Massachusetts has a reputation for being a "liberal" state. Remarkably, this reputation has survived the recent succession of unpleasantly Republican governors.
Sure, Brahmin Bill Weld, taking a much needed break from being tough on crime and Welfare Moms, did manage to come up with the phrase "a ferret in a Barcalounger." I'll give him credit for that.
When the dilletantish Mr Weld grew weary of governing, his unpleasant lieutenant Governor inherited the job. There was nothing even faintly amusing about Mr Cellucci, who also abdicated the gubernatorial throne and currently is lavishing his scowling, churlish presence north of here as ambassador to Canada. His sidekick, Jane Swift took the helm. Crying, as had all her forbears:
Land ho ! Avast ye lubbers ! Anchors aweigh ! No new taxes !
Let's gloss over the embarrassment of the Jane Swift administration.
Which brings us to pretty boy Mitt, Olympics Man, fresh from the oddly conjoined worlds of Venture Capitalism and the Mormon Church. For the full lowdown, and it is low, on Mr Romney, I direct you to RIAF, one of my favorite political blogs.
(By the way, remember his campaign ads ? The ones in which he pretended to be a Working Class Guy ? Remember how CLEAN the garbage was in the "I Am A Trashman" ad ? )
What I wish to say is this.
Today our state demonstrated a bit of the old liberalism.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated, quite plainly, that to deny single sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional. They gave our legislature 180 days to accommodate this. To make it happen, basically. They could have gone farther and ordered the plaintiffs to be issued marriage licenses, but they left the implementation to the legislature.
It didn't take Mr Romney long to check in with the usual theocracy-based, homophobic, right-wing-pandering, human-rights violating, antediluvian boilerplate.
"... Gov. Mitt Romney disagreed with the decision, saying that marriage should be an institution between just one man and one woman. He said that he is going to do all he can to stop marriage licenses from going out to nontraditional couples.
Romney said that he will support an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that will limit marriage to a man and a woman."
The forces of darkness are gathering. The name of God is being invoked. "Think of the children !" is being screeched. Fred Phelps is making his way eastward. (Think Yeats. Rough beast. Slow thighs.)
But for now let's savor the unfamilar taste of today's progressive moment.