Veteran Benefits v Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: A Downright Stupid False Binary

When we passed the rescue scene surrounding a bad car accident, my mother taught me to say a prayer for those involved and not look. I suggest the same strategy for political analysis on Facebook. The recent surge of undocumented and unaccompanied children at U.S. border has tested this self-imposed rule though as recent weeks have seen memes stating “I can’t help but wonder why there are so many homeless veterans and so few homeless illegals” and the following:

cutting-veterans-benefits Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics, U.S. Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Most Gendered Headline of Campaign Season: “Is Coakley Using Women’s Issues as a Campaign Crutch?”

 Yes, you read that headline right. And if you did not blink, or better yet recoil in disgust, then you are a part of the problem. Last week, GoLocalWorcester published Nicholas Handy’s more measured piece on the role of women’s issues could play in differentiating the three Democrats hoping to win the gubanatorial primary. But headlines matter and this one is a doosey: “Is Coakley Using Women’s Issues as a Campaign Crutch?” Hard to imagine Massachusetts has one of the worst records in electing women, eh? Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Faith and Philosophy in Gov. Patrick’s Immigration Decision

Governor Deval Patrick’s remarkable press conference announcing that Massachusetts would welcome unaccompanied immigrant children continues to reverberate through the commonwealth. His actions and remarks carry implications for how we think about religion and politics, for political philosophy, and for our political institutions. Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics | Tagged , | 8 Comments

The Boston Herald: The “Stupid Party” Newspaper

No one will mistake the Boston Herald for a credible news organization anytime soon, but since somebody must be buying it for it to still be in business, it’s probably important to highlight the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of its columnists every now and then. Continue reading

Posted in Political Analysis in the Media | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Some aren’t ready for Hillary

Professor O’Brien and Professor Ubertaccio are quoted in a piece by Scott Conroy in Real Clear Politics: Not Ready for Hillary: The Rationale for Elizabeth Warren

Posted in Mass Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t further the ugly

The plight of migrant children and the role of the Commonwealth in offering them shelter is going to produce many reactions.  There are those grounded in reality (cost, duration, locations best suited for the situation, etc) and then there are others. Continue reading

Posted in Cape Cod Politics, Mass Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Grossman’s free media miscalculation

Steve Grossman had a plan. The plan was to spend the pre-convention period building the best campaign infrastructure and volunteer army. The post-convention summer period was supposed to be when the political media’s horse race coverage of the treasurer’s post-convention bump and the backs and forths between the Coakley and Grossman camps would provide the one-on-one media narrative necessary to move the poll numbers and soften the ground for Grossman’s late summer “air campaign.” By primary Election Day, with Grossman’s viability having been established by free and paid media exposure, the superiority of the treasurer’s ground operation would get him over the finish line ahead of the AG. Unfortunately for Grossman, the media has not fulfilled its part of the plan. Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics, Political Analysis in the Media | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Deval Patrick’s “City Upon a Hill”

Politicians from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan have invoked John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” phrase for political effect but few have embodied the phrase in the manner of Governor Deval Patrick, who seemingly alone among America’s governors is willing to extend a welcome to immigrant children who have flooded across our Southern borders. Winthrop’s speech was much more than a memorable phrase; it was a Model of Christian Charity, a call for those who enjoy the blessings of life to care for the less well off. Deval Patrick is brave in his willingness to live up to the commonwealth’s foundational document.   Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics, U.S. Politics | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Martha Coakley Wins the Day

The Democratic insider narrative on Martha Coakley has been great AG, awful campaigner, way ahead in the primary due to name recognition, but “she could unravel at any moment in a tough general election race.’’

Perhaps we’ll see about the general election but Democrats, give Coakley some credit: she can be a pretty sharp campaigner as she proved yesterday in response to misogynistic statements by a sports talk radio host. Continue reading

Posted in Mass Politics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Remembering Ernest Gruening

I’m just back from a vacation to Alaska and family fun to a political scientist means you visit the State House. There on the walls were duplications of newspaper stories proudly recalling Alaska statehood in 1959 including photographs of one of the most important politicians in achieving statehood, Ernest Gruening.

That name may have faded from memory but it should be recalled and honored. Senator Ernest Gruening was one of only two United States Senators to oppose the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which permitted President Lyndon B. Johnson to escalate the War in Vietnam. Johnson’s case for war, by the way, was based on lies, if that should sound familiar at all. Continue reading

Posted in U.S. Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment