Mass betrayal

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 19, 2009

The Patrick backlash began on the first day of the new session in January, according to some legislators, when Patrick impeded on the traditionally upbeat day of swearing-in by delivering his ethics-reform bill. The timing infuriated many — and for some, so did the content. Moran says Patrick's ethics bill carried an implication that the entire legislature, and every lobbyist, is up to no good.

Since then, Patrick and the legislature have clashed repeatedly, over potential transportation, pension, and ethics developments. At times, lawmakers have felt — with good justification — that Patrick was grandstanding in order to distract from his own public pillorying, for, among other things, trying to appoint State Senator Marian Walsh to a lucrative post.

And there is little doubt now among legislators and political observers that, for the next 18 months, Patrick has decided to "run against the legislature," stoking the public's hostile perception of legislative Democrats for his own electoral benefit — just as Republican governors have repeatedly done in his place.

Legislators seem ready to fire back, painting Patrick as the one who has betrayed his reform promises, through patronage hires and dubious behavior. It looks like Beacon Hill Democrats may be heading toward a full-scale circular firing squad, rather than a sing-along of "Kumbaya."

To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com.

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Deval Patrick, Massachusetts House of Representatives, David Bernstien,  More more >
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