The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


from blogging, the only kind of vacation I'll get for a while. But you have to admit that it's my blog and I shouldn't feel COMPELLED to write. Besides, my life now is pretty mundane, not that this blog started out as the story of my life. It's original intent was to comment on the political situation. But then I became a candidate, and I was, shall we say, "constrained."

Then, having been defeated, I was, shall we say, "chastened," and it was hard to be honest about all the conflicting emotions swirling around in my brain. But then my team won, and I was, shall we say, "exhuberant." But then it was time for back to work and Medicare D and all the other mundane parts of life.

So the fast forward is that we had an awesome party for the campaign volunteers on November 17th, with lots to celebrate given that the Democrats took everything that wasn't nailed down, both statewide and nationally. (My apologies to my daughter-in-law....I try to keep my glee hidden from the family at times...)Mom came up for Thanksgiving, which at age 91 3/4 is quite the accomplishment, and we had a wonderful time and my friend Bill surprised me with a birthday party on November 20 since my aging process was going to be lost in the shuffle of returning Mom to Philadelphia.

And so I thought the excitement was over. At my age, you can't take too much. And I have a rotten cold so I'm not making a lot of extra effort.

So what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a call from Leary, who said "get on your gear. We need some Selectmen to fill out our list, so come gallop to Boston and help Local Government Transist."

Now, if someone left YOU a message out of the blue asking you to be on a Transition Team Working Group, would you think it was a hoax or what? I returned his call with a page, so the poor guy sees a number pop up and calls and says "To whom am I speaking?" Understandable since he probably had 130 outstanding calls. After saying yes, I then wondered if this was real. But the next day, sure enough, come emails from Mayor Menino's office and today a Fedex package from the Mass Municipal Association. My employers are being very supportive of my great good fortune -- Councils on Aging are part of local government -- and I am a very fortunate person.

So I will say THIS about THAT. The swirlings and postings going around in the Patrickspere this week and last have been quite intense. Especially about education, both higher ed and K-12, but also about openess in government in general. The cynics among us would say "This is exactly what happens when you let the grassroots loose...." (I think that's a mixed metaphor, but I have a cold, so I have a good excuse for not being up to my usual literary standards....)

At the risk of hearing "easy for you to say" I will opine that while no process is perfect, this governor has probably gone farther than anyone else in history in trying to keep everyone in the tent. I think he is well aware of the failures of the first Dukakis administration (and I adore Michael D) when we were just a bit too holier than thou (Michael was also a relatively young man) and we eschewed relationships. Having diverse opinions and connected people involved in not necessarily a bad thing. Just because you aren't a true believer doesn't mean you don't have sound observations to make on complex issues.

And at the risk of being called a right wing nutcase, I think that Deval and Tim and everyone in the Commonwealth who is working to make this the very best kind of society that we can imagine, needs our thoughts and prayers and moral support. I have said repeatedly that my worst fear is, having put DP on a pedestal, the human impulse is to knock him off if he doesn't turn water into wine in one hundred days.

As those of us in healthcare know, change is difficult. It takes dialogue, discussion, dissension and disagreement. But at the end of the day, listening to a variety of views can actually lead to consensus. Who knew?


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