Tuesday, April 12, 2011

arrested but still not expected to get respected

You know, I hate to be the party-pooper when it comes to yesterday night's mayor-getting-arrested-sticking-up-for-DC-budget-autonomy thing, otherwise known as derp-derp-derpa, but I just can't help myself. DC's local government is like a laxative to me. I just have to plop this out.

So, like you, I'm sure, I was initially fascinated by the mayor's seemingly bold stance on DC's right to control it's own tax revenues. "Wow," I thought, "He's actually taking to the streets, fighting for the rights of all of us unfortunate, stupid, or self-loathing enough to live here! You're the man now, dog!" Then, when one-liners started seeping out on Twitter from news organizations about "DC Mayor being arrested!" and such, I even felt a second of respect for our elected crew. Hell, I even took to the Twitter myself, expressing my pride in 140-characters or less.

A few hours later and I'm sure a self-congratulatory pat on the back, he was free. So, now what?

Probably nothing, but does that matter? Shouldn't this seemingly ballsy move stand on its own? Shouldn't it show that Vince Gray and his political pals actually care about this city and not just pillaging it for SUVs and six-figure salaries? (Incidentally, that is why I figured the Mayor would've been arrested.) Shouldn't this move demonstrate that we finally have someone in office who is truly looking out for our basic rights as citizens of the United States of America?

It should, but after reading some analyses about the reasons why the Mayor attended yesterday's rally, my cynic bells are ringing in my ear as loud as a DC teenager on a bus. According to DCist, who spoke with mayoral staffers, Vince Gray had no intention of joining the rally until he was told there were a lot of people there. This makes me think that it wasn't so much the actual issue that attracted Gray to the event that eventually led to his arrest, but instead, simply a matter of seizing on our emotions as a city and finally doing something his constituents could applaud him for rather than hiss.

Courtesy of the AP or some such thing.
See, our newly elected mayor doesn't have the most immaculate of records. There's Sulaimon Brown (for which the FBI is now involved), SUVgate, the chief-of-staff thing... Really, in the last three-and-a-half months or so since he's been in office, he's just been kind of a douche. His less-than-stellar antics even got him booed at a recent baseball game. So excuse me for thinking that maybe just maybe this whole getting arrested thing was just a high-profile publicity stunt to either try to dissipate the past indiscretions of this Marion-Berry-like administration, or even worse, a means to distract us about whatever shady sh*t we don't even know yet that's going on right now. I won't get into the individual records of the City Council members who also got arrested, but I'm sure if I did, I'd probably discover similar reasons to be cynical about them.

So, yeah. I apologize for the giant turd I just left in the middle of this protest party, but I just can't feel overly celebratory about this right now. Maybe that will change if Gray and his cohorts keep pressing. After all, while it may be legal, it's highly unjust for Congress to dictate how DC is allowed to spend our own tax money. I just hope that Gray's ultimate goal isn't just to gain control of the funds to do something stupid with them...


Despite all the above, though, I'm glad that Gray and the Council went to the protest, no matter what their reasons. Doing something right for the wrong reasons is still better than not doing anything at all or, well duh, doing something wrong for the wrong reasons. However, I really think it's sad that we can't get a local leader in office here who we can fully trust to do the right thing for the right reasons. Trust me, although sometimes it feels great to poop all over a party, it doesn't win you any friends... Eventually, I'd like to stop.

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