The Bluest State

[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]

The Book of the Week is “The Bluest State, How Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster” by Jon Keller, published in 2007. This short volume contained a mishmash of anecdotes on politicians and issues in Massachusetts from the 1980’s to the single-digit 2000’s.

According to the book (which appeared to be credible although it lacked Notes, Sources, References, and a Bibliography), Democrat politicians in Massachusetts (such as Ted Kennedy and John Kerry) displayed “Aloofness. Arrogance. Entitlement. Condescension. Hypocrisy.” They and their supporters consisted largely of aging, elitist Baby Boomers, such as the Clintons, Al Gore, and John Edwards. The author cited some data that showed this (without listing his sources).

In 2004, the Democrats chose Barack Obama to deliver the keynote speech at their convention in Boston. The author commented on how African American politicians had changed the tone of their rhetoric: “American liberalism’s black face this time around would not be a fire-breathing preacher with a sermon full of angry demands [like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson]. Instead, as the crowd roared in approval, a dignified light-skinned black man spoke compellingly about his love for America in Hallmark terms.”

And yet, as Barbara Walters wrote in her book, “We [the media] really seem to care only if they [celebrities and politicians] are outrageous and call our president a devil or declare that the Holocaust never existed. Stand up and scream and we will interview you, or be reasonable and unheard.” Political races are won or lost with the right messaging at the right time. It is a delicate operation.

The author wrote of another politician– Deval Patrick– who was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006. Patrick’s charisma helped him just before the election– he and his rival were neck and neck in the polls, but a good bit of last-minute messaging gave him the win. After he took office, however, he immediately began to ignore his constituents and reap political spoils in various ways, breaking his campaign promises. Is it relevant that he is African American?

Identity politics is alive and well for various reasons. One reason is that it is a way of maintaining two rivalrous parties– which has helped maintain a democracy more or less, for the United States for more than two centuries. Indefinite one-party dominance would be a dictatorship. There would be total cooperation, but the leader would rule his empire by fear.

There are always leaders who have embarrassing stories to tell about numerous political contacts and those contacts know it, so by threatening to tell those stories, the leaders can cash in on favors from those contacts in the future whenever necessary. Unbeknownst to voters, all the time, infinite acts of political puppetry are going on behind the scenes.

Anyway, read the book to learn of how the author gave a few examples of the hypocrisy of the Democrats, especially in Massachusetts, on the usual major political issues that get voters riled up: scandals, affordable housing, the environment, education, taxation, gay rights, abortion, crime, etc., etc., etc.