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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Wednesday, November 14, 2007  

Political animalia

Sir Thomas More: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales? A Man for All Seasons

There is a Wales, Massachusetts (built by very hardy souls), and as Senate president in the General Court of Massachusetts, Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) is Wales' Senate president.

Which is fitting. Here is Sen. Murray quoted on a new law that prevents protesters from exercising free speech within 35 feet of the entrance to an abortion clinic.

"The new, improved buffer zone law is enforceable, common-sense legislation to protect the rights and well-being of women and their healthcare providers."

Sen. Murray, who of course is also prominent as a supporter of same-sex marriage and booster of embryonic stem-cell research, touts her Irish Catholic upbringing.

Her journey from a working class background in Roxbury’s Mission Hill project, and later in Dorchester, to the palatial office of the Senate president has been remarkable. The daughter of devout Irish Catholic parents, she and her five sisters attended parochial schools.

She has been fascinated with politics since an early age. At 12, she worked as a volunteer in Ted Kennedy’s initial Senate campaign, and later assisted the gubernatorial bid of Mike Dukakis. Still, she did not run for office until she was in her early 40s. By then she lived in Plymouth, was divorced and the single mother of a daughter.

A lifelong Democrat, she ran for the Senate in 1992, beating a 20-year GOP incumbent. She is now in her eighth term, representing the Plymouth and Barnstable District on the Cape.

“I like to work hard,” she said. “The nuns and my parents instilled strong work ethics in me.”

She told the Boston Irish Reporter:

“We were always a close family, and the church was the center of it. My parents were loving, strict and devout Catholics. I never heard them say a bad thing about anyone, but the English. You know how that is with the Irish!”

And now, she puts what she learned from the nuns to work quashing protest against abortion and preventing the citizenry from having a say on same-sex marriage. She is a fair example of today's Irish Catholic Democratic pol in supposedly Catholic Massachusetts where party ideology solidly trumps any vestige of religious faith. And she is Senate president, for Wales.

* * *


Sen. Joe Lieberman: The Politics of National Security:

[T]here is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.

That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.

* * *

William Kristol, Weekly Standard: Vice-President Lieberman?

* * *

David Brooks, NYT, re John McCain: The Character Factor:

About six months ago, I was having lunch with a political consultant and we were having a smart-alecky conversation about the presidential race. All of sudden, my friend interrupted the flow of gossip and said: “You know, there’s really only one great man running for president this year, and that’s McCain.”

* * *

Paul Mirengoff, Power Line: Riding on the Straight Talk Express:

I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning riding with Senator McCain and his campaign in Southern New Hampshire. I urge other bloggers to take advantage of this opportunity. I doubt that any future candidate of John McCain’s stature, or anything approaching it, will ever offer the kind of access McCain provides. Indeed, one journalist who has been following the major candidates this year told me that McCain probably answered more questions from reporters on Saturday afternoon than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney has answered during the entire campaign.

* * *

Tom Bevan, RCP: A moment for McCain?

* * *

Top: Babe Ruth for Al Smith, 1928


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