Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, for November 9, 06
Hand Me That Cup of Hemlock, It’s Election Time
From sea to shining sea, from Washington, DC, to Sacramento, to our very own Sewerville By The Slough, we are awash in hokum, lies, balderdash, and conflated hooey all floated on a sea of endless (often hidden) money, money, money.
Yep, it’s Election Time and it’s getting harder and harder to observe the passing scene without throwing up.
At the national level, it’s beyond comprehension to me that Bush’s poll numbers are as high as they are. Has nobody been paying attention? At all? Ditto for the Republican controlled House and Senate. That the outcome should even be in question as I write this means that either we are still The Sleepwalking Nation, or have failed to understand the wisdom of our system of “checks and balances,” or are in the throes of a common phenomenon known as, “Yes, Congress Sucks, but MY Representative is Swell”—a malady of being unable to connect the dots.
Here in Caleeeforneeeah, unable to elect an assembly that actually works for We The People, we’re once again being governed by Special Interest Initiatives, so the state is awash in cash and lies. And, depending on what actually gets passed, will soon be awash in the very expensive Law of Unintended Consequences.
Our little County is, alas, not exempt from all this hideosity, including a “watchdog” newspaper of record asleep at the switch when it’s not actively shilling for certain special interests and/or ignoring major problems or engaging in embarrassing breeches of journalistic and editorial ethics, to say the least. Add in the mystery of a local candidate going weirdly “negative” at the last minute and, let’s not forget that here in Sewerville, we ended up with a genuine miracle!
In the Second District race for Supervisor, like you, I got several slick flyers from candidate Roger Anderson accusing his opponent of . . . well, something or other. Even after reading the thing three times, I’m not quite sure what evil Gibson was accused of doing – selling oranges? selling stocks? -- neither of which, last time I checked, was an illegal activity. Part of my surprise at these flyers was that from Day One of that race all the candidates had pledged to make Nice-Nice. Some perceptive Letters-To-The-Editor writers accused Roger’s “handlers” of being responsible for the weirdly conflated hit-piece. Why “handlers” were able to hijack Mr. Anderson at the last minute remains a mystery.
Maybe the “handlers” had hired the same Ad Guys that our very own Los Osos “Taxpayers Watch” uses for their weirdly conflated stuff, website included. They’re absolute masters at that game – putting Fact A next to Fact Z, while coolly knowing that the average reader will (incorrectly) conclude that it means Fact X. It’s an effective advertising misdirection strategy that treats citizens as marks to be sold soap or corn flakes. TPW has effectively used the technique from day one, since they can create a totally false and misleading “reality” of “facts,” while claiming plausible deniability and, most important, leaving no fingerprints -- Nuh-huh, I always never didn’t say that.
But in this election, TPW has apparently also managed a true miracle of the Loaves & Fishes variety: They sent out expensive flyers in support of a slate-of-three candidates for the same CSD they recently moved heaven and earth to destroy, which is sorta like saying,“Yes, your honor, we DID try to beat him to death with a baseball bat, but when he didn’t die, we figured, Aw, Heck, we’d better just marry him. THEN kill him off with a new board majority vote!”
But the miracle in all this? After LAFCO refused to dissolve the CSD, Taxpayers Watch asked that the costs for the whole dissolution process be waived (i.e. stick it to the county taxpayers) on account of They Wuz Broke! Yet they can now afford expensive campaign mailers? It’s a miracle!
So, as the dust settles over the ballot boxes, for me only two real questions remain: (1) Just how FEW people actually bothered to vote this time, and (2) How loud will the crying be when We The People start getting exactly what we deserve, followed by the Bill for Unintended Consequences, due and payable.
Well, can’t say we weren’t warned, now can we?