I even found myself tempted, however momentarily, to cheer the Governor this morning when he declared, righteous indignation mode operating at full power, that he was "not going to be a party to no-bid contracts for track owners," (though his indignation was more than a bit contrived, supportive as he's been of "no-bid contracts" in other contexts, like wind power for example).
Then the Gov had to go and blow it by succumbing to his natural inclination toward symbolism and sanctimony. Here's the State House News this evening, on the Governor's amendments to the casino bill (which Speaker DeLeo has announced amount to a veto, killing the casino effort for the year):
Patrick said he'd also added amendments to the bill to ensure inclusion of minority and women business enterprises in the design, construction and operation of gambling establishments and minorities, women and people with disabilities as workers in the construction and operation of gaming establishments.There's no telling why he stopped there, but in my humble opinion GBLT, obese and follicularly-challenged contractors ought to be outraged at their exclusion.
Not that I have anything against disabled minority female contractors, mind you. What galls here is not Patrick's fondness for preferences and set-asides. By now, that ought to be expected. What turns the stomach and raises the bile in this instance is the putrid, craven, meaninglessness of the gesture. Bear in mind, everyone and his brother (and sister, and disabled uncle) knows that Patrick's decision to send the casino bill back to a legislature that has packed up its belongings and gone home to campaign effectively killed the legislation dead. Patrick's sop to the grievance caucus, then, cannot be viewed as anything other than a reach too far, transforming what his campaign no doubt wished to be viewed as a leadership moment into an all too typical pandering moment. Par for the course for Governor Together We Can, for whom empty sentimentality has always subbed for principle and ideology.
Not that Patrick isn't well pleased with himself today. Responding to criticisms from Charlie Baker and Treasurer Zuul, Patrick let a little bit of God complex spill out (from Boston.com): "Patrick waved off the comments. 'You know that if I walked on water, my opponents would complain that I can' t swim,' he said."
Rumors of a line of visitors carrying loaves and fishes forming outside the Governor's suite could not be confirmed by press time.