May I indulge in a quick word about state representative from Warwick and Democrat Party chairman Joseph McNamara? The cartoonish pretense of offense that he’s been expressing that anybody would dare criticize his fellow Democrats without exposing their donors to bullying from corrupt state officials and their activist allies is worthy of note, but what’s really been nagging at me is this, from a Katherine Gregg article:
“Unfortunately,” said McNamara, a Warwick state representative, “shadowy conservative groups like the Gaspee Project still get away with underhanded mailings like this with no reporting to the Board of Elections website. I find it disgusting, especially with the use of patriotic symbols like the HMS Gaspee,” McNamara said.
One wonders about McNamara’s sense of patriotism. To be clear, I’m not challenging his patriotic feelings, but I wonder what they entail. Frankly, it’s difficult not to conclude that they really are just that: feelings. Presumably he has warm feelings about his family’s heritage, and he loves the country that’s allowed him to be a person of some small importance in his home state. But really, what does he feel patriotic about? I’d bet he’s never really thought about the message of the Gaspee burning or its relevance to modern times.
Consider the details. Much of the aggression in those early days of our country had to do with high taxes, and high taxes are practically the defining value of Rhode Island Democrats. The HMS Gaspee, specifically, was on an anti-smuggling mission, and smuggling is nothing but transporting goods for commerce without government approval. Regulating economic activity might even be more important to McNamara’s comrades than taxing it.
Indeed, McNamara’s entire complaint against the wicked right-wing fliers is that they constitute free speech without government regulation. In that sense, the Gaspee Project fliers are like smuggled goods, and McNamara wants to send out the ships to stop that suspicious activity.
Sorry, Joe. Either you’re the bad guy or you have to reevaluate your affection for the incidents that defined the United States’s rebellious origin. On further thought, you’re the bad guy either way.