Monday, November 2, 2009

One good thing about Alan Khazei

When his campaign founders, hopefully Alan Khazei's story will convince local Democrats that it takes more than hope, a slick website, and a smile to be elected. After the strong run of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama, it seemed that we were setting up for an avalanche of office-seekers with nothing but warmed-over Kennedy Inaugural rhetoric and an outstretched hand.

Then came Sam Yoon...and there he went. There goes Alan Khazei. And hopefully, there goes every smug ignoramus who is convinced that you don't "get it" because you ask for something more than that from your candidates. Hopefully, there goes every sly inside joke about "cynicism" -- what we used to call learning from experience -- because you think that some career politicians (Ted Kennedy comes to mind) are worthwhile.

The whole "Insiders bad, Outsiders good" template was created by incompetents for morons. Franklin Roosevelt was a consummate insider. The only way the Civil Rights Act passed was thanks to the consummate insider Lyndon Johnson. The last balanced budget in this country happened because Bill Clinton could count on insiders getting it to his desk without a single Republican vote. But incompetents like Mitt Romney couldn't offer anything but his inexperience, so the "outsider" thing was focus-groupped into the 21st century, turning this woeful default into a virtue. After all, the conservatives needed to find some way to get Ronald Reagan into office.

Listen, there are competent, skilled insiders in the Democratic Party, and moronic outsiders in the Democratic Party who should stay where they are. And guess what? Some insiders are bad, some outsiders are good -- it's a complicated world, and chasing the newest shiny thing isn't going to make politics simpler, it makes the chaser simpler. Most followers of politics new that, to the detriment of outsiders looking for a quick trip to the top.

Then came the Ascendency of Axelrod. The Reagan playbook was updated and freshened, and now it was Democrats who sought to neutralize the advantages of Democrats. They sought to simplify this complicated world, as the records of Hillary Clinton and Tom Reilly were unanswerable on the enters the Republican frame and changed the conversation. Since then, we've witnessed this scrabbling attempt at superiority on behalf of the Outsider Hollaback Boys. They drown out this state's massive dissatisfaction with Governor Patrick, rejection of Sam Yoon, and cellar-dwelling of Alan Khazei. They take pride in never learning that experience is just as good in a politician as in an auto mechanic, surgeon, architect, or cashier.

Sometimes, there's a reason why outsiders are where they are. And a reason why there they should stay.


paul towle said...

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thank you
Paul Towle BSW, CPM

James Patrick Conway said...

Gotta agree with you. The vitriol against Michael Capuano on BMG from the Khazei wing is getting quite ridiculous. "All this guy does is vote and work with the leadership of his party" and one would think that this would be a compliment rather than an attack? An asset for a Senator rather than a liability? Not to mention that Capuano is a public servant who has lived on a six figure salary as opposed to Khazei, Pags, Deval, Romney, Gabrielli or the multitude of corporate raiders turn perennial candidates that presume their MBAs and wealth entitle them to represent the common person.

I think Capuano's skill set is more pertinent than Coakley's, I think his courage more evident. But if Capuano can't win at least give it to a public servant and not yet another Axelrod clone talking in platitudes who gets overwhelmed by actual governance and policymaking. You'd assume you'd want the states top lawmaker to have had you know, experience writing laws, but I guess you and I live outside of the 'reality based' community.