Irony alert! Or, thoughts on the Cult of Patrick

In an item posted earlier today, a pro-Deval Patrick blogger argues that it's not fair to call Patrick's supporters a "cult," as Joan Vennochi does in today's Globe. She prefers the term "movement." "A cult is centered around a particular, charismatic, powerful individual," she explains. "[A] movement grows out of ideas, debate, and discussion."

The name of her blog? The Deval Experience.*

Here's what I find cultish about some--some--of Patrick's supporters: if you make any criticism whatsoever of their candidate, however measured or subtle, a certain segment of Patrick loyalists automatically dismisses you as a purveyor of cynicism. (In doing so, by the way, they're following the candidate's own lead.) This, in turn, creates an insular worldview in which the merits of Patrick's candidacy simply can't be debated.

Let me be perfectly clear: I think Patrick is a likable guy and a really intriguing candidate. But I also think his supporters should be willing to defend his campaign on the merits, instead of automatically hiding behind the cynicism argument.

*NOTE: Not "The Deval Patrick Experience," as I initially wrote.

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