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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

21st Century Tom foolery

Tom Finneran doesn't understand what the problem is. That's because he is the problem. Ditto for Bob Quinn, Tommy O'Neill and the host of aging white males who make up the Clover Club.

The felonious former speaker was referring to Deval Patrick's last-minute decision to cancel an appearance before the Clover Club, described by the Globe as somewhere that:
For more than a century, ... has been a bastion of backslapping, brotherly bonhomie. Judges, governors, cardinals, and mayors have accepted the club’s invitation to hold court over dinner. Club members, wearing clover-leaf pendants over their tuxedoes, sing ribald songs, perform farcical skits in wigs and dresses, and roast their honored guests.
Farcical skits in wigs and dresses? That really begs the question about what the old boys thought about black face once upon time.

It is entirely appropriate that Patrick, the first elected African-American governor and a one-time assistant attorney general for civil rights, ended a "tradition" that is as outdated as spats and running boards.

If the club is supposed to represent the "power elite" it has certainly failed to take note of one former female governor (did Jane Swift address this august body?); a couple of female lieutenant governors; and a state treasurer. Oh yeah, and did I mention an attorney general who could very well be the junior senator for Massachusetts in little more than a month?

I won't even begin to try and name the leading women in business and the non-profit world.

Finneran, who thought nothing of cooking the electoral books to disadvantage minority voters, lie about in federal court then seek a pardon from George W. Bush before earning a new living as a radio talk show host, is shocked, just shocked at Patrick's snub.
“I’ve never heard of anybody who thinks it’s inappropriate,’’ said former House speaker Thomas M. Finneran, who said he has attended about 10 club dinners over the years. “Neither my wife nor my daughter, who are grown and very intelligent women, were ever offended that I was going to a guys-only event.’’
Listen more carefully Tom.

“I’m glad the governor did what he did, and he absolutely did the right thing,’’ said Cheryl M. Cronin, a prominent Boston lawyer and Patrick supporter who called the male-only tradition “just misguided.’’

“It’s one thing for people to socialize with their own gender - those are personal decisions - but to have institutionalized clubs or facilities that expressly exclude certain people based on gender or race and to have the governor participate in that is . . . not the place he wants to be,’’ Cronin said.

See the problems you get into by not listening to your lawyer Mr. Speaker?

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