“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


From Slacker: "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy." And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Okay, not quite all:

I was invested enough in the 2007 city election-- one, I might add, in which the idea of single-member districts was still on the table-- to (albeit incompetently) manage a specific candidate.

But I...uh...well...uh...I didn't even vote this past May 9. Nor did I bother to comment in this space on the race.

Why? Because there weren't any viable alternatives to the incumbents, who were going to win anyway.

I think Debra McCartt's been a good mayor, but I also think she's been a cheerleader. She's been a good mayor for good times, but, if the times in Amarillo turn as sour as they have elsewhere, she may not be the best choice. I also think her choice to take another full-time job has effected her performance as mayor for the worse.

But what were the options? Jim Brokenrecord-- who hates us-- and Daniel Blue-- whom I know, and like, and would've voted for as a protest were there any other reason on the ballot to bother to vote for anyone, but who is not a viable candidate.

The city commission races were similarly uncontested by viable candidates.

What's left? The school board? Please.

The Globe-News and the Independent and the Daily Campus when I was a student at SMU, and every other newspaper ever dating back, no doubt, to the Sumerian Times just love to scold the public for the public's alleged apathy. And they always, always, always say something like this:

For those who stayed home and repudiated their most sacred of American rights, we say, you've really lost your right to engage in public debate. Sit down, be quiet, and next time, get off your butts and vote.
But, frankly, I've earned my stripes. I've been politically involved enough for long enough to pick and choose my battles. And if I decide that it's a waste of time to vote in a forgone-conclusion election that offers no real choices-- well, that hardly makes me less qualified to comment and complain than some old fart who gets off his ass once every two years to walk across the street to the elementary school and punch whatever names he recognizes from the Globe-News.