By Jeff Fish
It’s a momentous week for this column: Mitt Romney is getting his first-ever high-five, for doing something that any human being would do. And I guess, despite the robotic demeanor, Romney is technically human. The other high-five goes to his successor.
But I’m really sick of people protesting things just to protest, as is the case with the MBTA. Newsflash: Not everything that raises prices is an assault on "the 99 percent.”
Using public dollars on a political campaign, however, is an assault on 100 percent of taxpayers. I’m looking at you, Tim Cahill.
High-Five: Romney pulls anti-Rick Santorum ad. By now, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that good ‘ol Mitt will be the nominee for the Grand Old Party. Still, Romney's been running negative ads in Pennyslvania -- Santorum’s home state -- during the lead-up to the state's primary at the end of this month. But when the latter candidate temporarily suspended his campaign over the weekend to tend to his sick daughter, Romney made the classy, humane decision to pull the ads.
Of course, the motives behind Romney’s every action is to be elected president, but it was the right move, so good for you, Mitt. (Granted, none of it matters anymore, as Santorum dropped out of the race this afternoon.)
Dope Slap: Occupy the MBTA. With fare increases and service cuts (though far less dramatic than those originally proposed) on the horizon, protesters are decrying the changes and trying to attach "the 99 percent” mantra to something that really isn’t, or shouldn’t be, relevant to the Occupy movement. A small, sad group of protesters have been standing in front of the State House since last week, holding completely ludicrous signs like “Public transportation is a right!” Apparently whoever made that sign isn’t up on the Constitution because the last time I checked, public transportation is not a right; it’s a service, and a service is something you have to pay for. Yes, it’s a bummer that we’ll have to pay more, but these changes are a necessary action to keep the T afloat, and it’ll still be cheaper than cabs and many other cities’ public transportation systems.
In fact, I’d give the T a high-five for the amount of work they put in to reduce the hikes and cuts as much as possible. People just need to calm down and realize when a battle is not worth fighting. And if you are going to fight it, then at least educate yourself about the topic.
High-Five: Deval Patrick says no to “stand your ground” bill. In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s untimely death, proposed “stand your ground” laws -- the same rule that protects Martin’s shooter in Florida -- in Massachusetts and other states have been a hot-button topic for debate. Gov. Patrick said he would not sign the Mass. bill, proposed by State Sen. Stephen Brewer.
Clearly, Patrick's making the right move. I believe in people’s right to defend themselves, and if they’re really in danger -- if someone is threatening them with a gun and there's no way out -- sometimes deadly force is necessary. But that's very, very rarely the case. If you really have to shoot someone to protect your life, shoot to incapacitate, not kill (and in Martin's case, don’t shoot at all). The “stand your ground” law actually encourages people not to run away, even if they can, and no law should imply a shoot-first mentality. We don't live in the Wild Wild West.
Dope Slap: Cahill is just another corrupt politician. The former state treasurer is accused of using $1.5 million in public funds to finance an ad blitz in 2010, when he was running for governor. The evidence includes a series of emails between people from the Cahill campaign and the Massachusetts State Lottery, one of which read, in part, “The Treasurer would like to resurrect [an ad promoting the lottery] and run it as soon as possible through Nov. 4,” according to The Boston Globe. Yeah, this situation's going to be difficult to get out of.
I must say, I’m disappointed about this news. I liked Cahill and would have voted for him back then if he was still a serious contender by the end of the race. I remember the influx of lottery ads, and I remember thinking that it was no coincidence. While it's not necessarily illegal to run advertisements praising a state office, it's definitely illegal for the head of that office have his campaign involved.
'High-Fives and Dope Slaps' is TNGG Boston's weekly politics column, written by Jeff Fish.
Photo by rappaportcenter (Flickr)
About Jeff -- I'm a senior at Suffolk University, majoring in journalism and political science. I'm the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, The Suffolk Journal, and I did a six-month co-op at The Boston Globe. I love politics, reading, movies, TV, and anything pop culture. My mind is a font of useless knowledge.
The author is solely responsible for the content.