to the British in 1775.) Here's guessing it may be the last time it is celebrated as a day off for public employees in the capital city.

Sadly, the battle famous for the phrase "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" has become a pawn in a new battle -- pitting residents tired of the old legislative ways with those hellbent on retaining them.

It's likely South Boston Sen. Jack Hart's lament "Why don't we think about getting rid of Christmas?" may stay in more people's minds than that epic phrase.

Gov. Deval Patrick, Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Terry Murray are all vowing their offices will be open for business as usual today. It's likely television crews will make a rare foray to the Statehouse to see for themselves. Whether the gates will be unlocked and folks allowed to tour the building is another matter entirely.

It's a shame it has come to this because there is real history in what went on in Charlestown that day 234 years ago. But excessive rhetoric in the face of a budget crisis where taxpayers are going to be asked to pay more for less will ultimately be the cause.

So it is good to know that at least some of our lawmakers will be at their desks, awaiting final versions of pension and transportation reform and an ugly state budget. And one of the the rarest of commodities these days -- a sunny and warm day.

Maybe we should check the whites of their eyes after lunch?

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