Entries in MassPoliticsProfs by Jerold Duquette
Professor Dershowitz, your friends are shunning you because your self-righteousness and love of the limelight have been exploited by bad actors in the furtherance of bad actions. Donald Trump is not a client whose civil liberties are being squashed. Your defense of him is not like your frequent defense during your career of unpopular speakers in the name of free speech. Trump is the openly corrupt President of the United States and by defending him you are now punching down, not up. You are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of freedom. You are effectively a mob lawyer now, not a champion of civil liberties.
In her recent Globe column (“Nothing Pragmatic about Charlie Baker’s Death Penalty Gambit”) Renee Loth writes, “[f]or someone who has based his entire political persona on a non-ideological, pragmatic approach to government, Governor Charlie Baker’s recent flirtation with reinstating the death penalty is a distressing swerve.” I respectfully disagree.
When party officials say they will remain neutral in a primary it CANNOT mean that they will simply stand back and let nominees be chosen without their preferences being impactful. If that were the case, then there would be little point of parties having leaders. Official neutrality in primaries can, at best, mean no public endorsements until after the primary, NOT no efforts to DO THEIR JOB, which is to get party members elected in November.
American politics in 2018 is a hot mess. The Age of Trump will almost certainly be understood as a chaotic and terribly destructive time in American politics when our institutions were strained to the limit and democratic norms of conduct were shattered. Not so in Massachusetts, however.
The drop of the Bay State from 1st to 8th in the U.S. News rankings will undoubtedly complicate Charlie Baker’s re-election effort, but it isn’t likely to cause the odds makers to move the state’s gubernatorial race from a “likely” re-election to a “toss up.” Nonetheless, it is clearly an unexpected gift to the three folks competing to be Baker’s general election foe.There is a clear lesson here to be learned (or remembered), of course...