Billionaire Elon Musk has owned Twitter for a month, and it’s been nothing but an avalanche of bad headlines and questionable business decisions since then. Maybe Musk is exactly what Twitter and many of its users deserve.
It’s that time of year to sharpen the carving knives and roast the “turkeys” who have made the past year in Massachusetts politics one to remember. Or maybe for some a year they would rather forget.
The Massachusetts Republican Party had a bad night last Tuesday, losing even more ground in the Legislature, not to mention its only standing in statewide or Congressional offices when Democrats Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll punched their tickets to succeed Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. It was a fitting end to a cycle during which the MassGOP tried to embrace the far-right conservatism, and even election-denialism, that has worked in the past in other parts of the country, but not here and not this year.
There are no “outsiders.” Despite claims from voters about frustration with the political system, it’s insiders that they continue to elect. And that applies the same in Massachusetts to Attorney General Maura Healey as it does in New Hampshire, where neither Maggie Hassan nor Don Bolduc can claim to be anything but insiders.
In some parts of the country like Michigan, Democrats in tight races are honing their messages to focus on the local economy, even making links between job growth and prosperity and the fight to protect abortion rights. And they’re right to do so. The political adage made famous by James Carville and the Clinton campaign in 1992 is as true now as it was then: It’s the economy, stupid.
A safe campaign from the frontrunner to be the next governor. An opposition party that chooses ideology over competitiveness. It’s no wonder Secretary of State William Galvin senses a “lack of intensity” this fall.
Her Democratic opponents dropped out of the primary before there could even be a debate. Her Republican rival for the office has struggled to raise money and taken unpopular conservative positions. But the lack of credible opposition means Maura Healey has gotten to skate by without being clear and specific about what it is she will do with the job once she’s got it.
Gov. Charlie Baker had his moment, a chance to tangle on the national stage with another prominent Republican eyeing higher office in 2024. But instead, he kept it local. Baker’s decision not to engage with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the latter’s shipping of migrants to Massachusetts may not have been a deliberate strategy to set himself up for his next run for office, but don’t count Baker out of public life forever.
Remember “Together, we can”? Well, other voters and politicians may not. Deval Patrick rode the slogan and his positive vision for the commonwealth to the corner office, But in 16 short years, the politics of “no” have taken over in Massachusetts and Washington.
With more than 38,000 citations issued over the first eight months of 2022 for distracted driving, the state should start treating all drivers like teenagers. And if increasing fines doesn’t convince them to put their phones down, maybe a week without their device will make it sink in.