Monday, December 04, 2017

Red Notes From a Blue State - Democrats, Sinking Ship Opportunities, and Term Limits Reconsidered

Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the following article, the writer demonstrates not only his comedic prowess, but also that of commentator. Thanks for the laughs, Don.

by Don Pesci

Columnist Jim Cameron in the Stamford Advocate has curtly written off Governor Dannel Malloy: “Our governor is a lame duck. Because he’s announced he’s not running for re-election, he has the political clout of a used teabag. And even though he’s our state’s leader for another 11 months, nobody cares about him or his ideas any longer.”

Malloy’s Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman, has decided she would rather be spending time with her family than running for governor, which would necessarily entail a hearty defense of Malloy’s ruinous policies.

After two terms making Connecticut great again, Malloy himself has decided to take a hike.

Attorney General George Jepsen, whose time in office was spent avoiding media notoriety -- unlike his predecessor, former Attorney General Dick Blumenthal, for whom fawning media attention was the River Styx in which he bathed frequently – has called it a day after two terms as Connecticut’s AG. And no, the former Chairman of the State Democratic Party has no plans to run for governor. Both Blumenthal and former Attorney General Joe Lieberman used the AG’s office as springboard to a U.S. Senate sinecure.

Mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin, once Malloy’s Chief Council, having said he would need a couple of terms in office to turn the U.S.S. Hartford around, has rushed into the vacuum created by Malloy’s departure. Connecticut’s Capital City is taking on water. Only a few weeks ago, Bronin was palavering with lawyers about a bankruptcy declaration, and if he now feels the governor’s office is a politically safe haven compared to the mayoralty of Hartford, he’s one bright cookie. Most lawyers are not dummies, despite the usual bad rap on the comic circuit. Question: What do you call a lawyer with an I. Q. of 50? Answer: Your honor.

An open Democrat gubernatorial field has yanked Ned Lamont from the shadows. Lamont, a cable millionaire and great-grandson of Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co. Thomas Lamont, successfully challenged then U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in a Democrat primary; he then lost to Lieberman, who successfully defended his seat as an independent in a general election. “Lamont spent $26 million of his cable television fortune on his run for the Senate and for governor,” Neil Vigdor of CTPost reminds us, and Lamont was, of course, supported by former U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker, who is still recovering from his 1988 loss to Lieberman.

“I just care about whether I think I can make a difference and get this state back on track,” Lamont said. “We’ve got so many amazing assets. We’re just not making the best out of our potential.” Lamont indicated he would decide by January whether he would throw his hat into the gubernatorial ring. By that time, the floor on both sides of the political barracks will be littered with hats.

These bow-outs of Malloy, Wyman and Jepsen have kicked the doors open on an election that promises to be alarmingly interesting. If anyone wants to know how term limits might introduce into Connecticut’s sclerotic political system the verve and energy of a new day, they have only to look about them. Had term limits been in force midway between Dick Blumenthal’s agonizingly long twenty year term as the state’s Attorney General he might have been a U.S. Senator or possibly a Governor more than ten years earlier; for it is not true that term limits would end political careers.

Author Don Pesci
They would simply move the pieces on the political chess board towards different political functions. PAC committees, easily captured by incumbents, would have to decide, upon a governor or a senator leaving his post, who they might want to corrupt in the future; in the absence of a healthy turn-over in various offices, corruption has become routine, predictable and automatic. Term limits would invigorate political parties, and awaken all the nerve tingling juices of reporters during election cycles.

This is precisely what is happening right now that three prominent office holders have decided in effect to term limit themselves.

To read the rest of Don's commentary, visit his web site.

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