Saturday, November 3, 2007

Monroe Doctrines

So in Monroe County (in which the city of Rochester is located) the Republicans have been distributing fliers with a man in middle eastern head garb, warning voters that if they vote for Democrats for the county legislature they will be voting to give terrorists drivers licenses.

Also on the ballot on election day will be the position of county executive, which is currently held by the Republicans, in the person of Maggie Brooks, a former newscaster, who is the puppet of the local Republican party boss Steve Minarik, one of the truly evil persons in New York State politics, who developed enough of a reputation as a local Karl Rove wannabe that Republicans made him state party leader in 2005, but his candidates were trounced last November, and he got to feudin’ with the easy to feud with Joe Bruno, so they booted him back to Monroe County.

Brooks is to Bloomberg, as her predecessor, Jack Doyle, is to Giuliani, a less offensive and obnoxious Republican replacing a more offensive and obnoxious Republican. It is certainly true that Brooks and Bloomberg are improvements over their predecessors, in speaking and dealing with opponents, and their rhetoric is less over the top and vicious. Nonetheles, if the language has changed, the basic political and economic goals have not. Steve Minarak is still directing his amiable chipmunk of a front woman.

But this post is really a blast against the Democrats, who first raised my fury when the Democratic-controlled city of Rochester (mayor and city council), destroyed a 84-year old tradition when they abolished this past June the office of City Historian, an act of cultural barbarianism of the worst order. (And over my eloquent protests at a meeting of the city council. ) I pledged then and there never to vote to anyone who destroyed the city historian’s post.

And they made me even more furious when they decided in September not to run an candidate against Brooks for the position of County Executive, arguing that there was not a viable candidate, and the race would be too expensive, and Brooks was going to win anyway. So there was no candidate, no race, no debate. Brooks will win in a landslide, and the Democrats have forgotten that the point of democracy is not to win elections but to have elections, contested elections that will educate the electorate, and shine light on county doings. (By the way, Democrats hold a slight edge in registration in Monroe County.)

And secure in the knowledge that she will serve another four years, last month Brooks and her cronies in the Country Legislature, passed, a half hour after Brooks announced the plan, a new tax measure that took about $25 million dollars from local school districts, and Brooks has been denounced ever since by as a tyrant, but since she is not going to be opposed next Tuesday, why should she care? (Although this plan, crucial to the county’s finances was passed with no preliminary debate, the Republicans did have full page ads and radio spots the next day touting the Brooks tax plan.)

Monroe Country is just a microcosm of the United States as a whole; the Republicans are generally the party of bigots and warmongers, while the Democrats are incompetent and lack all intensity; the Republicans are cunning, the Democrats can't get their act together; , democracy is honored in the breach, and the voters are stupid enough, self-interested enough, and unconcerned enough to go along with this charade, and they deserve whatever they get. A plague on both their houses.

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