Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

Massachusetts is a fascinating state. I have called it home for a little more than two decades. While my heart will always nostalgically belong to Rhode Island and it beats a little faster at the thought of Mount Desert Island in Maine, it’s hard for me to imagine living anywhere else other than here. Yes, we are a little politically odd. I won’t call us schizophrenic as it would be an insult to folks with mental illness. But we repeatedly sent conservative Republicans to the governor’s office while sending an all Democrat delegation to Congress and mostly Democrats to both branches of the state legislature for the last sixteen years. We also seem to be broad minded in happily electing and re-electing openly gay congressmen, while at the same time going into paroxysms over the idea of same sex marriage! Hunh? But overall, a compassionate, socially conscious heart seems to beat collectively in the electorate.

Tomorrow, brings another remarkable moment in the Commonwealth’s history. Deval Patrick will become the first African American Governor of Massachusetts and only the second to be elected in the history of the United States. Yesterday, the Governor-Elect ran into a surprising problem in that the mostly Democratic Legislature did not heed Patrick’s reasoned words and instead allowed a legal question mark about same sex marriage to continue to hang over us. Giving them a generous benefit of the doubt, perhaps some legislators were so used to fighting the usual Republicans who sit in the corner office, that they acted reflexively. Maybe it was the onset of the full moon. No matter. I remain optimistic about the breath of fresh air that the brilliant, articulate, liberal, cool-under-fire Patrick will be bringing to the Commonwealth. And he wants us all to work with him to bring about positive change in Massachusetts. That means all you folks in the Legislature as well. Got it? Good!

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