(Just ask She-Ra.)
Can DiMasi withstand the internal pressure? He stands a greater chance if liberal constituencies outside the House remain faithful to him. To keep them loyal, he needs to give them what they want, and that he is doing.
A recent post on http://www.bluemassgroup.com/, a compendium of mostly liberal bloggers, thanked DiMasi for his support in repealing the 1913 law that stopped same-sex couples from outside Massachusetts from marrying here. The same post also made a case for the House to take up a global warming solutions act, which caps emissions.
It didn't take long for David Guarino, DiMasi's communications director, to post this response: "Thanks from the speaker's office for the praise, it is appreciated. We do have a lot of work to get to before we end formal sessions, and your priorities are certainly noted - as they were before. On global warming solutions, stay tuned. There is a chance we may yet have something for you there before the session ends."
Apparently, I'm the latest example of the Speaker giving into liberal constituencies... or something. Sheesh, I never knew I wielded so much power! I must be the He-Man of the BMG: Master of the Blogosphere. Should I put that into my cover letter?
Vennochi's complaint is that the progressive bloc of the Democratic Party is apparently willing to let Speaker DiMasi get away with anything, so long as he's pushing our agenda. While I've been very supportive of him, I don't find Vennochi's thesis to be true. If she read a few more comments on BMG, she'd notice that there's a lot of angst among some progressives because DiMasi isn't progressive enough, just ask Mike.
In any event, even if we all thought his issues were fantastic and were loudly supporting the Speaker, that doesn't mean we're suddenly looking the other way. Simply put: what has the Speaker been charged with? What jury has convicted him? It's never been a policy of mine to convict people in the court of public opinion. As far as I'm concerned, DiMasi is King 'o the Hill, Big Beacon Style, until a jury of his fellow citizens convicts him in an actual court - not a Boston Globe column.
As for this Joan Vennochi claim?
Should liberals close their eyes to problematic behavior, just as they are doing with another liberal, state Senator James Marzilli? The Arlington legislator has been charged with accosting several women, but refuses to resign even though he has not returned to work since his arrest and has said he will not return.
Bogus. I don't know a single BMG commenter or progressive activist who doesn't think Marzilli should step down, including his staunchest allies. Plenty of people have said he should get the help that he needs, none have said he should stay on.
More importantly, isn't this all moot? What relevance does it really have to the Speaker? Marzilli's not even in DiMasi's House, literally and figuratively. Allegedly helping friends is a very different thing than allegedly accosting three different women, with various eye witnesses and a State Senator who doesn't deny the fact that he did what was said. No one knows what DiMasi did or did not do; I'm sure there's plenty of people checking that out, but in the meantime, the Speaker has my full support. Plus, one way or the other, Marzilli's going and gone - so, again, what is there to complain about? There's an election around the corner that will solve the Marzilli problem. I appreciate Ms. Vennochi's free press and ego booster, but she's got her latest column all wrong.