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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, March 19, 2010

The 140-character campaign

The Patrick administration announced at $295 million hole in the current fiscal year budget and it didn't take long for the critics to pounce.
Its getting worse. Patrick Admin now admits new $300 million budget gap. @TimForGovernor + @massGovernor hurt taxpayers
Now think about what's loaded in that 140 characters: "worse" "admits" "hurt". Any explanations about what happened?

Tweets are fast replacing the 30-second television commercial as the attack of choice on the campaign trail. No time or inclination for context or nuance. Attack and move on. (And I would be remiss if I didn't also give a shout-out to my newest follower BigDigBaker).

But what's the real story here?

The administration, as part of a budget management process that led to a recent reaffirmation of the state's bond rating, says spending was up for MassHealth services for the homeless while projected state fees and federal aid were under budget.

Hmm, sounds like we're in a recession where people are out of work and may have lost health care coverage pr a place to live. By gosh, nice of Deval to "admit" that!

And oh yeah Treasurer Tim, that's MassHealth, formerly known as Medicaid, not what you claim is the expensive new boondoggle that is bankrupting the Commonwealth and the nation.

You know, Medicaid, the program that perpetually causes state bureaucrats nightmares. I'm sure you have your own horror stories, former Health and Human Services Secretary and Administration and Finance Secretary Baker.

Of course you got to manage through them thanks to a major tax increase passed by the Legislature under lame duck Gov. Michael Dukakis. Rest assured there won't be a bailout if you oust Patrick.

Took a little bit longer than 140 characters, didn't it?

I'm not a Luddite and I certainly don't begrudge campaigns for using the latest tools. Look with social media did for Scott Brown.

But for anyone looking for more clarity and less rhetoric in understanding how Massachusetts and the nation got to this point I'd suggest Twitter ain't the way to go.

For example, about to appear on Twitter near you: Politicians use Twitter to avoid the facts and go right to attacks. TV commercials offer more substance.

See you around the Twitterverse.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who gets those tweets, someone who just gets them as "news", or someone already in the camp, and just being kept suitably agitated by the candidate?

March 19, 2010 5:21 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Good question. I supposes a little of both. I know I don't follow Lenny Alcivar for fun, so it must be news. I must admit the Alcivar-Doug Rubin exchanges do provide chuckles though. Tim Cahill has managed to keep me agitated without Twitter,but I follow his campaign too.

March 20, 2010 8:07 AM  

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