This is not any of that “we are all Bostonians now” dreck. This is a reminder of what and who we really are, what and who a commonwealth really is, from none other than Mr. Pierce:
We will not be embarrassed that we share these things in common just because, elsewhere, governors let children starve, and the sick get sicker, and preach of self-reliance while cashing checks from faceless millionnaires. We will not be shamed by the yahoo creationism of the Louisiana public schools, or the cruel neglect of health-care in Texas, or the corporate chop-shop that is being created out of the state of Wisconsin these days. We will not feel slighted that there are more sweatshops elsewhere than there may be here. We will not join your race to the bottom. It has to stop somewhere. It might as well be here.
We realize there is corruption in our systems. (The last several previous Speakers of the Massacusetts House in a row have all been convicted of one felony or another. Top that, Louisiana!) We realize there is waste. We howl and rail against it as loudly as anyone does. We mock its beneficiaries, and mock ourselves for being foolish enough not to see it happening. Our uncles get us jobs on the country road crews. We still have a Governor’s Council, a vestigial Rivendell for political elves that last was truly relevant to anything shortly before they threw the tea into the harbor. But the essential point is that even the corruption and waste in our government belongs to us because the government belongs to us. We won’t give it away, or sell it off wholesale, or exchange it for a bag of magic beans proffered by the political hucksters fronting for oligarchical money power. There is corruption and waste in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, and in “Bobby” Jindal’s Louisiana. But you can’t see it. It’s the product of backroom deals and corporate brigandage beyond the reach of democratic accountability. That has been the great triumph of the conservative political revolution — it has managed to privatize political corruption.
MA is near and dear to me for many reasons, and this reminder that it remains one of the few places defined by the things we actually stand for is another new one.