Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Huh? What is Marty Meehan Thinking?!

Marty Meehan sure is confusing me.

He builds up a huge warchest - the biggest among Democrats in the House of Representatives. He has future ambitions to run for Senator of Massachusetts, something he would have been a favorite to win had John Kerry decided to run for President instead of Senator. Now that Kerry will run for reelection, what does Marty Meehan go and do?

US Representative Martin T. Meehan has emerged in recent weeks as a leading candidate for chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, a move that would set off a political stampede to fill his much-coveted seat and create the first competitive fight for a Bay State congressional district in more than five years.

Weird...

Quite frankly, I'd be disappointed if Meehan left. He's built up quite the tenure in D.C. and has an ability to have a strong impact on very important decisions. Now, he's not a perfect congressman, but he's fairly solid on most issues. He's been very outspoken in getting rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell - one of the most horrible, self-destructive policies the military has ever instituted (for example, I know more gay members of the military than straight ones - they're just shushed into the closet). Now that Meehan is in a position to actually enact important changes - changes his constituents no doubt want - he's taking interviews to be the Chancellor of UMASS Lowell?

Don't get me wrong, UMASS Lowell needs a top-notch Chancellor. However, would Meehan even fit that bill? Wouldn't it be better to find an already-successful Chancellor (one who students actually like) and hire he or she, rather than installing another politician into a position that requires more than political skills? Would a Chancellor Meehan understand that his most important duty is to create an environment that would allow students to excel - which means earning the trust of the student body, professors and even parents who he's never met.

UMASS Lowell is no doubt just as important to Lowell as UMASS Dartmouth is to the South Coast, so I wouldn't want to hamper UMASS Lowell's ability to succeed by criticizing a Meehan Chancellorship. However, as important as the resurrection of Lowell is, Marty Meehan's in a position to help the entire country from his current position of power. The Democrats just won its first Congressional Majority in more than a decade - and Meehan's rise in Congress has been rapid. It would be a sad waste for Massachusetts and the entire country to see it be all for not.

8 comments:

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - running every two years can be a grind, even for an entrenched incumbent. Besides, he's ONLY 12 years overdue on his written Term Limts pledge that he wouldn't run again!

More likely, he despaired of ever being able to be Senator. He can keep the money, you know, for his 'political future'. And a Chancellor can always run if duty calls.

The new salary ain't bad, either....

Anonymous said...

I don't want to pry into your personal life or anything, but perhaps you travel in circles where there are more gay people than straight in general? I assure you that there are not more gays than straight in the military.

Anonymous said...

Its hire him or her, not he or she. Looks like UMass Dartmouth could use a new chancellor, too.

Ryan Adams said...

Hey Anon 10:26...

You'd actually think that, huh? However, the vast majority of my friends are straight. I actually didn't have one close friend who was gay until last semester! Granted, I've met a lot since, but only one of them serves in the military.

Now, I'm not saying the majority of people in the army are gay. My exmaples are HIGHLY anecdotal, and you're right to bring that up. I'm only suggesting that through my relatively small experience in the matter that there is certainly a fairly large population of closeted gay men and women in the army... people who would better serve if they didn't have to hide and be in fear that their secret could come out.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 11:52...

I'm almost positive it's he or she. My evil Jr. year English teacher from High School pounded that sucker in my head till something stuck. Of course, I could be wrong; it wouldn't be the first time that's happened. In either case, it's a blog... glaring mistakes are going to happen from time to time =)

Anonymous said...

Actually it's "him and her" b/c they are objects of verb "hire."

Anonymous said...

This makes perfect sense. He gets a $100,000 raise and he gets to spend his time with his wife and two young children. He's directed a lot of federal money to the college over the years to try to help stimulate the local economy, especially by trying to push nanotechnology forward.

Looking ahead to the next few years - even the next four years - there's really no where for him to go. He's basically achieved everything he could in the House, and I'm sure he's ready for a new challenge. And, I'm sure that he would look forward to representing a single constituency.

Also, there are an estimated 65,000 gay troops currently on active duty. It's a huge number and suggests that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a terribly flawed policy. That said, it's not a policy that's likely to change in the near future.

Anonymous said...

This makes perfect sense. He gets a $100,000 raise and he gets to spend his time with his wife and two young children. He's directed a lot of federal money to the college over the years to try to help stimulate the local economy, especially by trying to push nanotechnology forward.

Looking ahead to the next few years - even the next four years - there's really no where for him to go. He's basically achieved everything he could in the House, and I'm sure he's ready for a new challenge. And, I'm sure that he would look forward to representing a single constituency.

Also, there are an estimated 65,000 gay troops currently on active duty. It's a huge number and suggests that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a terribly flawed policy. That said, it's not a policy that's likely to change in the near future.

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