Tim Alberta wrote an extensive article in the National Journal about Detroit. You can see it here. In it, he compared Detroit to lots of things. He said the new mayor, Duggan — white in a predominately black city — should have the worst job in the world. But he goes on to make the case that in reality he actually has the best job in the world. Why is that?
Because there is such a lack of hope, and prior administrations were so inept and corrupt(my words), that all of it set expectations so low. With that, he really is not expected to make leaps and bounds, certainly not right away, but if he just manages to deliver the essentials for the city to run he could be hailed as a success. And that is the thought that grabbed me.
Many of us know the condition of the federal government full well, well enough not to expect fast turn around or streets paved in gold — though maybe they should be with what we are spending. No, its the place where hopes have been dashed. Prosperity might be scattered about, but in certain areas. It is not the general rule. The expenses of just functioning on a normal- for Washington – level seems to be an accomplishment for them. They have reduced the bar in Washington, too. The expectations are down. Can they, in fact, do anything constructive or good at all? Or is everything they are capable of tainted by cronyism and corrupt influences, money and scandals galore?
There is a real danger in politics, we now know. We had the classic example in Obama. He ran on supernatural hope and change. He lifted the naive hopes of people far and wide. They didn’t even know what they were hoping for. They placed their hopes in a man… a man without a record of accomplishment at all except for being elected. And we know that merely getting elected is not the be-all end-all for leadership, much less governing.
Still, they placed all their hope in a man from Chicago that claimed he could slow the rising tides and heal the planet. He claimed to be transparent when nothing he’d ever done was transparent – he is the antithesis to transparency. And they believed his claims. They said he was change you can believe in.
Then afterward he did nothing but blame others. It was not others that put those promises in his mouth. It was not others who made him lie. Yet all he had was a bitter campaign of blame. He carried that into office and relied on it through his term. It was not about what you can do anymore, it was only about who got the blame. As long as he didn’t let the blame stick to his shoes, he deemed it a success.
You see, all that some people are looking for in Detroit is the impression that things are being done: garbage is being picked up, roads plowed, trains and buses running. That is a success in itself. Sure Obama has a few times tried to lower expectations but that is to change everything about Obama. He built his legacy before he even took office on rose-colored achievements. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize on expectations.
Now those expectations have all faded into the sunset. His legacy he had written before, like some prophet, is in tatters.Detroit has at least accepted the tatters. They are part of the landscape, a daily reminder. They know they have been beaten. They are being realists while the Obamanoids are in denial. How long can denial last? Look at Detroit, it probably has the answer to that too.
See reference: http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/detroit-s-new-mayor-has-the-best-job-in-politics-20140313
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