We’re Not That Innocent

By now you know the story: Tom Finneran was talking about Britney Spears, and said—actually, hold up a minute. The story already doesn’t make sense. Finneran may have a lousy talk show, but is this what it’s come to? The once-speaker of the House opining on Brit?

It’d be a sad state of affairs, expect our state affairs have been sad for a long time. Britney should know: She’s been evoked for all manner of Massachusetts politics. Here’s a brief retrospective, in quotes:

1. “I trust that 99.9 percent of the Massachusetts population is brighter than Britney Spears and would never even think of driving while holding a young child in their laps.” – State Rep. Timothy Toomey, in a January, 2000 press release, promoting a bill he filed to expand the state’s child-seat law.

2. “I’m certainly not going to defend Britney Spears’ farcical wedding, that’s for sure. If it can be called a wedding.”Mitt Romney in January, 2004, which the Herald described as coming “in response to a reporter’s question about how Romney could defend a status quo that grants a quickie marriage to the singer and her party buddy, while denying legal marriage to long-term, committed gay couples.”

(Bonus follow-up! Ron Crews, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, from the same Herald story: “It is not OK for her to be able to do what she did. That, to me, has no bearing whatsoever on whether the definition of marriage ought to be changed.”)

3. “Britney Spears had not even been born. No one had even heard of AIDS.”Beth Bodland, fundraiser for then-state Sen. Cheryl Jacques, describing 1980, the last time Massachusetts elected a woman to Congress. She was at an event she helped organize for Jacques’s congressional campaign. (Quote from a Globe story.)