Back in 1988, former Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis so embarrassed the Democratic party, not only by losing the presidency to George H.W. Bush, but by losing his man card in the process.

Dukakis, a technocrat, lost that race for a myriad of reasons, but what drove the stake the deepest into his heart was his image as soft on crime weenie who would not even support the death penalty for someone convicted of raping and killing his wife, Kitty.

Since that time, Dukakis has been pretty much treated like a leper within his own party. Rarely is Dukakis ever invited out to play with the cool kids. Even Jimmy Carter was eventually forgiven by some Democrats for losing to Ronald Reagan.

But, every now and again the media tracks down "The Duke," the man who single-handedly destroyed the Massachusetts economy by going AWOL during the 1988 campaign. Duke's time was this weekend, when Boston's WBZ-TV 4 trotted him out for his thoughts on everything from the Trump tax cut to the upcoming governor's race here in Massachusetts.

As you might expect, Dukakis, like most on the left, hates the tax cut. A devout supporter of the former gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Setti Warren--who withdrew because no one would donate to his campaign--calls incumbent Governor Charlie Baker a "nice guy," but says Baker lacks "that sense of urgency" on such issues as transportation.

Some may not remember but it was the Duke who first talked about South Coast Rail way back in the day. But, he never delivered. A host of other governors promised rail but also failed to make it happen. Last I heard, it was Baker who was on the verge of making rail happen for us.

Dukakis' views represent where we have come from, not where we are headed, as many on the far left are beginning to find out.

When Dukakis lost in 1988, he was branded as a "loser" and was banished to political Siberia. Does anyone really care what Dukakis thinks about anything?

Why not ask the winners?

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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