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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, April 14, 2010

Tea and not a lot of sympathy

As the name says, I'm one of those people who Sarah Palin and the Tea Party set disdain (although despite Howie Carr's tired cliche I don't own or use a limousine.)

So come 10:40 this morning, I'll be at work, perhaps raising a cuppa, as the newest millionaire political star takes to the stage for what promises to be one of the more interesting orations to grace Boston Common in awhile.

Organizers are promising the largest rally in the history of that venerable patch of land. We'll see. I was there in 1969 when 100,000 antiwar protesters jammed every inch of space and then some. If the Palinistas do likewise in Blue Massachusetts I'll need to reconsider my thoughts about their popularity of their movement.

But it will be hard for me to change my mind about the underpinning of their anger -- or the tactics of Republican politicians who will say or do anything for a vote.

While Jeff Jacoby offers the mainstream conservative punditocracy take on the Tea Party crowd, a look at the picture that accompanies that column puts me more in the word the go with the Peter Gelzinis worldview of what drives the Tea Party set.
A little more than a generation ago it was called busing. Those who railed at government-ordered desegregation of the city’s public schools then - and are able to make it downtown this morning - will be on the Common to cheer Sarah Palin and a host of Washington-loathing back-up singers.

Back in 1974, a federal judge named Arthur Garrity became the vessel into which embittered white parents poured their rage. Ironically, they never focused any blame upon those local pols on the Boston School Committee, who sat on their hands for years in defiance of the federal government
But the key to Gelzinis' argument between then and now rests in this unchallengeable observation:
Had the school committee members shown leadership, to say nothing of courage, in those years before the buses rolled up G Street in South Boston and Bunker Hill in Charlestown, perhaps much of the racial ugliness that surrounded busing could have been mitigated. But they did not.
Fast forward to 2010 and the pandering bunch of politicians known as congressional Republicans, who will say anything and do anything to attract a small group of voters who feel dispossessed because an African-American man beat their favorite Alaskan and her running mate by more than 9 million votes. It's doubly galling because he is leading this country out of the morass created by a GOP team that for 14 years was in charge of some subset of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

The Party of No should take up permanent residence in Wonderland (I hear Alice has a nice tea party) with their latest political twist: imposing regulations on our nation's banks is really bailing them out. That bankers are resisting those efforts -- with great gobs of cash on lobbying and contributions to those very same Republicans -- should tell you all you need to know about the um, bankruptcy of the GOP leadership.

So welcome Tea Partiers. Rest assured if you get a less-than-warm reception that rudeness is the norm for many Bostonians. Try not to trample the flowers and pleas leave the place the way you found it.

I understand your desire to turn the clock back because change can be scary. But we like living in 2010 and intend to keep it that way.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Largest demonstration in the history of the Commons? Not so much.

April 14, 2010 11:22 PM  

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