Troubles on a usually carefree birthday week
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Updated February 18, 2013]

Last week was usually my favorite week of the year: Valentine’s Day, my birthday; chocolate candy, chocolate cake. Preferably both of those events happened before Ash Wednesday, which, because of childhood Catholic habit, remains a good time to give up sweets and lose weight. Last year even President’s Day with its cherry pie came before Lent.

But, this year only Lincoln’s birthday slipped in before Ash Wednesday on February 13th, and it has no goodies connected to it unless one attends a Republican Lincoln Day dinner, which I’ve done in the past as a guest speaker and don’t do anymore.

Now that the earth has traveled around the sun seventy times since my birth, I’ve retired from public speaking, though not from political activism. I continue to work with Citizens for Limited Taxation to make sure nothing happens to Proposition 2½, making my someday-retirement cottage unaffordable.

My mentor Howard Jarvis led the ballot battle for California’s property tax limit, Prop 13, in 1978 when he was 76; his bust sits on my bookcase, reminding me that one is never too old to cause trouble for government, or at least enjoy the attempt.

This year’s Lincoln’s birthday seemed to feature Massachusetts Republicans assassinating their party’s chances in the coming U.S. Senate race. I thought they should be getting behind the one candidate who had actually made up his mind to run, as of the beginning of the week. Dan Winslow needs 10,000 signatures of Republicans and Independents by the February 27 deadline. Instead of helping with this difficult task, some Republican activists were urging former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan to run too.

The special election, caused by Senator Kerry’s move to Secretary of State, does leave time for a divisive primary for Democrats; Congressman Lynch and Markey are already battling. But with Scott Brown waiting until he saw his February shadow to announce he wouldn’t run for the seat, Republicans have no room for their traditionally unpleasant primary games.

Both Winslow and Sullivan have been among my favorite Republicans; I could happily support either one but planned to support whoever announced first, in this case Winslow. I understand that others, including state senator Bruce Tarr and author/psychiatrist Keith Ablow, were willing to run if no one else stepped forward; I can relate to that, having offered to run for Congress in my youth when it looked as if Michael Harrington would be unopposed. Fortunately someone else volunteered then, as Dan Winslow did this time – in this case preventing an easy win for one of the Democrats who have 15% (Markey) and 12% (Lynch) ratings with the National Taxpayers Union.

Scott Brown had a 60% rating, which was fine, considering; but not so fine that I’d want him for governor when I could have Charlie Baker. The rumor that Brown might run for governor is another Republicide thing that interfered with my usually carefree birthday week.

I’m with Charlie, Scott. Hope Massachusetts voters are looking for executive experience in their next governor. Our present governor thinks that having 47,000 welfare recipients without a mailing address, who exist only at the bank account where taxpayer money appears for them, is just a “leakage” problem. The management “leakage” has become a substantial flow, Governor Patrick.

The governor’s blizzard leadership was interesting. First we’re all ordered by the state to stay off the highways or face a year in jail, then some residents were ordered by their local government to evacuate. People were asking, on talk shows and facebook, which order should prevail. I never heard this clarified, but our governor was highly praised for being calm during the storm, as if panic would have been a possible alternative.

This reminded me of Bill Weld telling Chris Matthews in 2008 that he supported Barack Obama for president because he is calm. Matthews responded, “Chauncey Gardiner in Being There was calm.” This recollection would be funnier if Matthews hadn’t later admitted to an Obama-inspired tingle up his leg.

Anyhow, more Republicans have entered the U.S. Senate race. There’s a Cohasset businessman, former Navy SEAL, political newcomer named Gabriel Gomez. Thank you for your service, and, beware Washington-based consultants who see you as a money-magnet; it’s a tough race for a newbie.

Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan has been collecting signatures for weeks, and Sean Bielat is considering a candidacy too. Hope if there’s a primary their supporters can avoid attacking the other candidate thereby giving ammunition to the Democrats. Hope someone talks Dan Fishman out of running as a Libertarian again as he did in the 6th Congressional District last year, thereby electing the statist Democrat.

Another thing interfering with my perfect week: Obama’s state of the union address on Tuesday night, in which he was still campaigning against the things that aren’t working in America and hoping no one noticed he’s been in charge for four years now. I admit I fell asleep between his proposal for a $9 minimum wage and new gun control legislation. I’ve heard this all before from Democrats who don’t understand economics or the Second Amendment.

Retirement for the Pope this month, but not for me!

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette.

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