Archive 2008 - 2019

The Missing Spine of Charlie Baker

by Bill Blinstrub

The Missing Spine of Charlie Baker

      On November 3rd, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to respond to the Las Vegas shooting tragedy by passing a new law banning the sale of bump stocks in the state. Bump Stocks, devices that can be attached to a semiautomatic firearm to increase its firing speed, were used by the gunman in the Las Vegas shooting.

      But don’t go thanking our Governor, Charlie Baker. No, he didn’t actually sign the law. No, that honor went to Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who signed the bill into law while our Governor was “out of state”.

     Confused? So was I.

     But would it make more sense if I told you that The Gun Owners Action League, which is affiliated with the National Rifle Association, had explicitly asked Governor Baker to veto the bump stock ban?

     Ah, now it all makes sense. Governor Baker couldn’t sign the law, because the NRA wanted him to oppose it. And you see, Charlie baker is a Republican. And per the NRA, Republicans cannot tolerate, or sign into law, any bill that would infringe upon total and complete unfettered access to firearms. It’s that simple.

     Signing the bump stock would mean that Charlie Baker would have to take a firm stance on a serious issue. And go against his party. He would have to think for himself and take a firm, public stand.

     Instead, he left the state, and his office released this statement:

“Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito support the Second Amendment to the Constitution and Massachusetts’ strict gun laws, including the ban on assault weapons and bump stocks, and are pleased that the commonwealth continues to lead in passing common sense reforms,”


     One cannot craft a weaker, more flip-flopping, middle of the road, non-committal statement regarding an issue of such critical national importance than this.

     But if you live in Massachusetts, you know by now that Charlie baker does NOT take stands on issues.     

     A new poll out this week shows that Baker's popularity is very high among voters. But ask the voter why they have a high opinion of our esteemed Governor, and you’ll get an awkward silence.

     It is hard to not be popular when you never, ever take a stand on issues of substance, when you never take a leadership role within your own party. When you never risk anything or issue an original opinion, you offend no one. This is the Charlie Baker way.

     Massachusetts deserves better than Charlie Baker for Governor. As a state, we literally led the fight for independence from England. We are national thought leaders in education, politics, social justice and healthcare. We deserve a governor who shares these ideals of independence, courage, and strength.  


Comments (7)

"Approxiamtly half of all Americans are evil, or at the very least are sympathetic to an evil political party." Very good point, Rob. Have you considered moving to Venezuela or North Korea? There are few, if any, Republicans and both countries seem to be a better idealogical for your (radical) left-wing sensibilities. Please be sure to send us a postcard while you're waiting in the bread line!

James Pennypacker | 2017-11-24 17:36:36

In all objectivity, and with all of the restraint and decorum I can muster from the depths of my soul, I must point out the fact that Republicans are evil and bent on the destruction of our planet. NOT Trump hyperbole, but Floyd understatement.

Rob Floyd | 2017-11-24 14:40:29

Hi Bill, thanks for responding. The fact is, the bill WAS signed into law during the Baker Administration. But, since you can obviously read minds and know the specific intent of Baker's absence from the signing, let me be the first to congratulate to you on your extrasensory perception. Please comment once you have the numbers for tomorrow's Mass Cash drawing.

James Pennypacker | 2017-11-22 23:20:24

Hi James, Thanks for reading and commenting. I very clearly did NOT state that he vetoed the bill. I clearly stated that he was asked to veto it by an industry lobbying group. In typical Baker fashion, he avoided confrontation and had the LT Gov sign it. This allows Charlie to not take a stand on an issue. I very clearly pointing out that Charlie Baker very intentionally, and with political motivation, did NOT sign a bill that restricts gun accessory purchases. Because to sign such a bill would have been frowned upon by his party. Hi Barry, Thank you as well for reading and commenting. In response to your comments, I'll remind you that it's an opinion piece that cites fact. It doesn't have to be "balanced" as you desire. The Reporter is always looking for content, perhaps you should submit a letter if you have an opposing view to share? However, I fail to see how the other issues you cited here relate to this specific topic.

Bill Blinstrub | 2017-11-22 11:39:24

Wow Bill....this is about as well balanced as Candy Crowley on a see-saw with a 1st grader.. Tell me....when is Liz 'Spreading Bull' Warren going to publicly call for Al Franken's resignation?

Barry Fitzgibbons | 2017-11-22 09:06:39

Good article Bill. Couldn't agree more. Charlie is well liked. He is a go along to get along guy. I hope he gets on The MTA and he never returns. Jean Spera

Jean Spera | 2017-11-22 03:26:56

(1) The NRA publicly supports the ban on bump stocks. (2) Charlie Baker did not veto the bill, like you implied he would have if he were some mindless puppet for the gun lobby. (3) I would love to see how loony this op-ed would be if Governor Baker was even half as bad as you make him sound.

James Pennypacker | 2017-11-21 16:17:31