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    Thursday, March 23, 2023

    OPINION: Give thanks, among other things, for the Trump slump

    There’s a lot to give thanks for this year in eastern Connecticut.

    After all, the post-Covid-19 money printed by the boatload in Washington is still keeping us afloat here, with the state and municipalities spending and balancing budgets in a way we haven’t seen in a generation.

    It’ll be at least a little while before they start raising taxes again. Even with all the government money washing through the system, it feels like inflation is starting to abate.

    I remain, in this season of thanks, enormously grateful for all of the scientists and those who support them for the COVID-19 vaccines. It feels like we are at the onset of the most normal winter, virus-wise anyway, we’ve seen in years.

    I’d be even more thankful if more people would roll up their sleeves and get the latest vaccine booster. The more the merrier.

    I’m extremely thankful that U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy rolled up his chairmanship sleeves this year and spearheaded the awarding of the latest big tranche of funding for the National Coast Guard Museum, $50 million federal dollars, putting the museum association out of its years of fundraising inertia and misery.

    It’s wonderful to see construction of the museum already underway on the New London waterfront. You can see a big construction crane being used to create the waterside building pad loom over downtown.

    Now we can wait and see where in the world all those museum visitors will park. Construction worker trucks are already filling long-vacant lots. Maybe next year we can give thanks for solutions finally being worked out for the inevitable parking dilemma.

    I am grateful for the latest news of corruption at the Connecticut Port Authority, where it turns out, according to some excellent reporting by the Connecticut Mirror, the company in charge of the cost-ballooning public giveaway to rich utilities, renovations to State Pier, recommended itself for tens of millions of dollars in subcontracts.

    I am thankful for this news because, honestly, the whole stinking, corrupt mess, under investigation by two federal grand juries, has become so outrageously unacceptable that you wonder how long lawmakers can simply let the embarrassing spectacle continue.

    It’s hard to forget that recently reelected Gov. Ned Lamont once boasted that his deal to assume what has become many tens of millions of dollars of cost overruns spent by this corrupt agency ― and the price hikes are still growing with no end in sight ― was a sign of his business acumen.

    I am most grateful this Thanksgiving that Trump fever, what with the embarrassing loss by so many Trump-endorsed candidates in the midterms, seems to be finally breaking in Connecticut.

    State Rep. Greg Howard of Stonington recently said in a statement in response to news queries from The Day that Trump has proven he “lacks the necessary character and integrity” to hold high office.

    Phew. Thanks for that. Finally, some Connecticut Republicans are willing to say the obvious out loud. Others around here said similar things, Trump criticism that none dared utter before now.

    Some still cling to Trumpism, still saying it out loud. Rep. Doug Dubitsky of Chaplin told The Day that Trump told people to go “peacefully and patriotically” on Jan. 6. He said he could vote for him again for president.

    I am very thankful that there is now a special counsel looking at Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and as the slow roll of justice continues, an indictment of the former president seems increasingly certain.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    This is the opinion of David Collins


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