Sunday, January 3, 2010


I'll admit that my blogging pace was trailed off over the holidays. When "real life" returns in a couple of days, the usual pace should return. But as for now, two stories about political uselessness is Massachusetts.

Nate Silver finds that Stephen Lynch is the least valuable Democrat in the northeast. In his words:

On the other end of the spectrum are a handful of Democrats who have negative scores. They vote with their party less often than a generic congressman from their district would, even without guaranteeing that the generic congressman is a Democrat. In other words, these are people who potentially deserve a primary challenge -- on average, dumping them would leave the Democrats better off, even if there's some chance that they'd be replaced by a Republican.

According to Silver's fancy-pants statistical analysis, Lynch ranks at 247th most valuable Democrat in the House (out of 258). The second-worst offender from the northeast? Massachusetts congressman Stephen Neal.

The Massachusetts Inspector General finds that "the 2008/2009 charter school application and approval process administered by BESE and DESE ended in the granting of a charter to [the controversial Gloucester Charter] GCACS in violation of the provisions of law, regulation, and procedure." This was a complete clustermug mismanaged by Paul Reville in service of Governor Patrick's poll numbers...with absolutely no foreseeable consequences to his career. Hopefully Reville will deny the charter, but his disregard and ignorance of government means that I will wait until it actually happens.

1 comment:

James Patrick Conway said...

re: least valuable

We can make a good argument that Lynch's prior hawkishness on Iraq and his economic conservatism, in addition to his social conservatism on abortion, make him pretty 'unvaluable' from a liberal Democrats perspective.

As for Richard (not Stephen) Neal, his only 'conservative' position is stances against partial birth and federal funding for abortion, IMO views that place him in the middle on the abortion spectrum in a place most Americans, particularly those in his heavily Catholic district, respect. And on Iraq, health care, and every other major progressive issue he is as valuable as a Capuano or McGovern.