12/07/2009 12:52 PM

Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts refused to appear at the Clover Club, an Irish American group of businessmen and community leaders in Boston over the weekend because it is a men-only club.

Deval was dead wrong.

I hope he will similarly cancel visits to the National Organization for Women and the Girl Guides for the same reason.

The club was founded in 1883 by Irish-American men as a dinner and card-playing venue. But it is now an organization of prominent business and civic leaders, and one that helps many groups.

Clearly, there are some men's clubs at which Patrick should not appear, but the Clover Club is not one of them .

This is political correctness gone amok. Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Ritchie Neal appeared at the Clover Club in the past, and never had any problem. They knew the difference between clubs that actively exclude women, blacks, Jews or whomever, and an organization that is merely a fraternal group that does a great deal of good.

What on earth could be wrong with a group of men meeting to hear from the governor of Massachusetts? Have we become so politically correct that the Boy Scouts will now need to fully integrate, and the Girl Guides be done away with?

There is no sense to this nonsense of political correctness. There is no one-size fits all for such groups of men or women only. Each should be considered on its merits. A boys or girls night out might not be your cup of tea, but what the Clover Club does, which is also help many in their community, seems admirable.

In the past, I saw this issue differently, but now I believe that we have to employ some common sense in regard to these matters. Perhaps the annual dinner of such organizations should definitely be open to wives and girlfriends and mistresses if necessary, but the regular meetings, at which men get together to hear a speaker, should be left to them alone. I mean, where do we draw the line here?

I'd love to hear what you think.