One Man’s Left-of-Center Is Another Man’s Far Left
Really, what could we say about RI House Speaker Gordon Fox’s appointment of Rep. Edith Ajello as Chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee that would surprise anybody or that would have any effect on anybody’s opinion? The state’s political leadership is zagging when it needs to zig, and she’s a strong indication of it.
The labels that the Projo article announcing her appointment applies to her, however, are interesting. The headline writer dubbed her “unabashadly liberal.” Reporter Philip Marcelo eased up with “unabashadly left-of-center.” The woman herself says, “I feel that, in some way, I’ll have to step away a little from my progressive, liberal extreme left advocacy to do the job of chair properly.” Perhaps Marcelo meant to emphasize the “step away,” when it appears that Ajello wanted to emphasize the “in some way” and “a little.”
One quote in the article, however, is a bit more than just interesting:
Observers reject the notion that Ajello’s appointment heralds a political shift in the House leadership under Fox, who is beginning his first full two-year term as speaker.
[House Minority Leader Robert] Watson, the GOP leader, says the elevation of the left-leaning Ajello in concert with other more conservative-leaning lawmakers, such as Brien, points to a level of pragmatic politics. “He is being very careful and deliberative in trying to bring varying factions and groups under one umbrella,” Watson said.
Why on Earth would Watson want to bolster the spin that appointing Jon Brien as chairman of Municipal Government in any way counterbalances Ajello as chairwoman of Judiciary? One might as well pretend that Watson’s status as Minority Leader counterbalance’s Fox’s as Speaker or Nicholas Mattiello’s as Majority Leader.