Posted by: cantmisssd | October 26, 2010

Principled Pearl Clutchers Unite

I wrote last week about the process being a lame scapegoat for complaining about the actual results. It’s been on full display lately as sniping and positioning has continued at high gear over Nathan Fletcher’s last-minute move to open up the CCDC cap- potentially clearing the way for a new Chargers stadium. To take just one example, Supervisor Dianne Jacob waxing indignant about trust:

“The biggest issue here is, how can we trust those public officials that have been a party to circumventing the process?” Jacob asked. “Actions speak louder than words, and so far it’s just words.”

What is the lack of trust that’s driven her to call for the fainting couch? Fletcher’s move that, by all indications thus far, violated neither the law nor legislative or procedural rules in the legislation. How indeed can we trust our politicians to operate explicitly within the rules to achieve their long-standing stated goals? Someone bring the pearls, we need something to clutch.

Indeed, the horrified reaction to the process working out exactly as designed has been widespread. Tim Sullivan termed it the “Sacramento Surprise”, and

Meanwhile, time after time after time the deal is declared pork. Fletcher’s deal isn’t any more cravenly political than the posturing surrounding it. Words may be cheaper, but drawing a line between posturing you don’t like and posturing you do like is kinda silly, especially when it’s supposedly over principle.

While there’s plenty of easily-presumed political motivation behind the last-minute maneuver, it’s only a de-facto stadium deal if people let it become such. CCDC now has much more leeway to make any number of fantastic improvements to the downtown area, and if there are better options than the stadium, go get it done.

I get it. Being anti-incumbency, anti-establishment, anti-government spending money on things- it’s so hot right now. Anything unanticipated is tricky, anyone else’s success is shady. But it isn’t the fault of politicians who play by the rules and produce results other people don’t like simply by being more successful. Winning isn’t corrupt in itself, even if you win at the last minute. You don’t like what Fletcher did? Fine. Learn a lesson and next time, play by the rules and do it better than him. That’s all that happened.

Now we’re 3 million San Diegans in a mess, and so far all the chatter is about who’s going to feign enough outrage to get (re)elected. If you don’t like the process, start telling me what you want to change and how you propose to change it. If you don’t like the potential outcome of a huge government project to build a stadium- tell me how you propose to stop it and tell me what you want instead. Demonizing a perfectly fair play though- it’s simple, it’s lame, and it sells short the opportunity to discuss the future.

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