Saturday, March 14, 2020

Poster Child

When a young man in the ghetto is sent to jail for some minor drug charge, it is a tragedy.  When a politician is given a free ride on the same charges, it is a travesty.

A small item in the news today, Andrew Gillum was found incoherent and by his own admission, shit-faced drunk, it a hotel room with two men, one of whom was overdosing on methamphetamine. Gillum claims he wasn't taking the drug, just blotto drunk.

What struck me about this article was that the suspected "meth" found on the scene in a number of baggies, was taken to the crime lab, not to be tested, but to be destroyed.  No one was charged in the matter.  I can only wonder what would happen if this was in a shady motel in Homestead - the baggies of "meth" would go to the lab to be tested, and everyone would be charged, convicted, and sent to jail.

But not a rising star in the Democratic Party, eh?

Gillum is one of this new breed of also-rans - the Betos and Stacy Abrams of the world who "fought the good fight" but ended up losing, mostly because the voters didn't like them.  Beto ran for office in Texas, shouting "I'm going to take your guns away!"- a charge now being conflated to Biden, now that Beto has "endorsed" him.    Can an endorsement be refused?   Just asking.

Losing an election is not a credential.  But to the Democratic Party and the media, today, it is.  Gillum was a darling of CNN and other talking-heads shows.  His future as a political figure and talk-show guest is now in doubt, no doubt.

What galls me is that it appears he got special treatment in this case. The whole thing was papered over (no pun intended) by the media, and it was only some "conservative blogger" who ferreted-out the whole deal, getting only a redacted police report in response to a FOIA request.   Another blogger found the address redacted on the report and was able to confirm it was the Gillum in question.

No doubt, the citizens of Florida are thinking they made the right call by not electing this clown.

Gillum's problems predate this latest sordid incident, though.  He is affiliated with a PR firm that has promoted his image (no doubt doing damage control now) and the FBI has investigated both Gillum and this firm for taking illegal gifts from lobbyists.   Gee, just what we need in Washington!

And therein lies the problem.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this - after all, both parties play this game.  If you want something done in Washington - or even in your home town - you have to support the right candidates and contribute to the right PACs, buy the right "Healthy Holly" books, and, today, stay in the right hotels.

As a client of mine, seeking FCC licenses for a two-way texting system explained to me, after the election of Bill Clinton, "Pull the plug on the whole thing!  Hell, I don't know any Demmy-crats!"  His business model was predicated on his politcal connections.

We expect this from Republicans, who after all, put a bar code on their politicians, so you can use self-checkout.  But Democrats run on a platform of being "for the pee-pul" and we act all shocked when we find out otherwise.

But perhaps this cautionary tale has some use.  We blindly follow these politicians and some people actually fall in love with them - the Hilly-land crowd, the Beto-mania, the Bernie Bros, the Trumpsters.   People imbue a politician with aura of celebrity and then act all shocked when they turn out to be regular turds like the rest of us.   "Hollywood for ugly people" is how Washington, DC was described, and it is apt.   These folks don't deserve celebrity, they are in fact, merely government employees.

Maybe - just maybe - instead of falling in love with a candidate or politician, we should look upon them as a means to an end, as their wealthy donors do.  We should expect double-dealing from them - cronyism and back-scratching and log-rollling.   But rather than act shocked at this, we should look at the candidate who best aligns with our views, realizing that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate.

Staying home and not voting, because your "perfect candidate" didn't make the cut is just temper-tantrum politics, and a sign of immaturity.  You do have choices in this world, but not making a choice, in this instance, isn't a choice at all.   Because with elections, staying home in protest is just letting the other guy win, which means not only do you not get what you wanted, you get the exact opposite.

That being said, the Democrats have to find a better roster of candidates to choose from.   Really.