February 5, 2007

Ocean State as Rubber Room

Justin Katz

You know I'm in a state of hopeless nonchalance when I use the word "alas," but: Alas, I must admit that Robert Haiken of Warwick has put his finger on it:

The problem is no longer with the legislature. It is with the voters who keep sending the same people back to the legislature. We are reminded of that old definition of insanity — keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

Nothing will ever change.

Behind the scenes, we here at Anchor Rising indulge in deep conversations about the underlying causes of "Rhodapathy." I'm a little reluctant to admit that the obvious seems always to resurface:

  • Too many people feel personally connected, whether:
    • They really are, or
    • They merely know a guy who knows a guy whose daughter plays soccer with their nieces.
  • Too many people are on the take, whether:
    • They are receiving ludicrous benefits through the state's union culture, or
    • They are receiving ludicrous payouts as part of the state's welfare programs.
  • Too many people are ideologically bound to the status quo, whether
    • They have to vote Democrat as a matter of psychotic compulsion, or
    • They have to keep the statehouse pure blue because they dislike George Bush.
  • Too many people can't muster the interest to change things, whether
    • They're working so hard just to keep afloat that they can't spare the effort, or
    • They're trapped in our peculiar fatalism that takes pride in accepting that this is just the way things are, here.

But I thank Mr. Haiken for his reminder that we can't just insist that a corrupt system change itself. We have to boot the folks who make it corrupt.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Only a very deep fiscal/economic crisis and wide-ranging federal indictments -- and convictions (probably by a Massachusetts jury...) -- ever change Rhode Island. Until they feel the pain and the shame, the voters won't.

Posted by: John at February 5, 2007 11:28 PM

The unknowing, yet for some reason still voting, masses here in RI will never become informed unless the message is beat into them on a regular basis. And, unfortuately, that message will have to be via the nightly news and from the Journal (front page, not the editorial page, they don't get that far), because that is where they get all of their news.

What are chances that the local TV news stations or the Journal will ever provide this "public service" to help save our state?

Posted by: frank at February 6, 2007 8:13 AM

RI's voters didn't learn (or care) after RISDC, for -----sakes!

Neither did they learn (or care) after, e.g., Jack Reed and the rest of the General Assembly enacted one of their infamous midnight bills to give teacher union hacks, who didn't work for the state, state pensions!

Neither did they learn (or care) after John Harwood installed his wife as Magistrate at over 100k per year for life (could it be that he knew that he might "go down" some day - perhaps over Lincoln Park - and this was a way of ensuring an income stream for his wife? Are you listening Mr. Corrente?).

The list goes on and on. And last November the lemmings, in greater numbers than ever, pulled the "straight party" Democrat lever.

It's going to take total economic collapse - perhaps when the pensions, state retiree health care and welfare systems inevitably collide - perhaps in conjunction with some of the larger employers acting economically rationally and leaving.

I hope I'm outta here before it hits.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 6, 2007 9:01 AM

Ragin' Rhode Islander is right. Now the plan is to levy an additional private sector tax on health insurers when we only have two of them in the state.

Hey, once we drive out the only two private insurers, we can expand state subsidized healthcare and really drive the state into a death spiral!

Posted by: Anthony at February 6, 2007 9:26 AM

There are plenty of liberals sick of the way the good 'ol boy Dems (Montalbano, Ruggerio, Mollis, etc.) do business. If the GOP offered candidates with appeal to socially progressive voters, the party of have a fighting chance of getting these fat cat entrenched Dems out of there.
If I ever ran for office in N.P., I'd seriously think of joining the GOP to do it (I'm unaffiliated now). There's a pretty good group of people who've historically voted Democrat but are sick of what's going on at the Statehouse - the GOP should be allying with them, not alienating them.

Posted by: Rhody at February 6, 2007 11:50 AM

"If I ever ran for office in N.P., I'd seriously think of joining the GOP to do it (I'm unaffiliated now)."

Democrats in Rhode Island have so embarrassed their party and the concept of good government that for some of us, it's not enough to be non-affiliated. Plus values traditionally championed by the Republican party (thought not necessarily followed in Congress, Senator Ted Stevens) such as fiscal responsibility are badly needed in this state and would certainly resonate, if the message were reaonably loud and sufficiently repeated.

P.S. That was a nice, cheery thought you had, Rhody, about possible fall out of Celona's chirping on the North Prov and WW General Assembly delegations. We're crossing our fingers.

Posted by: SusanD at February 6, 2007 8:42 PM

Don't pat Massachusetts on the back so quickly. They just elected Deval Patrick.

Posted by: Mike at February 7, 2007 7:51 PM
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