Friday, May 27, 2005

Meanwhile, Just A Few Blocks Down The Hill ...

I have tried to avoid joining the mob of local bloggers trying to scoop and to relay and to spin news on yesterday's admittedly controversial arrests and indictments of state legislators. "Group think" is a potentially harmful phenomenon among a group of bloggers as it is among a group of anybody else; so, I try to steer clear of the fray and to keep individual insight ahead of the emotions of mob mentality.

And it's not that I was not interested, but neighborhood business goes on as does my check list of chores that need to be done. But given that we live in the shadow of Capitol Hill, someone taking people away in handcuffs in the neighborhood is news.

You can click on the link for info if you have not yet heard the news, so I'm going to give you my take on the matter.
  • No need for melodrama; it was not the saddest or the happiest day in Tennessee. Do not heed those who sadistically call this political root canal "fun"; and look behind the Governor's words when he waxes melancholic. The feelings of a thoughtful and well-intentioned soul run somewhere down the middle rather than over-the-top. It was wrenching, but we can hope that it indicates that our justice system works to bring down the mighty who abuse their might; but let's not get ahead of ourselves, since Tom Delay still sits on his particular throne in DC, which leads me to my second point ...
  • There are legislators just up the Hill as unethical and criminal as Tom Delay is in DC. And that's saying a good bit. While he gets to have his day in court like everyone else, Senator John Ford has always struck me as a dubious character. The only feeling I have now is that he is getting his deserved comeuppance. Now, when are we going to start working on the ethical morass--or on any ass for that matter--in the US Congress?
  • Lobbyist groups and unethical legislators will fill the vacuum left by the indicted. Do not buy a pig in a poke. Do not buy the usually partisan arguments you hear that we can start over now and make things right. Let's be real. The State of Tennessee is the most powerful political structure ... well ... in the State of Tennessee. It didn't get made overnight and it won't get remade because of something called "Operation Tennessee Waltz." Those that tell you otherwise are just putting up a smokescreen so that their brand of lobbyist and their brand of legislator can step into the breach and pick up where the last racket left off. The FBI better start a new phoney website; in fact, it better start a few hundred and have them on standby for future stings.
  • Feeding frenzy blogs will burn bandwidth on this until all of the fuel is exhausted. There's blood in the water and they attack until there's no more blood. Many of these bloggers are insiders who merely write like outsiders. They are the blogging elites--former political staffers, advisors, campaign workers, and press agents--who feed off controversy, and use it to demonstrate the flaws, not in the system in need of correction, but in their political opponents, whether those opponents be people or services. I call them "hammerhead bloggers"; sharks are predators, and hammerheads are the only sharks that school. In much the same way, the hammerhead bloggers show predatory instincts at moments of other people's weakness and they tend to swim in league with each other.
  • If you actually keep up with the hoo-hah on this controversy over the long run, you will see that many of the hammer-head bloggers are inconsistent in plying their sense of justice. The same people who will talk about how great our justice system is because yesterday it took down powerful leaders they dislike will turn around next week and point to exposed cases of fraudulent use of TennCare, not as an indicator of what's right with our justice system, but what's wrong with TennCare services. That ought to show you that the simian chest-beating ritual for justice by the blogging elites is good theatre, but not entirely genuine.
There. I've said my piece on yesterday's regrettable news. Life goes on up on the hill as it does just a few blocks down the hill. Today, I've got a front lawn to work on.

1 comment:

  1. Don't misinterpret my 'fun'. Do I wish we had a climate where this wasn't nessecary - absolutely! But after years of watching the abuse of power running unchecked - it was refreshing to see action in the interest of protecting taxpayers instead of inaction to protect legislators.