Lunch-bucket elite

Letters to the Boston editor, September 4, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 2, 2009

Your description of senatorial hopeful Stephen Lynch as a “lunch-bucket pol” is certainly a departure from the accuracy in political portrayal and substance I have grown accustomed to in the Phoenix. For sanity’s sake, I am assuming you omitted the words “platinum lined.”

You are right in describing Lynch to be something of “an outsider to the Democratic Party” — indeed, he could be considered an outsider in the conservative Republican {arty, with his vigorous support of war funding, demonstrations, and almost beating George W. Bush back to Washington to support the absurd Terri Schiavo fiasco.

Contrary to Ted Kennedy, who always took a position on behalf of the least fortunate in our society, Mr. Lynch ducks any definitive position (witness his waffling of late on the public health-care option because “I am concerned about paying for it”). As to his being an antidote to the Hyannis-compound Kennedy wealth, I would much prefer such accumulation to that of a political “slug” who rapidly gained entry to millionaire status while many of the troops’ families he so pithily supports were surviving on food stamps.

Pure and simple: Lynch is proof positive of the statement of Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, who was not averse to pointing to such politicians when observing “War is a racket. A few profit — the many pay.” To paraphrase a line from Lloyd Benson when debating Mr. Lynch’s political “soul brother,” Dan Quayle, “Mr. Lynch is definitely no Ted Kennedy.” And no servant of the people, either.

Tony Flaherty
South Boston

Life after Ted
It’s remarkable that no one — not the Phoenix, the Globe, the Herald, the Times, nor any of the TV stations, nor even the blogs — has made the connection between the lag to name Ted Kennedy’s successor and the self-interest of Republican health insurers. It is hardly a subtle connection to link Charlie Baker — the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate and former president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the state’s largest private insurer — with a delay in filling our second seat, and the decisive 60th seat against a Republican filibuster.

Baker and company stand to make millions by further delay of health-insurance reform. Their simplest strategy is to blame Democratic self-interest in changing the law of succession. This should not be surprising, given that none of the media seems to have connected Baker’s job with the most contested political reform in a generation. Closing off thousands of high-risk/high-cost Harvard Vanguard subscribers “saved the company,” but at the expense of all the taxpayers in this, the first state with universal health care. To ignore the new connection between the Baker boondoggle and this modest proposal to give us an interim Senate vote is a new low in regional journalism.

Joe Beckmann

In our August 28 feature “The Granite State Gang,” we misspelled the name of photographer Mike Barskey. We regret the error.

Related: Lynch’s left flank, Who’s the real Dem?, Murph’s Last Grasp?, More more >
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