I feel a certain kinship with Standard-Times writer Jack Spillane, probably because we both provided free and underappreciated content to Rupert Murdoch (I had a MySpace page). After a few well-placed, well-researched, and well-timed columns and blog posts concerning the hypocrisies of certain local fans of franchise motel development, Jack Spillane planted his tongue in his cheek and cranked up the irony to blog about a fund raiser at a New Bedford pub held for a gubernatorial hopeful from Rhode Island. Here's a bit of good ol' wacky nationalism learned from teevee or motion pictures. Jack?
Politics is about organizing, and making the most from personal relationships of family and friends. “All politics is local,” said Tip, and the Irish are local masters of the game.Sure, Tip said it. So did his father and every other local politician who has succeeded and national politician who hasn't. The aphorism has been attributed to a Maryland newspaper and to Chicagoan Finley Peter Dunne (who, as his alter-ego "Mr. Dooley," also gets credit for "Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable." Even though Dooley would have said it like a drunken Roscommonner. )
It will be interesting to see how well Lynch does in Rhode Island, a state whose politics, of course, are also strongly influenced by the Italians and blue-blood Yankees.
The "Irish" are local masters of the game, eh? I've always been a stickler about this sort of geographical shorthand; aren't the Irish the "local masters of the game" IN IRELAND? Irish-Americans -- most of whom around here have some French or Portuguese relations -- have politicians whose last names are of Hibernian derivation who have jockeyed and corralled other ethnic and labor groups to vote along with them.
Which, according to today's shouters and spitters, is quaint old-school frippery.
And, then, when I think on it, that is the game, so I cede the point. I grew up in Rhode Island and lived among the very same Italians Jack Spillane credits with political influence. (I assume by "Italians" that Jack Spillane means "Italo-Americans" and not "Venetians.") Those Yankees in Rhode Island are blue-blooded because they are Swampers who never turn the heat on. "Blue bloods" are found in Boston, Cambridge, and environs thereabouts, driving "Blue Bloodmobiles" -- BMWs. Sometimes Audis.