God bless the Brits for keeping it real in the Euro parliament.
He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.
As we all know, after he rang those bells on horseback, he got in his Trans-Am and drove a shipment M-16s and flashbangs to the minutemen on the front lines in Gettysburg.
“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. ”
John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961; 50 years ago today.
Why Brown Won
The provisional and absentee ballots are still being tabulated and a recount may well ensue if a vote threshold isn’t met. And yes, it’ll stand as the closest mayoral election in Jacksonville history. But this city has, notwithstanding some sort of statistical distribution-melting turn of events, elected its first Democratic mayor since 1991 and its first African American mayor, period. The last time there was an open race for mayor, Republican John Peyton won by 19 points. So what happened?
The first thing that happened was transparency. Hogan didn’t show up to most of the primary debates, because he was sure he had the Republican spot on the ticket locked up. Yet these debates, and the slow percolation of news that the run-up to the primary afforded, is where the public caricatures of each candidate took hold. Hogan’s identity was that of frontrunner. I’m not certain that anyone knew why, though. The religious conservative base, most well-represented by First Baptist, was in his pocket (or Mullaney’s, which was an easy conversion process for the general election) from the get go. But other conservatives wanted to hear positions, debate issues, study the facts. Hogan did himself a disservice by listening to advisors that thought ducking debates for events like Tea Party conference calls was a good idea.
Many reasoning conservatives took issue with Hogan’s absence, as well as with a general dearth of ideas. They saw some of the same traits that have led to Rick Scott’s meltdown in approval: blind adherence to spending cuts and secrecy. Moran became the primary candidate for these folks by default. When she fell in the primary, something interesting happened: support did not immediate coalesce behind Hogan. Perhaps this is attributable to Gov. Scott, who was in the process of turning away federal dollars for what would’ve been a profit-making and job-creating high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, and cutting funding for mental health programs before taking part in a Special Olympics run.
Alvin Brown was an odd candidate for Jacksonville to digest. Here was a black Democrat named Brown who sounded nothing at all like Representative Corrine. Here was a man who stated that municipal revenues could be raised not through tax increases, but by growing the economic base by bringing new business to Jacksonville, establishing public-private partnerships and by rejuvenating the ports and downtown. His platform came across as pragmatic, representing the type of conservatism that says government’s role should be smart, not non-existant.
Where Brown aimed to rejuvenate downtown, Hogan attacked it relentlessly, especially in the days leading up to the election. The skyway became some sort of comical monster in his TV spots, as if it were a boondoggle on the scale of Boston’s Big Dig. I’d like to see the polling data that shows that Jacksonville residents actually revile the skyway. My impression has always been that it’s seen with frustration. I’d wager at least as many people would like to see it expanded to service meaningful parts of town as would see it shut down.
In a roundabout way, perhaps this election can be placed on the shoulders of Gene Smith. The Jaguars’ General Manager traded up to take what many experts considered to be the best quarterback in the draft, the well-mannered and handsome Blaine Gabbert. Although the plan is to allow him time to develop behind David Garrard, there’s an energy about his selection: he could be a star. He could be a star for a city that longs for stardom, that whispers to itself that it can be more and shouts to all that listen that it already is. You can learn a lot about Jacksonville by studying Jaguars fans. So many of them yearn for “respect”. They feel that their team, and their city, is constantly looked down upon. They yearn for greatness. I don’t think that this feeling is relegated to football alone. Hogan may say he’s for the Jaguars now, but his core philosophy hasn’t changed since he voted against the team’s initial stadium deal. He couldn’t look beyond the balance sheet to the intrinsic value. Imagine if this city had let an NFL team slip through its fingers. It’s a battle we’re still fighting today, but it’s one that we’re winning. The same philosophy that drives Team Teal– the same sense of pride and community– drove this election.
Hogan’s attacks on downtown were meant to cater to the vast majority of Jacksonville residents that live in the suburbs. But many of these people understand something that Hogan didn’t: great cities have great downtowns, and they want Jacksonville to be a great city. It hurt to watch the Wachovia and Modis signs come down in the past year, and it felt good to see the stadium be rejuvenated with EverBank’s brilliant branding efforts. This town wants less of the former and more of the latter. Just because the Landing isn’t worth going to doesn’t mean they don’t wish it were. The Riverside Arts Market is a prime example of Jacksonville’s urban aspirations.
Jacksonville wants a reason to be more than a confederation of suburbs; it wants a reason to come together. So when Jacksonville voted, it didn’t vote for themselves; it voted for itself. We want respect, admiration, status, prestige. We want leaders that believe this city is worthy of these things and who shows the appetite to pursue them.
“The world won’t be laughing if I’m president.”
Ryan also evades a lot of difficult particulars. But more than anyone else in politics, Rep. Ryan has made a serious attempt to grapple with the long-term fiscal issue the country faces. He has a largely coherent, workable set of answers. If you don’t like them, now you need to come up with something better.
Except for fuel costs, U.S. consumers haven’t seen much in the way of inflation for almost a decade, so a broad-based increase in prices will be unprecedented in recent memory.
Source: USA Today
Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Thanks to the French for doing what’s right.