‘Charlie Baker on the MBTA’ — Worst. Governor. Ever.
Worst. Governor. Ever.
That’s not exactly breaking news about Gov. Charlie Baker of course. At least since he ginned up The Panic in 2020, he’s been the local version of his hero, Dementia Joe Biden, who in his senility calls Tall Deval “Gov. Charlie Parker.”
But the fire Thursday on the Orange Line should serve as the exclamation point for the Parker error, er, era.
I used to ride the old elevated Orange Line from Sullivan Square to Dover back in the days when it was nicknamed, among other things, “the Rattler.” It was by far the most reliable line, despite the occasional lightning strike, snowstorm or bum from the old Pine Street Inn wandering onto the tracks right where the train went underground at the edge of Chinatown.
But Thursday was the first time the State Police ever had to be called to conduct Orange Line rescue operations – in a boat!
The videos of the fire from the traffic helicopters are positively cinematic – in Hollywood they’re already putting together pitches and scenarios for the next big disaster movie.
Working title: Bridge Over the River Mystic.
New signs are also being prepared for Charlie’s “rapid transit” lines:
“No Smoking Permitted – Unless Train Is On Fire.”
Given the ongoing MBTA fiasco, the new trains about to go into service will now be refitted with cushions, complete with signs:
“In the unlikely event of a water landing, cushions may be used as flotation devices.”
If the Olympics hadn’t been cancelled here, they could have introduced a new competition: the Orange Line Triathlon. On the southern end, around Forest Hills, the straphangers would sprint to escape the random gunfire in the neighborhoods. Downtown, when the train crapped out, as it invariably does, instead of waiting for the dreadful shuttle buses, they could cycle.
And then, of course, north of Sullivan Square it would be time for the swimming competition – all strokes allowed.
The problem for Charlie Parker is, he’s been governor for eight years. The T has been a disaster for generations, but he promised to fix it.
Here are some of the angry statements the governor made after what are now only the second-worst T disasters ever, in the winter of 2015:
“Let me make this clear. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result.”
After which he kept doing exactly the same thing – nothing – for two catastrophically corrupt and incompetent terms as governor. And now everyone feels the same way he did when he stood in front of the cameras in 2015.
“I’m sorta done with excuses, okay?” he said in a statement that hasn’t aged well, to say the least. “I want to hear what people are actually gonna do to get the riding public back to the point where people can rely on and depend upon this service.”
Can we quote you on that, Gov. Parker?
When the vaccine rollout was botched, like everything else in his administration, he famously erupted in faux anger, “My hair’s on fire.”
Now the Orange Line is on fire, and they’ll be making movies about it.
Thirty Seconds Over Somerville.
Parker admitted the blaze was a “colossal failure,” but then shrugged it off.
“The T first of all is not a mess. On a day like today yeah it’s a mess but overall it’s not a mess.”
I’m surprised he didn’t blame the fire on Trump, the way he used to do for everything else. Tall Deval also claims the total breakdown of MBTA service is not the reason ridership is plummeting so precipitously.
“Do I think that is the reason that people aren’t coming to work? There’s nothing in the data that supports that. What the data basically says is that a lot of people figured out they could do their jobs without being in the office five days a week.”
Could that possibly part of the problem – that the MBTA mechanics aren’t in the “office” five days a week (as if they ever were)?
What is the state’s worst governor doing in these final days, other than making pathetic excuses to his calamitous misgoverance?
He’s nominating still more starving, failed lawyers to the bench.
Here’s one of his latest nominations for district court judge: Jon L. Revelli, with glittering academic credentials from Westfield State and New England School of Law. Revelli is from, wait for it, Shrewsbury – hometown of the lieutenant governor, Karen “Pay to Play” Polito.
Polito says Revelli is “well-qualified,” and indeed he is – he’s given her $2300, according to state campaign-finance records. He also duked $1100 to the despicable district attorney out there, Joe Early Jr.
Revelli now makes $129,495 as a hack assistant clerk magistrate, but now he’ll be going to up to $184,694 a year. He’s been giving cash to governors since Mitt Romney, hoping to hit the big bucks. He finally struck gold in this year’s Parker-Polito Going Out of Business sale.
Some of the other bust-out barristers who are now getting early retirement with black robes have been handing cash to wannabe governors like Shannon O’Brien and Tom Birmingham since 2002.
Charlie can’t manage a one-car funeral, but he can sure take care of people who take care of him.
Just ask new Superior Court Judge Claudine Cloutier, approved by the Governor’s Council last week on a 5-3 vote despite her glittering credentials — $1750 to Pay to Play, and $2500 to Parker.
“I am pleased to submit” the nomination, the governor said. Hey, she did the right thing.
After this fire, whenever I think of Parker, I’ll recall that old Kingston Trio classic, “Charlie on the MTA,” and how “he may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned.”
If we’re lucky, that is, he’ll never return. But we do need to make one small change in the lyrics. Charlie on the MTA is now swimming, not riding, ‘neath the streets of Boston.
Worst. Governor. Ever.