Harvard Square--liberal fortress or bastion of Yuppie arrogance?
In an earlier blog (“Welcome to a[Me]r[I]ca”-see “Cranky Notions”) I told of a western Massachusetts tragedy in which a bicyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver. As of today, police have yet to make an arrest. What kind of person, I wondered, could callously drive away from such a scene? The answer is: a person like Massachusetts Senator Anthony Galluccio (D-Cambridge).

Over the weekend, Senator Galluccio plowed his Infiniti SUV into the back of a family van filled with man, wife, two children, and a dog. Galluccio sped from the scene. We’re not talking about a small tap—Galluccio was caught because he slammed the van with such force as to leave the imprint of his license in the metal. Those who know Massachusetts politics can predict what happened next. Once apprehended, Senator Galluccio apologized for his “very poor judgment,” promised to “accept responsibility” for his action, then blithely showed up for work on Monday with the remark, “I’m here today to do my job and that’s what I plan on continuing to do.”

Galluccio could face jail time for his flight and—get this—stands to lose his license for up to sixty days! Senate President Therese Murray expressed that she was “disappointed” with Galluccio’s actions, though she did boldly add that no one should leave the scene of an accident, and opined that public officials probably ought to be held to higher standards. wOW!

Not good enough on any level. Here’s what ought to happen. Galluccio should face an immediate censure vote in the Senate, should be charged with reckless endangerment, high bail should be imposed, and the citizens of Cambridge should initiate a recall vote. Galluccio already has two drunk driving raps on his record and refuses to say if he was drinking before the latest incident. (Duh! What does that tell us?) When this case comes to court, the judge should refuse the inevitable plea bargain where the contrite Galluccio will show up and tearfully promise to go into rehab. The charges carry a six months to two years jail potential; Galluccio should get the max.

The Massachusetts legislature needs to get off its duff and begin holding its members to the high standards Murray speaks of. Thank goodness for Rhode Island and South Carolina, or the Bay State would have the most-indicted leg in America! While it’s at it, the legislature needs to change the ridiculous leaving the scene law. How about this? Leave the scene and lose your license for five years? Pay a fine of up to $10,000.

And prissy little Cambridge needs to take a hard look at itself. It likes to think of itself as a bastion of liberalism and tolerance. The Galluccio incident comes hard on the heels to the Louis Gates Jr. incident and suggests that Cambridge might more accurately be viewed as a place in which arrogance and Yuppie smugness thrive.

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