The Outraged Liberal, who gets up even earlier than Media Nation (can that 5:27 a.m. time stamp be correct?), says everything I was going to say about the state of the casino-gambling fight. I wouldn’t spin it quite the same way, though. Mr. Liberal takes House Speaker Sal DiMasi to task for his “increasingly strident and personal approach to the issue.”
Well, yes, today’s Globe coverage makes it quite clear that DiMasi is taking it personally. But just because he’s getting personal doesn’t mean he isn’t right. From Matt Viser’s story:
One representative who met with the speaker yesterday said DiMasi “made clear that he wants to win this thing.”
“It’s trying to convince you, ‘I’m right, the governor’s wrong, and we really want your vote,’ ” said the representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private. “I thought it was going to be on substance, talk about the pros and cons. But it’s been made pretty clear that it’s more than that.”
Now, this particular legislator apparently thinks DiMasi’s approach is light on substance. But it’s also clear that DiMasi is taking a principled position — “I’m right, the governor’s wrong.” And, in fact, DiMasi’s right and the governor’s wrong. Am I missing something here? Let’s not forget that the speaker is relying in part on data generated by state Rep. Dan Bosley, who’s been studying this issue for years.
Then, too, Gov. Deval Patrick himself appears to be getting personal as well. According to Globe columnist Joan Vennochi (don’t take the buyout, Joan!), DiMasi is getting his back up because he believes Patrick and his minions have been sliming him in the press. Not all that competently, either — DiMasi may be golfing with casino backers, but he’s also telling them “no,” while Patrick has rolled over for them.
Mr. Liberal has come around to the anti-casino position, but he still wants more data and for “cooler heads to prevail.” I’m not sure why. Patrick’s three-casino proposal is the most damaging idea any governor has come up with in a long time. What’s needed is to defeat it — soundly, and by a wide enough margin that he doesn’t try again.