Today’s column

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Here it is.

It will be (has been) criticized on comment threads as Malloy hagiography.

Let me be clear about the word I use: “Unsustainable.”

If he doesn’t conquer these demons, he will be unable to win reelection. He will barely be able to function during this term.

In a short stretch of time, he upstaged Biden, infuriated the Speaker from his own party and took an unnecessary slap at McKinney who was edging toward him. Then he offered one of those ungallant “if I offended” apologies.

He’s in an interesting place, but he can’t go on like this.

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23 thoughts on “Today’s column

  1. Richard

    Malloy set up a Lamontian primary when he took on the Prison Guards and Teachers and SEBAC.

    The public sector union activists are begging for a showdown over school reform and the SEBAC contract redo.

    Then there was the prosecution of SEBAC employees over fraud and outsourcing long term healthcare proposal. Closing prisons. Deinstitutionalization. A form of privatization. A percieved failure to back SustiNet or ObamaCare correctly by hiring industry stalwarts on the Exchange instead of Hartford’s pet consumer advocates.

    Then there’s the inevitable property tax shift with Sheff and some other court education funding decisions coming due for reappraisal in light of the new “read my lips, rasie your property taxes” budget.

    If Malloy loses the primary to a Lamontian the Democrats will lose the election. I don’t see how it goes otherwise. The Progressives have to lose in 2016. They simply can’t have it any other way. They are out on that limb again sawing away

    I really hate writing Progressive as its really a public sector union led revolution coming and another attempt to codify bureacratic deficiency and over-funding the Big 5 cities posing as some Progressive issue du jour.

  2. Reader

    Colin, you seem to have drafted this blog post anticipating a response to your comments about Dan Malloy, but this comment — about George Bush — is the most questionable of your piece:

    George W. Bush was one of modernity’s rare hedgehogs, and how did that work out?

    Until the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, the Bush legacy was one of a thriving economy (look at what happened to GDP and tax revenue from 2003 to 2008 after we cut rates) and a successful end to the Saddam era, plus a resounding (post-Surge) defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which raced there on the belief that it could take over with Saddam gone. Now, there are fewer murders in Baghdad than in Chicago.

    I wish the President had stood up to members of Congress more in the last two years of his term, and I think he made the mistake of trading increased domestic spending for more war votes. But, the bottom line is that through the first five years of a Bush presidency, we were far better off than through the first five years of President Obama’s presidency (which flailed away like a kid chasing a pinata until the Democrats were voted out of the House in 2010, and employment finally started to return to normal).

    If you’re referring to the Bush years with demagoguery like, “how did that work out?” how do you think you’ll refer to the Obama years? “Good God, what the heck did we do?”

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      This is so crazy, I’m wondering whether to respond.
      “Thriving economy?”
      By 2008 we had been plunged into recession and were perched on the lip of something worse.
      Ask the people wiped out in 2008 how thriving the economy was.

      1. Reader

        Colin, did you read what I said? The Democrats took over both houses of Congress in January 2007. Unemployment was about 4.5-5.0% and the Dow peaked later that year. Then the recession lasted from December 2007 until about July 2009, when the economy was flat on its back. Jobs grew in 2010 only due to the census, and then, once the Republicans took over in Congress, only then did things even start to resemble a recovery.

        Tell me where I’m wrong on the facts? Are you saying that tax revenue didn’t go crazy from 2003 to 2008? I can point you to IRS sites where this is proven.

        I’m not kidding — where am I wrong? It’s so easy to blame George Bush for the recession but the truth of the matter is that when Democrats control both houses of Congress, utterly terrible things happen to the economy no matter who is in the White House. None of Clinton’s or Obama’s gains occurred without Republicans in the House. Look it up.

      2. Bast

        Some people will intellectualize dirt – Reader being one. Blinded by partisanship, he drools on like a drunk on a bar stool long after the last call demanding one more for the road. Agree Colin, his ridicules argument doesn’t reach the threshold of response.

        1. Reader

          Colin, and Bast, do yourselves a favor and look at the Bush progress on the GDP, tax revenue unemployment from 2001-06 (first six years), when Republicans controlled the House. The progress was impressive.

          Then, look at the next two years (2007-08) under Nancy Pelosi and the gang. Tide turns.

          Then, look at the next two years (2009-10), where power was consolidated among the Democrats across the board. Awful.

          Then, look at the last two years (2011-12), where the Republicans took charge of the House. Finally we start to see improvement.

          For all of the talk about Bush this, Bush that, the Pelosi regime’s record was demonstrably terrible, in terms of unemployment, the Dow and the GDP. These are facts, not conjecture.

          1. Bast

            Reader: the reason I haven’t bothered to respond point for point is that your argument is faulty. You can’t take short segments of time and remove it from any other factors that may influence or contribute to that segment. You have built your argument by excluding all factors that may affect your time target.

        1. Reader

          Bast, I have plenty of attention and I don’t need any from you. If you could explain how unemployment was under 5% before the Democrats took over the House, or how income tax revenue boomed in the first five years after the Bush tax cuts, that would be great.

          Your first problem is probably that you refuse to believe these facts, and therefore choose not to concern yourself with them. That’s your right, of course, but it’s nowhere near the truth.

  3. Richard

    The current President is a hedgehog.

    Bush to his credit ran with the housing bubble as a solution to the Dotcom bust. Housing and construction jobs kept the economy afloat after Nasdaq 5,000 turned into Nasdaq 800.

    Many find the churn and burn of the current economy more debilitating than the Bush bubbles.

    The mistaken belief shared by many politicians is thinking this is like the 2001 recession and will soon be over simply by spending enough money on the wrong stuff and then taxing the wealthy to pay for the wrong stuff.

    Shovel-ready turned into boondoggle ready. Its pretty bad when people are looking at the Bush admin as a boom era and the US is 5 years into a Lost Decade and pundits are predicting more than just one Lost Decade after the next recession hits in the next 3 years. The US won’t shift course: I don’t see that in the President’s nature.

  4. peter brush

    “I never meant it very seriously. I meant it as a kind of enjoyable intellectual game, but it was taken seriously. Every classification throws light on something.”
    Never have gotten the Berlin hedgehog/fox thing. C.M. seems to have a lot of insight into the mental workings of the Gov. Certainly, he gives them a lot more consideration than I have, or than anyone should do. What we have in Malloy is an activist of the left itching to make the world a better place through legislation and government programs. He is not so good at political leadership because he’s an arrogant litigator out to win, even at the expense of his fellow lefties, big city mayors, for example. His interest is ultimately in himself, his career, his wielding of power. He was undoubtedly moved by the Newtown crime, but as with his progressive agenda taken as a whole, gun control is a vehicle for activism on his own behalf.
    Fortunately, unlike the similar situation we have in D.C., Malloy’s reckless self-promotion cum incoherent policy is wearing thin with those who have eyes, and even with some Democrats. That is to say, even Mr. Sharkey thought the Gov was rude in interrupting an orderly consideration of an anti-Newtown plan of action, and even Dems recognize the fraudulence of the Malloy budget proposal. It’s hard for me to see why President Obama is considered “likable.” It’s not hard to see why nobody so considers Mr. Malloy.

    1. Richard

      There are consensus builders(foxes) and there are autocrats (hedgehogs).

      Clinton became a moderate when faced with the reality of the Gingrich Congress in 1994. Obama won’t do that in 2013.

      On the birth control issue President Obama was determined to take on the Catholic Bishops and Religious Right. This confrontation was completely avoidable. Contraception was a 90% win for the administration. In a clash of Absolute Values Obama told the churches that he’s the ultimate decider. He, Citizen Obama, is the Nation’s moral chieftan. Bad move. Some would call it hubris.

      The House today would be far more Moderate if President Obama knew how and when to choose his battles and look for consensus prior to the 2012 elections. Instead we have a prematurely Lame Duck Presidency that will have an increasingly contentious relationship with Congress and little room to manuever except through Presidential Decree and Executive Order as President Obama favors autocratic government to Consensus building.

      I don’t get the impression Obama understood or believes in the types of strategies that would give him a more Moderate House. That would be too foxian. It lacks the bubris of Executive Orders.

      Sure, binary opposites like the fox and hedgehog are too sharply drawn but they aren’t always without some truth.

  5. Bast

    Most certainly Malloy has peeked over the edge and has met his humanity by way of an unspeakable horror. The deer becomes transfixed by the headlights of a car and can’t move from danger.

    Some voices has insisted that we move slow on gun control so as not to make mistakes. But those voices are gun enthusiasts who pray the fervor of reaction will slow. But we must instead move faster toward laws restricting guns. The one mistake being made is that handguns are being excluded from the debate and handguns are by far the biggest killer. They too should be included.

    Malloy, who most definitely be elected again because our emotions will supersede any foibles he my engage in. Find me one progressive that would turn his back on Malloy. Some say that we choose leadership after review of his intellect and philosophy. If this were true, then how did W Bush become elected. No, Malloy will remain in our hearts for a long time unless he is ever found to be corrupt.

    Who would we replace him with? Linda McMahon?

  6. peter brush

    He’s currently a politician who can’t do politics. My guess is, he isn’t sleeping well. My guess is, he has a sickness of the soul that won’t go away until he believes he has done the right thing. And maybe not even then.
    But, if his incompetence has been provoked by the trauma of Newtown, how do we account for his tax-hiking budgetary failure or the New Britain/Hartford busway extravaganza?
    And, if the guy is that screwed-up, do we want him completing his present term, let alone competing for a second?
    No; the man’s incompetence always goes left, and he learned charm and intellectual honesty while a public prosecutor. His immodesty might fly if his policies weren’t inane, but they are so it won’t, at least I pray it won’t.

  7. Todd Zaino

    Colin, are you ever even just a tiny bit fair about Bush’s eight years? I guess Bush gets the same treatment you routinely give Limbaugh and Rowland…you know, two guys who actually have successful radio programs.

    Bush protected our country after the 9/11 attack for seven plus years-he responded to the terrorist attack like an adult-he didn’t send his UN advisor, and Sec of State out to defend him…like you know who. Speaking of you know who…I see he just supplied Egypt with 20-F-16s…nice!
    Our country was humming along economically until the Dems took over the House and Senate in 2007…facts are facts Colin, you are welcome to your own opinion, but facts are a different animal.
    Bush didn’t sit around like you know who while we were being attacked by terrorists. Iraq was liberated in 21 days, or 21 rounds of golf by you know who.

    Bush and his wife certainly have never played the role of Big Shots like you know who and foodie-obsessed wife. Did we really have to see Moochelle at the end of the Oscars last night? Bush was far too classy to ever, ever, blame anything on Bill Clinton. The media lovingly showed photos of gas prices and deceased soliders coming home from 2001-2008…funny how the current prsident enjoys a much different treatment.
    Under Bush the US enjoyed a record 55 consecutive months of economic growth. Under Obama the only growth industry has been the surge of IRS agents hired…to make sure that small business owners are obeying ObamaCare. Under Barry eight percent unemployment has become acceptable.
    Under Bush humanitarian aid went from 1.5 billion to 4 billion for Africans and anti-AIDS medications. Thanks to W, 800k Africans are now getting their meds.
    The Bush tax cuts lessened the inevitable economic decline instigated by liberal presidents before him.
    Bush brought back class and dignity to the White House following the eight years of the fat frat boy Clinton and all of those cigar and late-night pizza parties with star-struck interns. The media lovingly wanted to paint an act of God as something that Bush planned; but the adults in the room, know that New Orleans was warned for decades that they were not prepared for a storm like Katrina, but never the less it was still Bush’s fault. Please compare the Katrina coverage to the BP oil spill just for giggles.
    Bush was far from perfect, but he was light years ahead of Clinton and Barry in many areas. I know for certain that Bush never would have snubbed his nose at Americans struggling and seeing him on the links enjoying a million-dollar golf weekend with Tiger Woods.

        1. Bill

          Todd, give it a break. Bush invaded a country under fale pretenses. We went to war for nothing. The invasion has led to an imbalance in the Middle East that no one can predict when it will end. W Bush went to war to avenge his fatner’s enemy. We went to war because he had a personal beef with Sadam Hussein.

          There should be a tree waiting for him. You know, for the shade.

          1. equality 7-2521

            Wasn’t there a Superman character that lived in a world that was totally opposite our world? I forgot his name but I think we found another one that slipt over. I might support an alter ego exchange but Todd’s much too amusing at times.

  8. Cynical Susan

    ” Iraq was liberated in 21 days,…”

    And that of course solved all the questions around and brought to justice the perpetrators of 9/11. Watch “Hubris: Selling the Iraq War,” a recent presentation based on the book of the same name:

    Todd, as teachers (you current, me retired), we know there are different definitions of “successful” — our successes as teachers are different from those of scientists, say, or bankers or athletes. So too are there different kinds of “successful” in radio. WTIC thought enough of Colin to keep him on-air for a long time, and then switched to all-conservative talk, which was their privilege of course. But to suggest that Colin doesn’t have a successful show on WNPR now is absurd. It’s a much better fit for a highly intelligent host who can engage a wide variety of guests and subjects.

    1. Todd Zaino

      Cynical Susan,

      Believe it or not, I at times like Colin’s show. I do not enjoy hearing or reading him slam Limbaugh, or Governor Rowland. It’s kind of like if Red Sox manager John Farrell started complaining about Bobby Valentine, or even better…hearing Barry whinning about George Bush…neither passes the eyeball or smell test.

      A wonderful educator once told me that the words “success” and “interesting” can have many meanings, I agree.

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