Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gotto's stupid teabagger trick just barely nosed out the spoken inanities of a couple of progressives last night

There were some high-flying moments at last night's council meeting (like CM Mike Jameson quoting Christian political realist Reinhold Niebuhr during the opening prayer), but a couple of progressives' comments brought the meeting right back down to the lowest denominator. In my previous post on last night I underscored Jim Gotto's foot-in-mouth disease during discussion of honoring students for their "Don't Say Gay" protests.

But a couple of progressives did not exactly measure their words with respect to the truth before opening their mouths. First, in his speech to the council as a the shoo-in candidate for criminal court clerk, Howard Gentry said, as if it were a worthy goal:

I will run the office like a business.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the same logic that John Arriola used to run the county clerk's office and to run afoul of taxpayers. Arriola expressed an unfettered profit motive to bring money in. He marketed "gratuities" as "fees" (making people believe that they needed to pay for products and services they might not otherwise choose to pay for) and he monetized just about everything he did. He had stylish and hip new signs designed to lure more customers. He maximized and tricked out his ride to work. The profit motive runs business; the profit motive ran Arriola's tenure. In other words, Arriola was more CEO than clerk.

Shouldn't the officer of a Metro office be looking to run the office less like a business and more like an institution accountable for the public good? Gentry's comment was a clear pander to the business interests that dominate the Courthouse, but frankly the prospect is frightening.

The second inane progressive comment of the night came from Dean Teamer and outgoing CM Erik Cole, who contrasted Jim Gotto's self-reference of a Republican trying to hold a "corporate citizen" (assuming that corporations are individuals!) responsible, by trotting out this gem:

You now got a Democrat standing with developers!

Let's revisit CM Cole's recent past, shall we? He supported the Mayor's plan to build the most expensive capital project in Nashville's history, a developer's dream, the Music City Convention Center. He supported the Mayor's plan to sell off a huge tract of public Fairgrounds land to wealthy developers to make a lot of money on an office park. Even if Erik Cole ever stood against developers, those two projects alone bury any pretense of forward thinking opposition he ever expressed against untrammeled growth. But let's be clear: you do not get anywhere in the Davidson County Democratic Party without the habit of standing with developers. The most powerful and wealthiest Dems are in knee-deep with developers. For Cole to suggest otherwise is to concoct an urban myth. And it was pretty darn self-serving in what it implied about Erik Cole beyond its utterance.

I can always count on local progressives to give local conservatives a run for their money in the cringeworthy foot-in-mouth department.


  1. Your use of "teabagger" diminishes this blog.

  2. Anonymous,

    I assume you are offended by the term, "tea-bagger."

    Sounds like you too, are grasping the same, hollow straws as Mr. Gotto.

  3. No - referring to someone as a person who drops his nutsack on someone else's forehead diminishes the seriousness of the blog.

  4. My opinion, Dean's support of Gentry was nothing more than political games working to support three goals,

    (1). Secure the vote of the Black Caucus on the next Council to push through more of his agenda (new Sounds stadium, demolishing the fairgrounds, and who knows what else).

    (2). Gets Gentry a job that pays well in order to hopefully keep him out of the next mayoral race in 2015. Has Gentry ever really held a real job?

    This will allow Dean and Rich Riebeling to support Megan Barry for mayor. Her close ties to Riebeling allow him to stay on in his present position and further his agenda and work for the East Nashville powermongers that still control this city from behind the curtain. Just watch the opportunities for exposure that will be given to Barry.

    (3). Gives Dean support from African American voters when he runs for governor.

    Think about It?

  5. Gentry is definitely the Zeppo to the wacky trio of Dean, Barry and Riebeling.