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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: State-wide silly season is upon us

Posted by Alex Pearlman  May 15, 2012 02:41 PM

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7076488191_973dbe5a77_n.jpgBy Jeff Fish

I’m really sick of writing about Mitt Romney, but he is our former governor and he’s all but clinched the Republican nomination, so I guess I have to. He gets a double-dope slap this week.

Also, I’m already bored of the Senate campaign between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. The only high-five this week is that Massachusetts will finally engage in the Secure Communities Program, a totally reasonable way to deal with illegal immigrants that happen to also be dangerous criminals.

Dope Slap: Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of history. OK, so it’s old news by now that President Obama finally endorsed gay marriage. Whether it helps or hurts him in this election is negligible – if there is any voter impact it won’t make much of a difference either way. But it will make a difference in his legacy. Win or lose, Barack Obama will always be remembered as the first sitting U.S. president speak out for marriage equality and if he had waited until after reelection, it wouldn’t mean as much, since he wouldn’t be running for another term.

Romney, or at least 2012 Romney, is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum, backing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I know I’m stating the obvious, but Romney really is on the wrong side of history. Even though we still have entire states in this country to vote against gay rights (looking at you, North Carolina) a majority of Americans support it and those numbers are rapidly getting higher. Fully legalized gay marriage is an inevitability and there is no room for Romney and dissenters like him who try to stand in the way of social progress.

Dope Slap: Does Mitt Romney really not remember the bullying incident? First let me say that this happened almost 50 years ago, so it’s not a legitimate campaign issue, but it is part of the larger narrative that paints Romney as cold and uncaring. His response didn’t help matters, either. He said that he doesn’t remember the incident (in which he allegedly attacked a gay student and held him down while cutting his bleached blonde hair), but apologized if it did happen and admitted to being involved in some hijinks in high school that may have gone over the line.

Yes, it was the ‘60s, not today’s ultrasensitive, anti-bullying culture. Still, I find it hard to believe that Romney didn’t remember the incident, when so many others remember it so clearly and are bothered by the memory. If he did remember, he should’ve admitted it and said that it’s not something he’s proud of. Level with the American people. But if he truly doesn’t remember, it must mean it didn’t have an impact on him later in life like it did on the other students, or that other such incidents were commonplace and indistinguishable from each other. Again, not a campaign issue, but it just makes me think he has the same lack of compassion he’s always had.

High-Five: Massachusetts is finally participating in ‘Secure Communities.’ It’s about time, but Deval Patrick is reluctantly giving in to the Secure Communities Program. Patrick has resisted the program from the get-go, but it will be federally implemented on May 15, according to Masslive.com, and he isn’t going to stand in the way. I still don’t see what the big deal is with this. It’s not trying to round up illegal immigrants and ship them away. Local police departments already submit fingerprints arrestees to the FBI for identity checks. This just goes a step further and requires the FBI to submit those fingerprints to ICE to check immigration statuses and puts a priority on catching the most dangerous criminals. Plus, it doesn’t require any extra responsibility or tax dollars on the state or local levels.

Dope Slap: The Brown-Warren campaign is getting annoying. While I still like both Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, their campaigns are becoming increasingly divisive as time goes on. First, the Brown campaign hit Warren on her listing as a minority in the American Association of Law Schools directory. Documents obtained by the Boston Globe prove that Warren did not list herself as a minority on her employee applications to Rutgers and the University of Texas. Neither Harvard, nor the University of Pennsylvania released Warren’s employment records, and of course, Brown is calling on her to authorize those releases.

On the same side of the coin, the Massachusetts Democrats are calling on Brown release names on a committee that hosted a New York City fundraiser for him, after JP Morgan made a $2 billion trading blunder, while Warren called on the CEO to step down. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about either of these issues; they’re both just political distractions. Silly season started on the national level months ago, but now it looks like it’s bleeding into the Bay State.

Photo by DonkeyHotey (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.

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