Sunday, January 22, 2006

Letter to the Boston Globe

I was glancing at right-wing anti-liberty Jeff Jacoby's column in the Boston Globe last Sunday, called Mass. Exodus, about the population shrinkage of the Bay State.

He listed the usual reasons--lack of jobs, high housing costs, the weather--then promptly dismissed them. The reason people are leaving in droves?
Maybe fewer and fewer people want to call Massachusetts home not because of its oppressive winters but because of its oppressive and demoralizing political culture. In the state that produced Michael S. Dukakis and Sen. Kerry, the concerns of ordinary citizens are so often met with disdain, while the political class lets nothing get in the way of its own appetites and priorities. A state legislature that stays in session year-round? A supreme court that turns same-sex marriage into a constitutional right? Public ''authorities" that answer to no one? In most of America, no way. In Massachusetts, no problem.
That annoyed me. I wrote a letter to the Globe, and who'd'a thunk it, they printed it today. Not exactly how I wrote it--they deleted some snarkiness--but message intact.
Court's ruling a vote for liberty

JEFF JACOBY dismisses real reasons people are leaving -- lack of well-paying jobs, obscenely high home prices -- and cites the state court's turning ''same-sex marriage into a constitutional right."

The truth, however, doesn't support his position. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did not ''turn" same-sex marriage into a constitutional right. The question was whether it was constitutional for the Commonwealth to deny civil marriages to same-sex couples. The court found that limiting ''the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the basic premises of individual liberty and equality under law protected by the Massachusetts Constitution." In other words, the court found that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples equal rights.
The Globe omitted my describing Jacoby's column as being full of "dishonest neocon talking points," and I ended with the following sentence: "Given Mr. Jacoby's prejudices, it's a mystery to any rational person why he persists in staying in Massachusetts."

There were quite a few letters in the same vein, but also a few letters by clueless idiots, who think the Supreme Judicial Court "abused its power," and one by a true wingnut who couldn't see the irony in being Massachusetts born and raised, "Boston stock, dating back to 1637" whose ancestors have fought in all "American" wars and are listed on monuments in Bunker Hill and Lexington; she's moving "because of the crazy left-wing political agenda"--moving south, where "the political climate is truly democratic." Yeah, democratic like Strom Thurmond, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Frist; with governors like Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush. Good democratic values there.

As a very eloquent woman wrote in another letter: "If indeed people are driven away because of the state's commitment to fairness, let them go. There are plenty of other places where they can enjoy the unearned privileges of discrimination."

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