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What’s the Matter with Massachusetts?

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Why is it when I watch political news, the conservative guy usually finds a way to make some passing and sarcastic reference to my home state of Massachusetts? Why is it that my former governor, now presidential candidate, Mitt Romney doesn't like to actually say the name of the state that elected him to office? We're always "where I served as Governor" or "back where I was in office", as if it was such a shitty post to be the governor of Massachusetts. Poor Mitt, had to slum it with those horrible liberals. Eat me.

Conservative politicians and the parasitic, political pundits like their straw men and scapegoats. They like to have an neat, little, packaged focal point of scorn for them to malign — Lou Dobbs has immigrants; Falwell had gays; and conservatives of any stripe have their beloved Massachusetts. In fact, they may appreciate my home state even more than I do, but just in case you are undecided, here's a few choice facts for any of you out there who are somehow under the impression that Massachusetts is something distinct from the America you love:

Hmmmm, where to start? Maybe with the fact that the damn Pilgrims landed the Mayflower on Plymouth rock (note: it did not land on them). And since the establishment of Massachusetts Bay Colony, I think there have been a few other mentionables. Let's see…do you like seafood? How 'bout lobster? Or Clam Chowder? You like those too? You're welcome.

Not patriotic enough yet? Well we also have a stellar line up of patriots: Benjamin Franklin, Emerson, Thoreau, Norman Rockwell (did you hear that. Norman friggen Rockwell. How much more American does it get?), Eli Whitney (try ginning cotton without Massachusetts.), W.E.B. DuBois, the J. Geils Band, Horatio Alger (this is getting unfair), and the "Block" where the "New Kids" were from is sitting nice and pretty in Massachusetts. Oh, I could keep going, but we "Massholes" were raised better than to brag. Oh wait, I forgot about some other patriots, The New England Patriots.

But what are these conservatives really scoffing at, it's our politics right? One would be led to believe that Massachusetts, overrun with liberals and progressives as we are, must be some lawless wasteland of vice and Un-American activity. I mean, we're the first state to provide marriage rights to homosexual couples, as we did in 2004; we just elected the 2nd black Governor in U.S. history; our U.S. Senators are John "hates the troops" Kerry and Ted Kennedy; and the man who has been my congressman all my life is none other than my favorite Barney Frank — he's homosexual, Jewish, and went to one of those elite schools called Harvard! How do people living in Massachusetts make it through the day alive?

Well it helps that we're 2nd in the country for per capita income, home to some of the top ranked public schools in the nation, and remain a bastion for people around the world seeking the best in education from the esteemed private schools and the over 40 universities in the Boston area. But, just in case you don't make it through the day in one piece, we are also the first and only state to mandate health care coverage for it's citizens. Doesn't really seem like such a bad place to live, considering the state legislative branch is made up of less than 13% Republicans.

So, the next time you put your John Hancock on something or hang a lantern in a church tower or dump a whole mess of tea in a harbor, show a little respect to my home state. And if someone asks you, "What's the matter with Massachusetts?", you tell them, "Absolutely nothing!". Say it again.

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  • tom

    Dear CapeTownDissentator,

    Please don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m from California, and here we admire and seek to emulate you. From Deval Patrick to Barney Frank, from same-sex marriage to Henry David Thoreau, you have much to teach us. Yes, your former governor was an embarrassment (still is), but your current governor is an inspiration (espeicially to those of us governed by the Governator).

    Believe me, it could be worse. You could live in Virginia. Then what would you have to be proud of?

  • Jerry

    “Well we also have a stellar line up of patriots: Benjamin Franklin, Emerson, Thoreau, Norman Rockwell (did you hear that. Norman friggen Rockwell. How much more American does it get?)”.

    They are from a different era, and are thoroughly writhing in their graves.

  • Rich

    Nothing is wrong with Massachusetts?!! Obviously you have not attempted to purchase a house, pay taxes or other wise make ends meet. Name one improvement Deval Patrick has made since assuming office six months ago? His proposals sound great but come with no mention of how he intends to fund these programs.

    Do you believe any of our top level elected officials actually send their kids to public schools? If they are not good enough for them then why should our children not be afforded the same opportunities?

    Get real the Democrats in this state live off of the taxes we all pay. Sure this state has phenomonal universities which feed many of the industries that reside here. What you failed to mention is the majority of this states residence never graduated from those insitutions. Imagine trying to raise a family on what should be a strong salary yet not being able to afford a decent sized house beacuse real estate prices, property taxes, etc. are sky high. Figures you would get a compliment from CA. as if that state is a model to follow (again a state house dominated by Dems).

  • Jerry

    Rich –

    I’ve often wondered why the most notable socialist cities like San Francisco and Boston are always the most expensive and prohibitive to live in for the average middle class citizens.

    You would think that they would be models for socialist ideals and success, but they always turn into enclaves for rich leftists (what a contradiction) with a subsidized underclass of their servants.

    I think I know the reasons but I’d like some input.

  • Dr Dreadful

    It’s no good, CTD. You’re up against brick-wall ideologues here.

    Even if Heaven turned out to be Democrat-controlled, wouldn’t make any difference. It’s liberal, therefore it’s Evil and Must Be Destroyed.

  • bliffle

    Mass. is OK with me. My brother settled in Wenham and I always enjoyed my visits there. The environment is beautiful, the coastline, woods and towns are wonderful and the people are excellent.

  • #1:
    One thing we have to be proud of, Tom, is that you’re not a Virginian.

  • You could live in Virginia. Then what would you have to be proud of?

    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, William Henry Lee, James Madison, James Monroe, George Mason. That’s not a bad start, is it?

    And BTW, Franklin may have been born in Massachusets, but he did leave and live the majority of his life elsewhere.

    That said, the state has a lot going for it. Barney Frank is one of the few Democrats I respect, and the countryside is nice. However, the point someone made earlier about the state having more than its share of socialists and elitists was dead on. And the level of taxation relative to services rendered is an embarassment.


  • moonraven

    The bumperstickers we put on our cars after the 1972 election that said: Don’t Blame Me–I’m from Massachusetts! (The only state McGovern won against Nixon was Massachusetts and there are folks out there who are still smarting from having been massively WRONG:)

  • Jerry

    Doc. My understanding of socialism is that wealth is to be redistributed for the common good of the people. Call me a brick-wall idealogue if you wish, but where is the idealism at work in the lighthouse cities of American socialism?

    I don’t want to see “Evil” socialism destroyed, I just want to see it work.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Jerry – And just how many of those people living in their million-dollar townhouses in Pacific Heights (or whatever the equivalent neighborhood in Boston is) do you think are actually socialists, rather than good old-fashioned capitalists?

    That’s even assuming we accept your contention that those cities are socialist in the first place.

  • Jerry

    This is the reality Doc:

    You know what the prevailing political leanings are of these cities as well as all the others like them, and it would be fruitless to engage in such an argument.

    American Leftist’s and/or Socialist’s are quite happy with the arrangement. They profit from and enjoy all the benefits of Capitalism, while soothing their conscience spouting all the feel good laws and policies they cherish.

    My question remains unanswered. Why are such places always the most expensive to live in? And why aren’t their ideals benefitting the middle class?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Jerry: American politics is skewed way to the right, so I appreciate that any kind of social and/or economic liberalism can seem socialistic from a certain viewpoint.

    However, please understand that liberalism DOES NOT EQUAL socialism. I would imagine the major reason why cities like Boston are so expensive is market-driven: they’re beautiful cities and uber-desirable locations, and those with the wherewithal are willing to pay top dollar to live there. (Incidentally San Fran, which is so often portrayed by right-wingers as the enfant terrible of liberalism, doesn’t even make the top ten.)

    I’m not sure what you mean by “their ideals benefitting the middle class”. You can be middle class and live in these places if you want to: I know a number of professional people who live in San Francisco and do just fine, and would move there myself in a heartbeat if the opportunity came up. There is a thriving middle class there, I assure you: the style of living is just different. You can’t have a five-bedroom detached house with a three-car garage because there’s no space, and you can’t drive a Hummer around because you probably wouldn’t make it down most of the streets and wouldn’t fit in the space most San Franciscans allow for parking. That doesn’t signify a seething proletariat ground underfoot by a privileged elite. It’s just the way the city is.

  • sr

    Massachusetts is like Califoricate. Liberals pass on their outdated can-good’s to the homeless, pat themselves on the pack and tell all their friends how kind they are. Make’s you feel good all over.

  • I think most of the world wishes the rest of the USA was as nice as Massachusetts. From where we sit too much of it seems like Texas. Argh!

  • sr

    SCFMH. Are you with Alice in Wonderland. Does yo moma know your smoking that stuff.

  • Yes, she smokes it too

  • Dr Dreadful

    Q: If you took all the dentures in America and piled them up in Boston, what would you have?

    A: A Massachusetts.

  • sr

    Very good Doc. No wonder your a funny man. How about those Boston Beans. No wonder they call it fart town.

  • Rich

    Doctor read the front page of today’s Boston Globe to understand the problem the state of Massachusetts is having. Our housing costs are out of whack with the rest of the country and only the top portion of the state’s residents can afford to live anywhere close to downtown.

    A lot of young people are electing to move out of state simply due to the cost of living. States such as NC, AZ, etc. are aggressively courting our young profesionals and winning them over while our state government sits idly by watching the migration take place.

    I love living in MA and consider it home but am horrified at the waste and corruption that takes place within our government agencies. We have 351 towns and cities each with their own infrastructre with many services being duplicated. This state is run by unions, lobbyists, etc. to the detriment of us all. I am not naive enough to think that this doesn’t take place elsewhere but MA. is by the worst when it comes to managing itself.

    We shall see what type of condition we are in after Gov. Patrick and his Democratic cohorts in the legislature go unchecked for a while.

  • Billybob

    I think whats’s his name is a senator from Massschusetts. Remember the one who drove is car into the water and killed a young lady. Cant think of his name but he’s fat with gray hair. Who is he. I cant remember.

  • Arch Conservative

    Most of those defending this shithole have probably never even been there.

    What’s wrong with Massachusetts……..

    Ted Kennedy
    John Kerry
    Devall Patrick
    the Big Dig
    whitey bulger
    jackbbooted thuggish unions….
    matt amarello
    rediculously overpriced real estate
    tax happy liberal legislature
    worst auto insurance laws in the nation

    Massachusetts was the ONLY state in the nation to experience a net population loss in the last census. THE ONLY ONE OUT OF 50. Now that’s saying something. The people that live in this shithole are too smug, smarmy, and arrogant to realize what a laughing stock the rest of the nation views them as.

  • However, please understand that liberalism DOES NOT EQUAL socialism.

    Not only that, but socialism is inherently contrary to liberalism. But most people on the American left aren’t actually liberal at all, despite people applying that term to them incorrectly.


  • Silver Surfer

    My childhood American mate lives in Springfield, MA. He’s a “liberal” but not a fuckwit (the two aren’t mutually exclusive, I’m told).

    BTW, Nice work on the dentures joke, DD – marvellous, as Richie Benaud would say, one of your best ever, that … straight to the fence.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Arch #22:

    I’m assuming you’re not a Red Sox fan then.

  • Arch Conservative

    I don’t like baseball I like football and yes I’m a Patriots fan.

    Unlike most of the people chiming in on here I have a great deal of first hand experience with Massachusetts. I was born there. I lived there for the first six years of my life. I attended college there. I have worked there. I am forced from time to time to have to go there for various reasons.

    It’s a shithole. The only other place that comes even remotely close to Massachuseets in terms of being a n undesireable place to live is Rhode Island.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Don’t like baseball, eh? Well, we’re making progress, you and I. That’s twothings we agree on.

    …The other one, of course, being our view of the wonderful Mr Phelps.

  • Arch Conservative

    Have you ever been to Massachusetts Dreadful?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Nope, haven’t made it over there thus far. Might have an opportunity to go to Boston this fall. It’s either there or Chicago. I think there might be more to see in Boston but at the moment we’re leaning towards the Windy City. If not, New England next year hopefully. I have a yen to be a leaf-peeper.

  • bliffle

    When in Boston you should go north for peeping, at least to NH, then Maine and Vermont. The brilliant colors are a threat to singe your rods and cones.

  • sr

    Doc, dont forget to vote. Just remember liberals vote the 2nd week after conservatives.

  • Dr Dreadful

    sr, unfortunately I can’t vote as I am one of those evil immigrants who is taking your jobs. I tell a lie. I can vote, but only for the American Idol.

  • As a conservative Masshole myself, I have always comforted myself by thinking, “Well, at least Boston isn’t quite as loopy as San Francisco,” and I do think it’s true to an extent.

    But I agree with Arch Conservative. Although I drop my “r”s always wear my Red Sox cap proudly, Massachusetts is, admittedly, a shithole.

  • STM

    DD: “sr, unfortunately I can’t vote as I am one of those evil immigrants who is taking your jobs. I tell a lie. I can vote, but only for the American Idol.”

    Doc, can you still vote in the Choom elections? Do they allow for postal voting in choom-land?

    Hopefully, you haven’t done anything drastic like give up your claim to live on the mothership.

    Also, would you really want to vote in a US election? It’s their business, not ours … and I think, quite seriously, I’ll never really understand US politics. I can’t for the life of me work out who’s really left, who’s really right, where the far right is, what a liberal really is, and so on.

    They don’t make it simple, like: Labor/Labour, or conservative.

    Also, I think sr does vote, as he is able to sign with a cross (X marks the spot in that there box).

  • Arch Conservative

    I also developed the Boston accent during the formative years ofmy life and growing up only 30 miles north of Boston it stuck with me Mark.

    Isn’t it funny though how the people that have never been there stick up for it and think of it as some kind shang ri la where everything is perfect.

    If they only knew.

  • Dr Dreadful

    STM inquired: “Doc, can you still vote in the Choom elections?”

    Choom? Choom?

    This word I am not knowing. However, not to worry. A Google search revealed that a choom is:

    The traditional, circular reindeer-skin tent typical of the reindeer-herding peoples of the Arctic tundra of northwest Russia.

    Since I do not hail from northwestern Russia, I have never felt the urge to vote on which tribe has the best chooms.

    However, on the off-chance that “Choom” is also an obscure Australian simile for “Pom”, I will respond thusly:

    Britain does still have postal voting for expats, but one must register in good time. This is not a problem for local and European elections, which are held on a fixed schedule. However, since general elections are seldom announced more than a couple of months in advance, the requirements for timely registration (which apparently is defined as a decade or two) can be tricky to meet.

    I don’t even try to vote in local and European elections because I consider that the issues don’t much concern me at 5,400 miles’ distance.

    As for US elections: no, I have not given up my allegiance to the Queen and have no intention of so doing. This means, alas, that I remain disenfranchised, unable to exercise a voice on issues of immediate political concern to me. Still, as I remarked to Clavos a while back on another thread, the silver lining is that I don’t have to do jury service.

  • STM

    Yes, Doc, it does mean Pom, but actually means chum.

    As in “welcome to Australia, new-chooms” (said with a northern accent, one would expect).

  • sr

    It’s late and time to exit the sandbox. Doc you evil immigrant. Of course I voted for STM as the next American Idol. He cant sing worth a dam however he’s great at licking toilet seats.

  • STM

    Bed-time at the psych hospital is it, sr?

  • I can’t speak about the whole state or its political or sporting culture but I’ve been to Boston and Cambridge and had a great time!

  • Arch Conservative

    I was born in Cambridge Christopher, but that’s my cross to bear in life.

    I imagine that if I put my mind to it I could enjoy a brief visit to just about any city in the world.

    It’s an entirely different thing to live somewhere and have to deal with all of the bullshit.

    Lest everyone think I am unfairly picking on Massachusetts too much I will reiterate a fact that I stated earlier that some may have missed.

    In 2004, when the last census was taken, Massachusetts was the ONLY state in the nation to experience a net population loss. Now to me that’s saying a lot. There was not one single other state that eperienced this. So one would have to ask why Massachusetts. To answer that question all one would have to do is live in Massachusetts for a brief period of time, say six month. Then the answer becomes obvious as a hasty retreat is made back to where one came from.


  • Pete

    Yes, mass is the absolute shithole ever possible anywhere on the face of the Earth. I lived there for several years so I know for fact. Where do I start? Hmmm… How about Boston drivers? Stupid, rude, ignorant. Believe me, New York drivers are angels compared to Massachusetts idiots.
    People here are generally unfriendly. Wherever you go.
    Special comments for Massachusetts teenagers. Nowhere else have I seen such large gatherings of brainless morons who just roam around without a clear idea where there are going. Top colleges that happen to be in Boston get their students from other states and countries, they know better not to take in massholes.
    Oh, and women. I have a coworker who served in Navy. He’s traveled all over the globe, and lived in many places in the US. He once told me: “Pete, from all my experience, the worst females I’ve met are in Mass. The only things that matter to them is what car you drive, what town you live in, and how much money you make”. Whores…
    So, wherever you go, stay away from this shithole.

  • bliffle

    I enjoyed my trips to Mass., Rockport, Salem, Plum Island, etc. Only bad thing I noticed was they still have Blue Laws: can’t buy beer on sunday.

  • troll

    (caveat: my info is dated – I haven’t lived in Mass since the early 70s)

    what’s good – western Mass had some of the very best tasting water that I’ve found anywhere

    what’s bad – blue blood Brookline and black slum Roxburry are a stone’s throw apart separated by a row of connected apartment buildings and a narrow long park yet getting from one area to the other by public transport required a 40 minute tram and bus ride…and if you chose to walk or drive you needed to know the very few alleys through the apartments

  • Les Slater

    I was born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts. I left when I joined the Air Force in 1961 at age of 18. My political views were very conservative; I voted for Barry Goldwater while still in service.

    After getting out of service moved back to Springfield to work for IBM. That didn’t last long and next move to Stamford Ct. After the company I was working for refused to promote me I quit and moved to San Diego, CA.

    My politics were moving to the left, but not in MA. It started in the rural conservative south. Moving to CA pushed me further to the left. It was not that San Diego in 1967 was any hotbed of liberalism. It was my hero, Ronald Regan, from close-up, he was the governor then, turned out to be nothing more than a royal, hypocritical asshole.

    I did not return to MA by choice. The company I was working for in San Diego tried to send me to Viet Nam. I gave my resume to a headhunter and only job offered was in Boston area.

    I lived in the Boston area for the next 37 years. It’s really a great place.

    During that time there were some negatives, one was the elitism and know-it-all attitudes of the liberal middle class. It increasing grated on me.

    I moved to Houston TX area in 2004. Comming from MA, I soon started calling it TaxUs.

    More later,


  • tom

    MA is one of the most left leaning states in the Union, if not THE most. I grew up in the Midwest but went to college there and was glad to leave. One of the most pro-criminal places I’ve lived with ridiculous levels of restrictions on law abiding gun owners.

    I sat in the same room with that idiot John Kerry as he made some televised anti-gun sound bite (back in 1992) and could see the evil in his eyes, as well as Ray Flynn.

    I live in Texas now, and except for Austin, we’re mostly free of the left leaning government-knows-best type whackjobs here.

  • Tom –

    How’s the standard of living in Massachusetts compare with that of Texas? How about the poverty rate? And the literacy rate? And the percentage with a college degree?

    And how many children in Texas don’t have medical insurance? I think MA has NONE.

    It’s just like everything else in life, guy – you gets what you pays for…and if you pay for squat, you get squat.

    Which is why, generally speaking, the general populations in the left-leaning states are FAR better off than those stuck in red states.

  • Clavos

    Which is why, generally speaking, the general populations in the left-leaning states are FAR better off than those stuck in red states.

    And vive la difference!

  • Johnson

    massachusetts is a horrible place to live, massive taxes, corrupt govt, massive auto insurance, ridiculously high prices living for nothing, horrible attitudes/grumpy/lilly white skin from lack of sun, bad weather either jungly humidity or north pole, rude people, cheapness galore, poor paying jobs, no jobs, frumpy looking people like they are back in the early 80s. unfortunately lived there for 33 years and got the hell out. NEVER looked back.

  • Bay Stater

    And voting for McGovern in 1972 (as it happens, one of the few things I actually dislike about Massachusetts).

    I was actually born in Massachusetts, in Cambridge to boot. And I lived in Boston for quite some time. I’ll be honest with you, there’s a lot I like about the state. The actual city of Boston, with Beacon Hill and all the other sights to be found in downtown provide me with some great memories. I still like visiting Boston, and Massachusetts.

    And I am also a conservative. Now, as I said before, I like a lot about Massachusetts. BUT, its political system is indeed something for which I have nothing but disdain.

  • Johnson

    miserable people, cheapstakes, bad weather, high taxes, white trash, academia nonsense, corruption/fraud, mean/rudeness, Mass is a DUMP.


    MASS is a dump. old shithole built by european waste dumped into this continent. I am originally from a “3rd world country”. I have to tell you that subway system and roads in my country make boston look like berlin after world war 2. Boston is a big nasty shithole under constant construction. everytime they build something it fails within a year. There is nothing good you can say about Boston. it really embodies the stupidity of americans. streets are full of mcdonalds trash. city was planned by mental retards on crack. it needs to be carpet nuked and then rebuild by europeans.

  • Sad America

    Massachusetts has good economical values but terrible social values. Living here for 22 years of my life, its sad how most of my close friends aren’t from this state because its so cliquey and snobby. We can talk all day about how important it is to help other people through taxes and public programs (which I agree with) but we don’t care one bit about helping people feel happy and accepted. What’s the point of life if you just get rejected everywhere you go. MA needs to learn some hospitality if you ask me.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Which is why, generally speaking, the general populations in the left-leaning states are FAR better off than those stuck in red states.”

    If they were so better off domestic migration wouldn’t be so strong from blue to red states. People vote with their feet, and their feet say they don’t like big government.

  • zingzing

    zingzing: “their feet say they don’t like big government.”

    or they just got a better job or moved in with someone or moved closer to their parents or something. there’s a lot of reasons why people move.

  • zingzing

    that’s odd… obviously wasn’t quoting myself.

  • Ran

    Don’t waste your breath. Arch conservatives are stupid people. End of story. *note proper spelling and punctuation. Educated in Massachusetts.*

  • bob

    Good God, living in Massachusetts sucks. The traffic sucks, the cost of living sucks, and the people are rude. A bit like Jersey, only with less ugly women. Jersey is definitely the worst state of them ALL.

  • yomama

    Lynn Lynn city of sin , won’t come out the way you went in!!