Monday, January 24, 2011

OMG, @masslegislature needs 2 focus more on u

Man, it must not be fun to work on Beacon Hill these days.

First, there was last week's adoption of a strict dress code ruling out jeans, spaghetti straps and hockey jerseys as a wardrobe choice. (Togas were banned several years ago.) Now, there's a ban on using Twitter at work (though, mercifully, FaceBook appears to have been spared for the moment).

What's next? Will legislators have to go to work every day and sit for hours on end trying to find ways to solve problems?

It's starting to seem like this august institution is really just high school for grownups, where it's necessary to have strict rules of decorum to keep the kids focused on the tasks at hand.

We think most Massachusetts residents would agree with us in saying that we wish Beacon Hill would be a little more like 'The West Wing' and a lot less like 'Glee' without the singing.

We once read that it's poor etiquette to take out your phone and send an instant message to someone or check your e-mail if you're in a setting where taking out a crossword puzzle would also be rude. Would you consider pulling out a crossword puzzle at your job? Would you even think of doing it in the Legislature? (Note – sadly, we have personally observed this practice with our own eyes.)

The state Senate recently rejected a ban on texting while on the House floor, but a special Senate committee is being formed to study decorum in that chamber instead. Who knows what they will think of next?

We thought it was sad when legislators spent so much time agonizing over their committee assignments to see how popular they were with leadership. This is much worse.

You know what they call people who spend all their time worrying about what they are going to wear to work, whether or not they're in the "in" crowd, and how they will send out instant messages to their friends? Well, when it comes to political leaders, we'd call them big disappointments.

Our main point is that all of these things should go without saying. We should be able to expect that our "full-time" state legislators already know they need to show respect for the job by dressing appropriately and refraining from goofing off during work.

Maybe then, legislators could stop wasting time worrying about how to conduct themselves and focus more on the real problems that are facing people in Massachusetts, problems like an 8.2% unemployment rate and a $1.5 billion budget deficit.


  1. I could care less about what they a matter of fact, nobody would notice if they showed up naked, since nothing ever happens. After all, what goes on daily in the chamber in my opinion is really obscene anyway, so let them come naked to dress the part! If their public image is at issue, then they never have to worry, as the TV camera's for live coverage have been silenced. Could not rate the subject matter as "PG". Wonder if the new "rules" will lead to a clothing allowance for all legislators? Or maybe they will no want a tax break for having to buy a new wardrobe. Wonder if campaign account money can be used for legislator clothes? Could be a new entitlement to go along with per diems, milage, campaign accounts, etc. etc. At least they didn't need to outlaw jock straps in the chamber, as there are few male legislators with anything below the waste to protect! Talk about wasting time while Rome burns..... How can the Republican leadership allow things like this to take priority in the House?

  2. In business, the managers would just issue an edict on dress codes and expect people to follow. Why couldn't the Majority and Minority Leaders issue a one page notice to all their caucus members via email reminding them of what is appropriate for dress code in the chamber? Wasting time on such nonsense is plain "stuck on stupid"...but what more can we expect from our leadership? How about spending time on JOBS and State Finances???? Or is this too difficult for the reps to handle?


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