NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 3, 2012

Scary sights haunt us from Halloween to the election

From frights and fears may we be spared by breath of wind and quiet of rain. — Madeleine L’Engle

This rune from a children’s book seems to fit this past week’s occasion, though I’m not sure exactly why: The wind’s breath from Sandy was dangerous, the rain hardly quiet.

Frankenstorm Sandy was a temporary distraction from the holiday of frights and fears and the coming election; but Halloween arrives, like Whoville’s Christmas, regardless of weather or other external events, and so will the election. Still, I find the quote reassuring: I recall it was meant to be helpful during some cosmic adventure.

This election-year Halloween, my front porch was visited by scary political creatures:

The Vampire Letstax, which just flew in from the fiscal cliff on the 2013 tax hikes we and the economy will get if Washington doesn’t act responsibly during the coming lame-duck session.

The lame duck itself, acting like a victim of partisan politics that couldn’t do its job, even though Democrats controlled both branches for two of the three years they haven’t passed a budget.

Sen. Hairy Werewolf Reid, pledging to continue the gridlock if he still controls the Senate and Mitt Romney is elected.

The traditional Tierney Trickster, carrying nasty attack fliers against his challenger — 20 of them so far, apparently created for independent voters who won’t deplore “guilt by association.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her hair styled like Medusa’s, assuming that women are dumb enough to believe that their “reproductive rights” are threatened even by pro-choice Republicans like Richard Tisei and Scott Brown, and it’s the only issue we can wrap our silly female brains around.

Devil Patrick accompanied by the Ghost of Massachusetts Present, with its abused EBT cards; its appropriations intended for construction projects for low-income families and programs for special-needs children but misused for administrative indulgence; the bankruptcy of the Waltham company that burned through $100 million in taxpayer “stimulus” funds including a $5 million loan from the Patrick administration that now hopes to recoup the money “if possible.” What can be scarier than guilty prisoners being freed because there was no oversight of the crime lab at which an employee faked tests, or people across the country getting meningitis because a Massachusetts state board didn’t discipline a pharmacy that violated state regulations since 2002? Is anyone doing management here?

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