What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 21, 2009

The week that was (and the circle of life)

Tis the season -- gearing up for May primaries -- when there's oodles and oodles of local political news.

First, we have City Councilor Patrick Dowd officially announcing his Democratic primary run for Mayor of Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, newly minted now-fellow City Councilor Theresa Smith Kail-Smith Smith got sworn into office. As Bram noted Smith, "thanks God once; thanks Pete Wagner three times." As I will note, her statement that:
"Throughout the last several months, so many people offered insight about who controlled the votes in District 2 and what I should do to capture the votes," she said in her speech. "In my heart, I believe there is only one person who truly controls the votes, and I thank God for guiding me here."
does makes me wonder if she is saying that God is in the touch screens (like the devil is the details) or if she just called her deity a person (which would make them not a deity by definition).

Her statement did remind me of yet another person in the news this week: Charles P. McCullough. Also a councilor -- county, not city -- McCullough got himself arrested as the result of a criminal investigation that started back before another primary...two years ago. When Chucky won that primary he stated:
"Obviously, it was by the hand of God and also by the voters of the county (that I won)."

Which makes one wonder if God is so invested in the politics of this city how come there isn't more smiting taking place?

And, since we're on a metaphysical bent here, we cannot not mention another election this week (Hey, the judges do vote!). Teh bloogers' favorite Top Chef real-life Muppet, Carla, made it to the final three. I like Carla and hope she wins the whole enchilada (or maybe that should be the whole amuse-bouche) even though she sometimes consults her "spirit guides" on what to cook.

Better a chef with culinary-inclined spirit guides than a councilor with a deity with a thumb on the scale, I always say.

And, Carla brings us back full circle to Patrick Dowd.

How, you may ask?

Well, Top Chef is all about the gourmet cooking and it's on the Bravo channel which used to be très artsy. And, here in the Burgh our Democratic primary elections often have the same dynamic as the R vs. D presidential elections. Namely, a self-proclaimed Real AmericanTM candidate vs. a smarty-pants elitist who can't understand real Americans. Locally, of course, this plays out as the self-proclaimed Real PittsburgherTM vs. the smarty-pants elitist who can't understand real Pittsburghers.

Think Luke vs. Bill; think getting trashed at a Steelers game and handcuffed vs. being a member of the cupcake class; think anyone Matt H endorses (Real PittsburgherTM) vs. anyone who runs against his endorsed candidate (smarty-pants elitist).

Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is of course a self-proclaimed Real PittsburgherTM. Dowd undoubtedly is the kind of guy who might actually watch the Bravo channel -- he taught at a private school for chrissakes -- while Ravenstahl is the kind of guy who changes his name to Steelerstahl and whose TIVO is undoubtedly entirely filled up with sports events.

The one thing that might give Lukey pause is that Dowd beat this dynamic before.

Dowd was the smarty-pants elitist who beat self-proclaimed Real PittsburgherTM Len Bodack (a man so "real" that his own supporters called foul on having any debates because they said he wouldn't be up to the task).

Dowd can and is running on "change" (though unfortunately also pocket change) at a time when we're all scared shitless of the status quo. And, I have to agree with Chris Potter that the "Nobody's Boy" bit is a good one (while also having the same reservations about Dowd's style that Potter expresses).

So there you have the Pittsburgh Circle of Political Life, or maybe it's Six Degrees of Matt H Chad Hermann Mark Rauterkus Carla!

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