Political Cowardice

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

-Abraham Lincoln

I was just blown away by the movie, Lincoln.         I hadn’t previewed the film or even had watched a trailer so I wasn’t sure what I would see.     My imagination went from ‘log cabins’ to ‘vampires’. (Yes, I saw the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer movie – it was actually pretty good in a funky sort of way!)

To my surprise, the film was about Lincoln’s amazing efforts to get the 13th Amendment passed which would set into stone the abolition of slavery.  (His Emancipation Proclamation would have ceased being the law of the land as soon as the war was over.)    I’ve heard terrible accusations from modern historical revisionists that Lincoln was a firm racist who only wanted to free the slaves to get the war won and preserve the Union.     I was pleased to see his dramatic earnest in this docu-drama.

He used whatever means possible to gain his objective and this meant being flexible and compromising.

Steering back to Newburyport, the problem has been a political faction that refuses to compromise(The anti-historic preservationists)  and this is where the rub is.     Failing to win said an unreachable state, a minority of city councilors have decided to reinvent American Democracy.      On Thursday night, (which I taped and will soon make available on cable and Internet), we have a group of city councilors who have decided that if there is not universal agreement on the LHD issue, then it will not pass.      Now, as Councilor Cameron pithily noted, using this principle, if someone doesn’t like a law, then the whole law must be shot down.     If 95% obey the speed limit on High Street and 5% want to speed; then consequently the speed limit law must be thrown out.     My, my; perhaps we should have a minority object to paying property taxes!     Then the whole tax code will be thrown out!

This universal agreement principle has been entirely invented by Councilor O’Brien and Cronin and Derrivan.      They of course know better – what they are trying to do is cover for their political cowardice and avoid being a target.       

Regardless as to how the vote occurs on Monday night; those councilors who voted against the LHD will be targeted at the next election; and those who voted for the LHD will be targeted at the next election.         Trying to make a weak design review or some designer district in which a homeowner can opt out is pure silliness and is against state law.       


The voters are going to decide next November the future of the city.      They are angry that they have been powerless to stop crazy Libertarians or to even have any real say in the LHD process at the voter box.     

Come November, it will be the citizens of Newburyport who will decide – Is Peabody our future?     Or, will Portsmouth be our future?

Of course, the majority of councilors could pass the LHD ordinance this Monday and settle this thing and I assure you the next year will be peaceful as the Troglodytes crawl back into their caves.

This scenario doesn’t look likely so get ready for an interesting 2013!

-P. Preservationist

PS.    Sorry anti-historic preservationists.     Historic Preservation is here to stay and will only get stronger as more information and resources are made available to the citizens.

PPS.   Some councilors are voting against the LHD and using the justification that it is bad because it ‘upsets’ the community.      Lincoln  and his legacy could teach these politicians a lesson or two – doing what is right is being courageous against ‘upset’ opposition.    When did we have elected leaders who feel ‘pacifying the masses’ is their objective?

This entry was posted in Local Historic Districts (LHD), News and politics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Political Cowardice

  1. James Royal says:

    My understanding of this is that some of the councilors have discussed this blog and have taken you ranting and raving on here as being a negative factor. In short, your blog has influenced the discussion, only 180 degrees in the opposite direction than the one you desired. Good work, Mr Mullins, good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s