Since I know how eager you are to view today's submission, and seeing as there are technical difficulties at the Tribune web site that finally have cast brevity onto my writing style, here's the full text. For the sake of attribution, the link: BAYLOR: C’mon, tell me: Who are you?
BEER MONEY: C’mon, tell me: Who are you?
By ROGER BAYLOR, Local Columnist
Butler’s unexpected trip to the national championship game isn’t the biggest shocker of 2010.
Ready? I agree with Dave Matthews.
In his Sunday guest column, the Floyd County GOP chairman wrote, “It would be great if citizens actually knew what the party they choose believes.”
Indeed. It would be even greater if the Democratic Party, the only viable local alternative to the errant Republican belief system extolled by Matthews, possessed a coherent platform and might, on widely scattered occasions, seek to advance it.
Aren’t elections the best time for that sort of recreational activity?
Alas, it seems too much to ask, and the famous words of Will Rogers ring as true today as in the 1920’s:
“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
If the humorist had lived in New Albany, he’d have added: “Heck, I’m not really even a Democrat. I just pretend to be one, and vote Republican anyway.”
Admittedly, it’s easy for me to be skeptical. While generally preferring to vote against the GOP, with which I substantively differ ideologically, I remain unwilling to identify myself with any competing political party, save for the PDP (Pants-Down Progressives), which in a place as savagely reactionary as New Albany puts me into the position of advocating what amounts to a faith-based initiative.
All I know is this: There’ll be local elections this year and next, and there is a lengthy list of momentous city and county issues to consider. While I disagree with much of the GOP platform advanced by Matthews, at least he’s willing to cite beliefs, openly and on the record. This is in stark contrast to Floyd County Democrats, who seem as determined as ever to maintain a resolute vagueness bordering on invisibility when it comes to governing principles.
I’d be forced to conclude that long decades in office, performing as a patronage clique entirely devoid of intellectual aspiration, has rendered our local branch of the Democratic Party into an entity utterly allergic to ideas and devoid of irony, except that I can locate more than a few individual party members capable of mustering passion and authority when defending their core beliefs.
It’s maddening. Individual party members have their platforms, the party itself does not, and Democrats remain entrenched in elective office while refusing to concede belief in any specific governing principle that might identify them as Democrats. It is a feat of formlessness leading to incredible, indescribable spectacles of perceptual contortion, as when Barack Obama carried the perennially Republican state of Indiana by a slim margin but was beaten handily in Floyd County, where Democrats (supposedly) still outnumber Republicans.
Am I mistaken in imagining that racism is institutionally opposed by genuine Democrats?
In the end, our Democrats behave as Republicans, sometimes more so, as when the city council’s Gang of Four displays a consistent propensity toward stunted comprehension of modernity, flaunts its inability to visualize, and babbles violent adoration for the palpably untrue.
Here in the city, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, city attorney and city clerk all are Democrats, and so are eight out of nine council members. The result is chaotic gridlock.
City council watchers did not envision the continued existence of a congenitally obstructionist Gang of Four after Larry Kochert opted for a long overdue political retirement and Bill Schmidt was unceremoniously deposed at the polls, but there it is, same as ever, looming at the periphery of an otherwise hopeful future, still populated by alleged Democrats, with Jeff Gahan and Pat McLaughlin seamlessly picking up where their predecessors’ graceless caterwauling left off.
CM McLaughlin’s excuse might well be the glowering presence of Kochert, but as always the King is bluffing, and the best way to react to his threats is laughter, salted with the crocodile tears of a wannabeen. The more over-inflated the ego, the smaller the sharp edge required to deflate it.
CM Gahan’s descent into the recesses of the dark side is an odder story, one hardly any observer can fathom. “Enigmatic” is a mild way of putting it, and if you don’t know what “enigmatic” means, privately urge Dave Matthews to publicly ask me to tell you, since he likely doesn’t know, either.
As it pertains to CM Gahan’s straw-lined political abode amid the ward-heeling Dan Coffey’s and Steve Price’s flea circus, Matt Nash restated the prevailing argument in his column last week:
“Living in a district that has been controlled by Republicans in the past Mr. Gahan has tried to walk a tightrope lately trying to appease his constituents. His recent votes seem to confuse as he wanted to help out those that suffered damage due to the heavy rains last year but did not think it was necessary to take out a loan to correct some of the sewer issues that the sewer board thinks will help to alleviate the problems.”
If true, and in order to appease Republicans in his district, a presumed Democrat who surely knows better must consistently stoop to the subterranean levels of Coffey and Price, then we needn’t question the GOP’s chairman Matthews as to whether all of this reflects poorly on Republicans, because it does not.
Rather, we must ask John Wilcox, the Democratic chairman, an even more telling question:
How are any of them -- Gahan, Coffey or Price – actually Democratic in any coherent sense of party affiliation?
We await an answer, sans held breaths.
As he tries to avoid selling out, Roger knows who he is, prefers being out of his brain on the train, and won’t get fooled again. Read more at the NA Confidential blog: www.cityofnewalbany.blogspot.com