A Guide To The Talking Politics Blog's Inside References

This blog has been picking up some new readers, perhaps because the city election year is starting, perhaps in part as a result of my efforts to build up my Facebook network.  (If you're not my FB friend yet, please friend me, and encourage anyone else interested in politics to do so as well!)

As is true for many blogs, this one has a tendency to repeat certain assumptions or references without explanation. For example, for a month now this blog has been goading John Kerry aide Ayanna Pressley to run for Boston City Council. You might suspect that I have some motive for this -- that I think she'd be a terrific councilor, or that she's a friend of mine, or that I have some personal stake in her candidacy. In fact, I have no motivation, and didn't even know her when I began the push -- it was just something I started doing to amuse myself. (I have since had an opportunity to sit down with her to chat.) Plus, I'm always urging people to run, mostly because more candidates means more to write about; and I especially try to push women to run, because in case you haven't noticed we don't have many of them in elected office around here. 

But mostly it's about amusing myself -- and perhaps, I hope, amusing my readers -- because when you write about politics, you really need to find ways to laugh at it.

The repeat references are also good for making lazy, overly simplistic assumptions for analyzing politics. Example: for a long time, I took every opportunity to declaim that offspring of successful Irish pols could no longer get elected in Greater Boston. I found it endlessly entertaining to reiterate this as fact, particularly because it was so infuriating to offspring of successful Irish pols, like John Connolly. In fact, he got so tired of it, he went out and won an election just to shut me up. (See #5 below.)

Anyway, I thought I would help out my newer readers by presenting some of the beliefs, assumptions, and claims that that you are likely to come across on this blog from time to time. This list is surely incomplete, and will quickly be outdated as I come up with new ones. Nevertheless, here they are; learn them, internalize them, and see how they improve your enjoyment of the Talking Politics experience!

1) I love everybody.

2) Massachusetts is in an ongoing war with the San Francisco Bay Area to be the #1 icon of crazy liberalism in conservatives' imagination (with Hollywood and New York not far behind); it is a battle that we are currently winning, much to the shame and envy of San Franciscans, who sit moping in darkened theaters re-watching "Milk" to remember their glory days.

3) The Boston City Council is a ridiculous, worthless entity, and anyone who voluntarily becomes, or wishes to become, part of it is inherently suspect in their intellectual or psychological capacity.

4) "Movement conservatives" are brain-eating zombies who have taken over Republican Party primary voting everywhere in the country; the result is the wildly entertaining spectacle of Republican office-holders and office-seekers kowtowing to the zombies.

5) Anything that happens that can be remotely connected to something I wrote, happened because of what I wrote.

6) When Tom Menino introduces an initiative as his own, when it had previously been proposed by someone else, that person has been "WiFied" -- a reference to John Tobin's stolen credit for a city-wide wireless network.

7) Adam Gaffin of UniversalHub has been cursed by the gods for disrespecting this blog's "Ask Me Anything Day."

8) America can be neatly divided into four groups: narcissistic, self-important Baby Boomers, who increasingly hold all positions of power; their pampered, overeager Millennial offspring, to whom the Boomers will eventually bequeath those positions; aging, cranky pre-Boomers, who are clinging to their positions with their brittle, grasping claws to keep the foolish young punks from taking over; and the cynical, slacking Gen-Xers, who will never have any power and who sit at their thankless, mid-level jobs hurling sarcastic insults at everyone who tries to make a difference in this ridiculous, corrupt world. Full disclosure: this blogger was born in 1967.

9) You know what's always funny in politics? Prostitutes. Prostitutes are always funny in politics.

10) Nobody in local or state politics was born with a regular name; they are all named "local political observer," "source inside the State House," etc.

11) Almost everything that anybody does in Boston politics is motivated by some tribal or personal rivalry or grudge, often dating back years if not generations. Any local political act that cannot be explained that way, can be attributed to small penis size.

12) Mitt Romney is a lying, manipulative, cold-hearted, calculating, ambitious snake-oil salesman.

13) Which Massachusetts college you attended is pretty much the most important, defining piece of information about any political candidate or appointee, at any level of local, state, or national government.

14) Any African-American who gets elected as a Republican to a position above town selectman will immediately be used as a national spokesperson for the GOP, and the party should be mocked for it.

15) No political office-holder in Greater Boston wants the job they have; they are all biding time waiting for death or imprisonment to remove someone from a higher office so they can run. (A corollary: if a current, former, or potential political office-holder in Greater Boston goes three months without being mentioned as a possible candidate for some other office, police and EMTs are sent out on a missing-persons investigation.)

16) All criticisms and insults made on this blog are meant constructively; remember, I love everybody.

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