The Waves of Objection
Travis Rowley has an op-ed in today’s Providence Journal responding to Bill Lynch’s attempt to redirect blame for Rhode Island’s economic collapse from his astonishingly dominant political party. Rowley makes one point that is critical to understanding the state’s predicament:
There is not a conservative reform that a Republican governor can recommend without causing the Rhode Island left to convulse into a mob and storm the State House. Recent attempts by Governor Carcieri to cut the state workforce, alter union contracts, and curb illegal immigration are just a few that come to mind.
It’s a mistake to characterize that dynamic in left-right terms, and one should avoid presenting it as a reactive force. The coalition of groups that have linked arms to maintain Rhode Island’s fatal status quo have positioned its members such that they are available to protest on short notice and will do so based on their individual interests. The machine is primed quickly to identify any whispers, from the left or the right (although mostly the right, of course), of any policies that might threaten some flow of money or power and then to rally troops that, by design, need not make any particular sacrifice to attend rallies.
There will be no hope for the state until this force is countered or dispersed.