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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Part of the problem

Let's start with the fact that police are the backbone of a civil society, protecting us from those who believe the laws are not meant for them. Beat officers start shifts without a 100 percent guarantee that they will walk out the door and head for home when it ends.

And as citizens, police officers have the right to practice politics. But they don't have the right to practice hypocrisy. Nevertheless, Boston Police Patrolman's Association President Thomas Nee is very good at that.

Nee was a leader of the blue wall aggregating outside the Green Monster last night, hoping to embarrass Deval Patrick at a National Governors Association soiree at Fenway Park. It's a familiar tactic for Nee and the BPPA who endorsed George H.W. Bush over Michael Dukakis in 1988 and held Tom Menino and John Kerry hostage before the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston.

But when Nee blusters about Patrick breaking a promise to put a thousand more cops on the street, he's ignoring a big reason for that not happening: a sharp drop in state revenues that has meant an increasingly larger percentage of that scarce cash going for Quinn Bill benefits and expensive police patrols at many construction sites.

Nor have police, firefighters and the municipal employee been willing to help out by going back to the bargaining table and talk about the pension and medical costs that are strangling cities and towns and forcing layoffs, not hirings.

Keep all those facts when you listen to Nee and remember he's not part of the solution, he's part of the problem. And he loves playing politics as much as he loves policing. Maybe more.

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