"In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls"

I haven’t ragged on Massachusetts politicians for a while. Just to make sure no one thinks I’ve lost my contempt for them, I figure I better write another one.

Political corruption comes in many forms — some small, some large. The Boston Herald — the scrappy, muckraking tabloid once owned by Rupert Murdoch — thought it might be enlightening to review the driving records of some of the commonwealth’s solons. And was it ever.

Naturally, Howie Carr had more than his share of fun with the investigation.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ new governor — the first Democrat to hold the office after 16 years of Republicans holding that one office while the Dems held pretty much every other office in the state — has been fighting a measure to undo the gay marriage imposed by the state’s Supreme Court a few years ago. He’s been quietly working behind the scenes, trying to persuade some of those pushing a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages.

That’s all fine and dandy. That’s the sort of thing governors are supposed to do.

But they really shouldn’t try to buy that support with state jobs.

I don’t know why this caught me by surprise.

This is, once again, precisely why I fear one-party rule. By either party. In Massachusetts, the Democrats hold over 85% of the seats in the legislature, the governor, every other statewide office, all 10 US House seats, and both US Senate seats. There is absolutely no Darwinian factor involved in politics there; with Kennedy and Kerry solidly ensconced at the top of the hierarchy (to the point where Kerry didn’t have a Republican challenger the last time he ran), there is no real competition for office, and incumbents just have to make sure they don’t do anything too stupid to maintain their seats.

And in Massachusetts politics, “too stupid” is pretty much a meaningless term.

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