Friday, April 2, 2010

MExploitation

The President came to Maine and Massachusetts yesterday. Those of us who live in both places can understand the latter stop - for the money - but not necessarily the former. For the love? Indeed, his greeting in Portland was rapturous, the number of protesters was pretty low (and they were reasonably polite), and some people had been in line for the free tickets since midnight the night before. No, the President wouldn't come to Maine for the money - there isn't much. He came because the state is clearly trying to do the right thing in healthcare within its limited means, because the new legislation contains help for small business, which predominates in Maine (and of course the head of the Small Business Administration is Karen Mills, from Brunswick), and perhaps as a little tweak to Maine's two Republican Senators, both of whom voted No. Not to mention that the man deserves a little love after the year he's just had.

So Maine got the populist rally, and Massachusetts got the elite fundraiser. The guest list in Portland was a few dignitaries, plus any ordinary citizen who wanted to stand in line. The guest list for dinner in Boston dripped with bling. Little has changed in 400 years. But I guess history is important only for people like me, slightly obsessed with the contradictions of two different lives, slightly embarrassed at contributing to the divide.

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