May 3, 2011

Watson Out as Minority Leader, Newberry In

Carroll Andrew Morse

Steve Klamkin of WPRO radio (630AM) is reporting that Robert Watson has been replaced as RI House Minority Leader by Rep. Brian Newberry.

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What a fickle group this GA is. A standing ovation one week, then out the next. Makes me think that maybe marriage equality does have a chance?

Just kidding on the last part, marriage equality will probably just go through the courts after the civil unions are granted.

Posted by: Swazool at May 3, 2011 4:48 PM

Brian Newberry is a very smart guy, and he is likely to do an excellent job in this position.

Posted by: brassband at May 3, 2011 5:37 PM

How exactly do you "do a good job" as the minority leader when you have 10 out of 75 seats?

Posted by: Patrick at May 3, 2011 8:28 PM

And Trillo goes on PRO tonight and says Watson drinks too much.
What a quote from Newberry: "In the House we tend to give ovations to potted plants."
They sound the people of Jerusalem turning on Christ after five days. Watson hardly looks like the biggest idiot in the House right now.

Posted by: bella at May 3, 2011 11:09 PM

The standing ovation was from the Democrats happy as pigs in poop that some dumb ass Republican finally took the spotlight off them. The worst part is Watson playing along like he is taking one for the team, hence the comment about knocking the raises off the front page. These morons calling for his resignation from the post make me laugh because obviously as the leader of ten, he ruled the GA with an iron fist. Is there anyone out there that still doesn't understand why this state sucks.

Posted by: Max Diesel at May 3, 2011 11:16 PM

I've gained a lot of respect for Rep. Watson over the past couple of years. The incident in Connecticut was a disappointment to me, but it did not make me think any less of him. John 8:7

I think the decision to remove him from leader ship is right. I hope he will learn and grow from this, bounce back, keep his seat, and return to leadership at the right time in the future.

Posted by: George at May 3, 2011 11:21 PM

swazool-The RI courts are hardly the MA courts.Don't hold your breath.
bella-why do you care about what Republicans are doing?And Watson is hardly a Christ figure.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 4, 2011 4:07 AM

I think any Republican who has been in the House or Senate for more than 5 terms has been there too long. There should be an "up or out" among them. Use your first 10 years at the State House to do good things and get your name recognition and then go on and chase larger seats. That's exactly what the Democrats do. Patrick Kennedy, David Cicilline, James Langevin, Jack Reed, Liz Roberts, these are all people who started in the State House. Why can't the Republicans do the same thing? Are they just fat and happy enough to sit with their part-time job and really not enact any kind of real change?

Up or out.

Posted by: Patrick at May 4, 2011 9:13 AM

Yes Patrick, they are quite happy to get some of the perks of being in the GA, maybe a shot at a State job, magistrate positions or that plum of plums, a judgeship! Has there been any GOP "leader" in the GA in the last 30 years?

As all this amusing GOP family dysfunction plays out in the media, where is the brilliant savior of the GOP, Ken McKay?

Posted by: riborn at May 4, 2011 12:45 PM

riborn, what plum job has any Republican Assembly member received in the last 30 years? I think one guy from the Carcieri administration got a judge position, but I don't remember any Republican Assembly members getting anything.

Spend 10 years doing your work, building your local party under you so you have a successor and then try to move up the ranks.

Posted by: Patrick at May 4, 2011 1:09 PM

I was being facetious Patrick. The GA republicans have been and are an ineffective bunch, not leaders, and seemingly lacking in political ambition. They don't want to move up, they are content to do nothing and achieve nothing, so long as they get to drive around with the special license plate.

I still wonder - where is McKay, the GOP wonder boy? This kind of public mess requires handling before it gets to the point of "clean up in aisle 2" after Trillo calls Watson a drunk. Who in their right mind would want to affiliate with the RI GOP? Or run for office with them?

Posted by: riborn at May 4, 2011 7:19 PM

George, Try Matthew 23
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 4, 2011 8:07 PM

Ain't it grand when Marxists start quoting scripture?
Anything they can turn to their nefarious puroses will do.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 4, 2011 8:46 PM

Joe, I didn't know that right-wingers had a monopoly on religion or faith. I think that a number of religious leaders (and deities) might take issue with that assertion.

That the GOP first supported him, and then threw him under the bus is just a little obnoxious. In a way, I feel bad for Mr. Watson. Not only was he too scared (or something) to request a medical marijuana license that he probably actually needs, but drove drunk (apparently on multiple occasions) without his friends and colleagues stepping in to help him out.

Now they are all lining up to throw him under the bus? Like they didn't know this was going on or something. He deserves his day in court on the DUI, but apparently the fact that Mr. Watson was an adult and admitted to the possession charge is too much for them to handle.

Posted by: jparis at May 5, 2011 1:50 PM

OTL's definition of adult: whining excuse making hypocrite. It shouldn't have taken more than 30 seconds to say what needed to be said about the incident. "I'm a pot smoker, I broke the law, I was caught, I will deal with this in the court, just as any other citizen would have to do in CT." His whole "medicinal purposes use" was not believable - we have a legal avenue in RI for that use and he chose not to go that route. Typical lawyer, he had an answer for that: the asserted fear of violation of his privacy by the Dept of Health. As though most people even know who he is if it was public, and for those who do know who he is, what difference would it have made? None.

Posted by: riborn at May 5, 2011 4:16 PM

I've quoted scripture many times in this blog, and always take Jesus' words very seriously.

As to how I view Jesus, you may want to start by looking at I go a bit further than Jesus is a liberal, more like Jesus is a revolutionary. After all he was turned over to the Romans, the legal, governmental authority of his homeland by religious authorities. Both state and church were anxious to get rid of him as a rabble rousing anti-authoritarian figure deemed a danger to the current status quo.

Specifically, you may want to see Matthew 25:35-40,4:17,6:31-34,5:3-12, 22:37-40 and Mark 10:42-45, 8:34-36 for a look some of his words on how to live life.

How do you see Jesus? Upon what do you base your opinion?

What's your point, or are you simply throwing stones? I think you are way over your head here.

Your pal,

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 5, 2011 5:00 PM

Over my head?No.I don't see Jesus as anything but an historical figure whose philosophy doesn't resonate with me.
You're a doctrinaire leftist and not worth arguing with.You are like many of your kind trying to sell wolf tickets and guilt trips.
I'll have none of it from you since I have nothing to feel guilty about-I haven't exploited,manipulated,abused,or enslaved anyone.
Can you say the same?Maybe you can-in that case whoopee do for you.
I've had it with your smarmy moral superiority act.
Go sell your crap to Phil-he'll probably give it a listen.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 5, 2011 5:13 PM


It's pretty clear that Joe is making note of classical Marxism's hostility towards religion ("opiate of the people") and of Christianity in particular ("The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-contempt, abasement..."). I don't think JC would be on board with those, and all of that materialist stuff is pretty central to Marxism.


If you want to blithely define the opposite to being on the right as being a Marxist, I can congratulate you on finding common ground with many of the commenters at AR.

Posted by: Andrew at May 5, 2011 7:45 PM

jparis-I'm actually not a Republican nor am I with the Tea Party.
I'm absolutely against the neocons and their interventionist policies overseas.
I see the necessity for extraterritorial actions like the killing of OBL as necessary to our national security.
What I can never agree with is nation-building while bridges are falling down at home.
The "hearts and minds" stuff didn't work in Nam and it won't work now.
I recall an engineering unit training Vietnamese locals as surveyors.It sure helped them put some more accuracy into their rocket attacks on us when they were at their "night job".
I myself never allude to religion or faith in making arguments here.I'm certainly right of center on many issues although I have almost zero knowledge of economics.Most of the time I like to base an argument on observable facts,but I do get emotional about some things.Most people here do,or they wouldn't be posting.
The one area I'm more liberal in is the social services milieu.While I detest the professionals in whaat I call the "poverty industry"I feel we have an obligation to children,the infirm,retarded,or others who are in a bind through no fault of their own.My concern is the glossing over of fraud.If it were seriously attacked,we might have enough to provide a safety net without taxing productive people and senior citizens to destructive extremes.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 5, 2011 9:23 PM

Religion can certainly be used as the "opiate of the people", but it needn't be. I think that many people who call themselves Christian are indeed lotus eaters, but that does not invalidate Jesus' message. You might want to check out John Dominic Crossan for an interpretation which is much more in tune with my personal beliefs. In short, I believe that Jesus is an avatar for the ages, right there along with Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and others.

I agree with Marx's principles when he is talking about economics; what he has to say about religion is of no consequence to me. Consider that many people admire Thomas Jefferson, but don't like the fact that he kept slaves. There aren't too many absolutely pure people in the world.

joe, the name "Jesus" seems to drive you up a wall and you become angry and irrational. Don't worry, Jesus loves you.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 5, 2011 9:59 PM

OTL-Why do you tell a lie about me?
I am not bothered by the name "Jesus" at all nor who he was.I am disgusted by people who throw his name around to justify almost anything.
Whether it's a marxist like you or a phony tv evangelist makes no difference-you all put his name on like a coat to make your points.
Matter of fact my son and daughter were raised Christian in deference to my wife's wishes-she believes in Jesus as savior,but doesn't use his name for political reasons.
I didn't say anything irrational,unless the fact that I just believe in a Creator without trappings of religion or evidence of "miracles" makes me irrational.You really suck for saying what you did.
I was raised in the Jewish religion supposedly,but it never took hold and I have no use for it either.
Whatever I believe,I don't use religious arguments to push some rancid political agenda like you do.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 6, 2011 8:05 AM

We are in violent agreement. Apologies if you thought that I was trying to "guilt trip you". I was stating my observation and if you say I was mistaken, I have no problem rescinding - it had nothing to do with my point. I use Jesus quotes because he knows what he's talking about. As I tried to make clear, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, to name several have much to say to humankind. The god stuff, I leave up to the individual. I quoted Jesus in response to George's reference to John 8:7. You introduced yourself into the argument between George and me by saying, "Ain't it grand when Marxists start quoting scripture?" I didn't start the quote contest, I joined in it. In short, I was speaking to someone who quoted Christian scripture with a quote from Christian scripture.

You might think that there is a contradiction between Marxism and Christianity; I don't, but that is another argument.

I take my lead here from John Dominic Crossan who suggests that "Jesus was an illiterate 'Jewish Cynic' (Cynic, any member of a Greek philosophical sect that flourished from the 4th century bce to well into Christian times and was distinguished more for its unconventional way of life than for any system of thought. Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates, is considered to be the founder of the movement, but Diogenes of Sinope was its paradigm.) from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist. Jesus was a healer and man of great wisdom and courage who taught a message of inclusiveness, tolerance, and liberation. "His strategy . . . was the combination of free healing and common eating . . . that negated the hierarchical and patronal normalcies of Jewish religion and Roman power."

Very close to Marx in this, I would say.

Your pal,

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 9, 2011 1:08 AM
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