Pomp and circumstance
One Massachusetts legal scholar who has testified before the council says that, to understand the Governor’s Council, one must imagine a child who naively thinks he’s playing an arcade game that has no quarter in it. Even for a part-time post, there’s not much for councilors to do beyond approving treasury warrants and vetting judges, which, considering many current members’ contagious reluctance to ever vote against any appointments, doesn’t seem to be a task to which most attend.

At the first House meeting of the new legislative session this past week, councilors enjoy the small bit of photo-op time they ever get — accompanying the governor down the blue carpet for the swearing in of new representatives. Dressed in their Wednesday best, the entire crew offers customary grips to legislators and marches up front. For a moment, they’re important — even if theirs are mere consolation shakes for representatives who got skipped by Patrick. Following some gavel pounding and ritual announcements from a top-hatted sergeant-in-arms, the councilors file out behind Murray, having contributed . . . nothing whatsoever. Some might call it a mighty metaphor for what Joyce considers a “long-outdated vestige of colonial rule” and an “obvious relic of a bygone era.”

Chris Faraone can be reached at cfaraone@phx.com.

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