The Recorder’s recent editorial criticizing the Mayor is totally epic in terms of its utter lack of self-awareness in how they exacerbate the endemic problems facing the city — the incessant negativity, the do-nothingness, the fatalism, the embrace of failed policies and strategy, and the longstanding political vindictiveness.
The Recorder editors need only look at themselves closely in the mirror to see that they are a very vocal contributor to the very things they rail against.
For what precisely have the Recorder editors advocated?
Like a large bloc of our vocal naysayers and do-nothings, they champion nothing. Nothing, of course, other than embracing the need for the city to dissolve itself. On that issue, they are vocal advocates.
No, the Recorder editors should take a close look at the state of the city and contrast it to what they publicly advocate.
The editors decry blight but harp relentlessly on how the city has no money and should spend no money and endorse candidates who likewise vow to spend no money. They editorialize and demagogue on financials even when their own reporting contradicts their editorial. The important question remains unanswered: how do you expect to fix blight while advocating the city spends no money?
The editors want growth or development yet advocate against projects that promote growth and quality of life: they supported shutting Bacon school, they supported shutting down the Walter Elwood museum, and they championed the tabling of the Chalmers deal. How are any of those decisions consistent with growth or quality of life?
The editors want zero spending and lower taxes but delight in spending hundreds of thousands, now millions of dollars, to demolish buildings with absolutely no plan to rebuild in its place.
The editors bemoan the constant bickering and political infighting yet gleefully editorialize on how their side — the current Council — finally gets to put the Mayor in her place upon the Council’s election victory.
The editors question priorities using the hubbub at the golf course as an example of focusing on the wrong priorities. But like a sly 3-card monty dealer, they want you to look at the Mayor’s actions while they fail to point out that it is the very Council members they endorse and cheer who place the golf course as their highest priority.
The editors want to call out the mayor for not getting things done, for putting lipstick on the pig. Meanwhile, they will not call out their dear Council members who accomplish nothing and not only put lipstick on the pig, but eyeliner, eyeshadow and a myriad of other cosmetics. I won’t ask why you’d put cosmetics on a pig other than, well, let’s move on.
The editors dismiss local activism and community spirit to clean up the city. So city residents spend their own time and effort to make the city look better and the editors think that merits a “F-you” to the volunteers as long as they can take a swipe at one of the Mayor’s signature initiatives. No tiptoeing through the tulips in Amsterdam. No, it’s f-you to the tulips and any volunteer effort that tries to make a difference.
The editors worry about the city giving Montgomery County a bad name. That’s pretty funny as the editors do nothing but consistently undermine efforts for the city to progress forward. How can you advocate for improving the city when you consistently editorialize against resources — aka money– to fund the very things you demand, ie, parks and growth. The editors consistently demagogue on tax rates and their need to be lower regardless of trade-offs yet wonder why the lack of investment creates the very problems they lament.
Remember how the editors mocked the very notion that the city should have a Web page to promote the city? While communities large and small leverage the Web, the editors could see no benefit to a digital strategy for marketing and public service here. In 2011 or so. Not kidding.
The editors paint the East End of Amsterdam as the true essence of the city because to do otherwise is to wear rose colored glasses. So exactly what have the editors advocated and advanced as the solution for the East End? How have the editors championed for fixing the East end and endorsing candidates who will do something about the East End? Funny, because they have not.
And if you happen to point out that the city landscape is more than just the East End, well, you would be a rose-colored hippie apparently.
I don’t want to talk about putting lipstick on a pig — that creeps me out. I’d rather stick to the classic “when pigs fly” as an expression of something wholly improbable to occur.
I predict that pigs will fly well before the city can coalesce and embrace a vision and strategy for moving ahead. This editorial shows precisely why it will not– the stubborn refusal to move beyond political agendas.
Let’s face it: the intent of this piece is a political endorsement of the Mayor’s opponent. That is why the Mayor is the only called explicitly called out when it is more than clear that the problems cited are not exclusive to the Mayor.
In the end, the editors merely voice a prevailing attitude in the city that centers on doing nothing versus trying something, fighting change versus embracing progress, and protecting the interests of the few at the expense of the many. While their lack of self-awareness is hardly surprising, it’s certainly troubling.
And most importantly, it keeps things just the way they always have been– focused on political and partisan ends.
You don’t dare want to smear the lipstick on that pig.