Ted Frier

Ted Frier
April 02
Ted Frier is an author and former political reporter turned speechwriter who at one time served as communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, helping Bill Weld become the first Bay State Republican in a generation to be elected Governor. He was Chief Speechwriter for Republican Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift. Ted is also the author of the hardly-read 1992 history "Time for a Change: The Return of the Republican Party in Massachusetts." So, why the current hostility to the Republican Party and what passes for conservatism today? The Republican Party was once a national governing party that looked out for the interests of the nation as a whole. Now it is the wholly-owned subsidiary of self interest. Conservatism once sought national unity to promote social peace and harmony. Now conservatism has devolved into a right wing mutation that uses divide and conquer tactics to promote the solidarity of certain social sub-groups united against the larger society while preserving the privileges of a few.


Ted Frier's Links


When was the last time you saw a Republican in these fractious, bitterly polarized times hold up a T-shirt that read: "Some of our best friends are Democrats!"

You would have if you were present in the House Chamber on Thursday as former Governor Bill Weld joined… Read full post »

JUNE 14, 2013 6:41AM

Democrats Bring Knife to Gunfight

You'd think that as an airport guy I'd be thrilled Congress and the President moved at the speed of light in this era of polarization and obstruction to keep airplanes flying without lengthy delays when air traffic controllers got exempted from the ill-effects of the federal sequester's… Read full post »

Okay, I admit it. I am obsessed with the Republican Party and its transformation into a vessel for a right wing movement that, by my reading of history, rejects democracy in favor of some form of authoritarian "freedom" that represents the worldview of reactionary conservatives, and only… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2013 12:31PM

Welfare "Corrupt?"

Jeff Jacoby's most recent rant against government lifting a hand to help the poor is bad on so many levels.

"Is welfare corrupt?" the conservative columnist asks in last Sunday's  Boston Globe. "Of course it is."

Jacoby's hook for this sweeping indictment is a recent report from the Massachuse… Read full post »

There is a flip side to the "culture of intimidation" Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accuses President Obama of creating when, as McConnell baselessly alleges, federal agencies controlled by Obama single out for "targeting" right wing groups like the Tea Party for inordinate scrutiny an… Read full post »

The GOP is a "party of crybabies." Or so says Jonathan Bernstein in yesterday's Salon, reprieving one of my biggest pet peeves, which is the presumption by conservatives that freedom of speech entails freedom from criticism for one's opinions - no matter how absurd or obscene those opinions… Read full post »

MAY 22, 2013 7:14PM

Worst Since Watergate? Please

Why do so many still take Peggy Noonan seriously when she may have penned the single most self-immolating line ever uttered by a national leader in a major political address: "Read my lips, no new taxes."

Noonan's penchant for the sweepingly grand, if melodramatically vacuous, remark is… Read full post »

Someone once said that the real scandals are not the way some politicians break the law but the way most politicians make the laws.

And in the manufactured outrage over the extra scrutiny the IRS gave to Tea Party and other "patriot" groups seeking tax exempt status… Read full post »

MAY 12, 2013 11:55AM

The Center Cannot Hold

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

         -- William Butler… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 1, 2013 9:46AM

Sandra Day O'Connor's Mea Culpa

Maybe Congress should enact a new Judiciary Act and create a Supreme Court of Appeals Emeritus composed of ex-Supreme Court justices whose only qualification would be that they deeply regret some past decision and wish to correct the record and make amends before they die.

First up on the docket… Read full post »

APRIL 28, 2013 10:29AM

The US-Israeli "Special Relationship"

The United States and Israel have a "special relationship."

Before there was Governor Rick Scott's defiance of the US Justice Department's order to stop purging Hispanics and other dark-skinned Democrats from the Florida voter rolls, there was Avigdor Lieberman, foreign minister in Israeli leader… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2013 6:43AM

Two Cheers for the Nanny State

Anyone with teenagers will tell you: Paternalism gets a bum rap.

If parents had their way, these boiling, bundles of raging hormones would be locked away in some dark place only to emerge years later, cicada-like, as fully-formed human beings.

But that is not going to happen anytime soon… Read full post »

APRIL 18, 2013 6:15AM

Don't Mess With Boston

The phone rang a little before 3:00. "Are you watching the news?" my mother-in-law asked frantically. I wasn't. "Then turn on the TV. Two bombs just went off near the finish line at the Marathon."

There was good reason for her urgent tone. Though my wife was away on a… Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2013 6:09AM

Sequester Begins to Bite

This month I met the federal budget sequester up close and personal.  

On April 3, I was on hand alongside hundreds of others at Worcester Regional Airport as JetBlue President David Barger touched down in the newest JetBlue plane in his fleet, an Airbus 320 nicknamed… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2013 9:19AM

Hope For "Catholic Spring" Eternal

In all my years of church-going, I do not ever recall hearing what I heard at Easter Mass last Sunday: a congregation putting its hands together, not in prayer, but to applaud a priest for his sermon.

The surprise ovation may have been due to the homily's decidedly political message, delivered… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 26, 2013 10:55AM

The Clash of Civilizations Over Marriage Equality

As an all-Catholic, conservative Supreme Court majority prepares to hear arguments on a topic its church has declared to be a sin, a recent debate between Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan (who is gay) and a Christian fundamentalist over the question of whether civil marriage… Read full post »

MARCH 21, 2013 9:37AM

Greed Not So Good

Ever since he first proposed it in the same year Thomas Jefferson declared all men to be created equal, people have been delighted and beguiled by the hidden workings of Adam Smith's famous "invisible hand."

For a millennia or more, humans who marveled at the orderly movements of the heavens… Read full post »

The die for the past five years of confounding stalemates with Republicans over debt ceilings and budget sequesters may have been cast five days before President Obama even took office when then President-elect Obama announced he would sponsor a "White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit" one month af… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2013 7:54AM

Dictatorship v. Democracy

Readers familiar with my work know that one of my favorite quotes about the nature of politics, and democracies in particular, comes from Walter Lippmann's Essays in the Public Philosophy, where the preeminent American journalist of the 20th century tried in 1955 to diagnose why fascism and… Read full post »

MARCH 6, 2013 6:23AM

Emperor Antonin Scalia

Why does Justice Antonin Scalia presume he can discern the "original intent" of long-dead Founding Fathers when he whiffed so badly on the intent of 98 United States Senators who voted unanimously just seven years ago to extend the protections of a Voting Rights Act the right… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 1, 2013 3:57PM

"Madhouse" Speaker John Boehner

Bloomberg blogger (and self-described Republican) Josh Barro shows us how it is done.  

In Florida, nearly 60% of voters oppose the expansion of Medicaid benefits, apparently vindicating the foot-dragging obstruction of that state's Republican governor - and convicted health care fraudster &nbs… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2013 10:50AM

Conservatives Demand New Republican Party

Add one more name to the list of conservatives who are unimpressed with Republican efforts to reinvent themselves in response to the thumping they took in the last election.

If Republicans are going to be successful in the future, writes Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, they… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 15, 2013 8:21AM

"Active Inertia" of a Dying Party

Take pity on poor Marco Rubio. You'd be reaching for a bottle of Poland Springs, too, if you had to spit out the dry-as-dust bromides and the well past their sell-by date Reagan-era platitudes that Rubio was forced to expectorate as the Republican Party's designated responder to… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2013 12:38PM

Bay State Republicans a Different Breed

As I was cleaning out my basement this weekend I stumbled upon a pile of ghost-written pieces I'd penned for Massachusetts Republicans back when I worked for the party a quarter century ago.  

Among the collection was one published in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle for the thirty-something chairma… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 12:02PM

No "Gipper" To Save GOP This Time

In Republican mythology, Ronald Reagan was just Barry Goldwater with a smile.  

To the right wing true believer, Reagan and Goldwater were congenial political bedfellows, their ideas about government being the problem not the solution cut from the same ideological cloth. This was delightful… Read full post »