Thursday, February 21, 2008

(He forgot) The Two Doctors

Last February I wrote about the fact that both Dr. John and Dr. Jeremiah Wright (that Jeremiah Wright) were outraged that the city spent money to plant Palm trees on Canal Street when it had so many more pressing needs. Though only Dr. Wright specifically mentioned the mayor, the only inference I could draw was that spending decisions were made with photo-ops or payoffs in mind.

Before the Picayune wimped out, I considered referring to that post in reference to the recent gun brouhaha. "If all you think about is photo-ops, don't complain about 'out of context' photos" or "live by the photo-op, die by the photo-op," or something along those lines. For the sake of argument, I would have used the less venal explanation for the mayor's spending decisions.

With that in mind, I'd suggest that the mayor add Dr. Wright (Dr. John didn't actually name the mayor) to his list of people to take to the parking lot, cold cock or shoot(?):
Paulsen: Will you ever pick up a gun again?

Nagin: In a different capacity, maybe

Watching the interview, that sounded like a joke about shooting somebody. Yes, a joke, but the mayor was complaining about an "out of context" photo that the Picayune showed of him playing with a gun.

Of course, I was joking about the mayor including Jeremiah Wright on his list, that would take away from the race card that the mayor was trying to play this afternoon. I don't want to overstate the race card, rich white conservatives play the oppressed card when they're trying to attack the media. I will say that identity politics usually make attacking the media more effective. Never mind, he was clearly "playing the race card" or "engaging in identity politics" and attacking the media.

Jeffrey gives thecold cock list at the yellow blog. As you may have inferred, I'm inclined to disagree with the consensus opinion that the mayor is deranged. Attacking the media is a perfectly sane tactic. The mayor might have employed the tactic in a seemingly deranged manner, but seeming deranged worked wonders for him once before. Anyone who's ever worked for a quick temper artist knows that there's a certain level of premeditation to that kind of display. That doesn't mean it won't prove to be stupid, but I doubt it.

Coming soon, do I have more reason to cold cock Nagin, or does Nagin have more reason to cold cock me? I'd like to do that post tonight, but it's been a long, hard week. Just ignore the wording of that last sentence.

One last thought, since Nagin's anger was partly at Lee Zurik's FOIA request, I suppose that another link to this City Business report is in order.

Once again, I think you give Nagin too much credit. I've heard some chatter from people who were at the WWL studio yesterday and Paulsen and Roberts were discussing whether or not C Ray was faking it. Even Paulsen, who is inclined to be cynical thought it was a genuine meltdown.
Paulsen always struck me as being as cynical as you or me or Jeffrey, so if he thought it was genuine, that carries some weight.

I don't give Nagin as much credit as you think. I've always said that it's a mistake to think that he doesn't have the kind of shrewdness that's necessary to take advantage of people, but you can be shrewd in that way and pretty dim in most other ways. It's always a mistake to let your guard down around somebody just because he's stupider than you are. A lot of stupid lowlifes have an uncanny instinct for the opportunity to take advantage.

Back to the interview, Nagin played a very sane card, make that two cards, but he seemed to play them insanely. One explanation is that people can genuinely lose control briefly once they allow themselves to lose their temper. But that wouldn't change the fact that he went in their planning to go on a tirade, and he sure seemed to have regained control by the interview.

Or maybe the mayor's just a method actor who gets too into his performances -- a sort of Daniel Day Nagin throwing bowling balls at the other actors.

At any rate, why he should he refrain from making "crazy" statements? Once the noise dies down, he always ends up right back where he was, which is in charge of recovery spending decisions -- with nobody challenging those decisions until it's too late.
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