Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Old Code Words Were Uptown and Republican

I guess it's look like us, now. While speaking in Houston, the mayor said of his opponents:

Very few of them look like us

Or is that to blatant to be considered code? During the Jefferson/Barthelemy election, Jefferson made frequent refernce to his opponent's uptown Republican backers, but I guess it would be somewhat embarrassing for Nagin to inject party affiliation into the race--so much better to bring up race.

Will everybody finally admit what should have been obvious in January--when Nagin made his chocolate city remark, he didn't misspeak as a mayor, he spoke very purposefully as a candidate? His appologists said that the mayor only said what needed to be said, he just used a poor choice of words. His opponents basically agreed because they preferred to paint him as inept rather than cynical. You can be cunning and clueless at the same time, just look at the occupant of a slightly higher office. For at least two months, Nagin's been acting more as a candidte than as a mayor.

I don't want to sound too naive, I can understand the inclination to excuse it as politics. I could understand a candidate for office making divisive statements while campaigning, knowing that he would need to be more concilliatory once he had to start governing. But Nagin is supposed to be governing now.

Unfortunately, to call Nagin on it would be to make it an even more polarizing election. It also doesn't help that Peggy Wilson and her uptown Republican backers were so vocal about wanting a February election. If they weren't trying to rush through the election with a majority white electorate (Yeah, Right), they sure gave that impression. Can't imagine what they were thinking. Of course, whenever I think of Peggy Wilson on the city council, I hear her saying, "I don't understand."

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