Thursday, February 12, 2004
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Not getting it

Massachusetts politics are in an uproar right now. It's a complicated story.

I wrote my state senator and my state rep brief emails. Neither has replied.

This is weird, and inefficient. When I was in school, my friends and I spent afternoons and evenings working for reform candidates in Chicago. The city, in those years, was controlled by a staunchly conservative Democratic machine of legendary power; in a few years, of course, that machine was a memory. Back then, when I wrote typewritten letters to Washington, my letters were answered by (the staff of) Sid Yates and Chuck Percy and Everett Dirksen and Adlai Stevenson.

None of their staffers had email, or Word, or databases, or Web search; they did all this with typewriters and paper files. They managed to reply, despite much larger constituencies than the state representative for my town.

All politics is local. The problem with the Kennedy's, LBJ said, is that none of them ran for county sheriff. Look at what Dean accomplished. You'd think they'd get this right.