Which is Worse: State Legislature or Red Sox?

Rich in history, Massachusetts is known as a state with truly impressive, longstanding institutions. Unfortunately, two of them are so pathetic right now that they’re making the T look like an efficient operation.

First, let’s take the state legislature. If nothing else, this casino business has exposed the base nature of our legislative chambers (as if the last three Speakers of the House being federally indicted didn’t). First, we saw in the House how nearly 50 state reps switched their votes on casinos from a similar 2008 measure, ostensibly for little reason other than that the speaker, Robert DeLeo, now supports the issue while the previous speaker, Sal DiMasi, did not. Then two days ago, the Senate declined to get rid of a totally nonsensical pork-barrel earmark to the politically wired horse racing industry in the bill (something I’ve railed against before). And then just yesterday, in a truly crowning achievement, the Senate didn’t just reject an amendment that would have barred former lawmakers from taking casino jobs for at least five years after they leave the State House, it squashed debate on the matter. When things started getting heated, Senate President Terry Murray shut down the shop, brought the Democrats into secret caucus, and sorted the issue out there. When everyone came out, an amendment with just a one-year ban was passed with no further debate. Welcome to Massachusetts, ladies and gentlemen! The birthplace of modern democracy!

And now for our second struggling institution: The Boston Red Sox. Do I really need to say more?

So here’s a question: Which Massachusetts institution is more pathetic right now: The state legislature or the Red Sox? Let us know in the comments below. (But please, no secret deliberations.)