Sunday, December 09, 2007

In Philadelphia, We Have a New Mayor

Mayor Michael Nutter will take office in January. He’s Black. Our last Mayor, John Street, is black. Race and religious affiliation have had little impact on who becomes Mayor of Philadelphia. So far, Nutter is doing all the right things. First crack of the bat, he canned our Police Commissioner. And he’s given the trade unions (which have a stranglehold on Philadelphia and are notoriously anti-black and anti-minority) the directive to stop their bigoted hiring practices. We knew last May after the primary that Nutter would be our Mayor. No one had heard of the Republican candidate, Al Taubenberger, and this is a Democrat town. But the reason I mention these local politics is that the main thing people in Philadelphia are saying..right after they say, “maybe this town can rise from its ashes” “I hope Nutter will be allowed to do all the good things he wants to do”. And that hope is being voiced because Philadelphia’s City Council, police force, political machines of both parties, unions, and State politicians are notoriously corrupt. And the reason I mention that local fact is that any candidate for President of the United States is faced with the same daunting challenge. Will any of the candidates for president be allowed to change anything when he/she is elected to office? Frank Rich’s interesting article in this morning’s New York Times calls Mike Huckabee the Republicans’ Barack Obama. Huckabee and Obama talk the talk and in their limited way (Huckabee was governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007 and Obama has been in the Illinois State Senate and the US Senate since 1996), they both have been walking the walk. But neither has been put under the political microscope and tested during a major upheaval in the way Clinton, Giuliani and Romney have been sliced, diced and disected. And in that way, both Obama and Huckabee are tempting as candidates. We have no idea what they will do when the shit hits the fan, as it surely and inevitably will. Huckabee says he will abolish the IRS. For this, he received a standing ovation when the proposal issued from his mouth. And of course, as president, he could never abolish the IRS. It would not be allowed. It is not even remotely possible. But the idea resonated with everyone who heard it. What would any of these candidates be allowed to do as far as changing the modus operandi of the present political system when he/she becomes president? Not much. And unless a new brilliant rising star appears on the political horizon who can engage the hopes and allay the fears of the American voting public, we are going to get a political warhorse who knows the ropes for president. Because most people are likely to vote for the devil they know.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

It's disconcerting how Obama doesn't even pretend to want experience as a senator before running for president, after having been elected senator. He just takes off on the campaign road while his Senate seat is still cold. That in itself is a sign of immaturity, I would say.

OT: No wonder Nancy Pelosi doesn't want impeachment-oriented investigations: she's been a party to the war crimes since 2002.