Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2023

Focusing on What Is Truly Important [UPDATED]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:21 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Philadelphia goes to the polls today (or, given the way things are, I guess has been going to the polls for the last several weeks) to choose its new mayor. Our nation’s sixth largest city by population is fairly important, especially given Philadelphia’s sentimental reputation as the Cradle of Liberty. Certainly Philadelphia faces challenges particular to older American metropolises these days: increases in crime and murder over the past decade, dismal test scores among the city’s schoolchildren, a declining population base (Philadelphia was recently surpassed by Phoenix who moved into the fifth spot among America’s largest cities), and a long and ignoble history of corruption.

So given all that, what’s on the minds of our media elite as exemplified by CNN as they mull over who might next sit at the big desk in City Hall? Naturally, it’s the current progressive obsession with race, sex, and ethnicity:

The biggest city in the battleground state of Pennsylvania is poised to effectively choose its next leader on Tuesday, as Philadelphia Democrats vote for the nominee to be the city’s 100th mayor – and a key figure in President Joe Biden’s reelection bid next year.

The long and historically expensive campaign, which at one point featured a dozen candidates, appears to be coming down to four or five contenders: former City Council members Cherelle Parker, Helen Gym and Allan Domb; former city controller Rebecca Rhynhart; and Jeff Brown, a city grocery store magnate.

Parker, Gym and Rhynhart are widely regarded as the favorites entering primary day, and each, should she win, would become the first woman elected mayor in the city’s long history. Like Michelle Wu in Boston, Gym would also be the city’s first Asian American leader. Parker, like Karen Bass in Los Angeles, is a Black woman and would also break two barriers at once.

Sure, the article goes on to give a bit of background on what each candidate believes is the best prescription for moving the city forward, but the fact that “firsts” are so prominently recited in the third paragraph, immediately after the main candidates are introduced, provides a telling look at what really is important to Democrats in 2023. Heck, the article itself is titled “Philadelphia Democrats poised to make history in expensive mayoral race.” And should you think that perhaps CNN has had several other articles on the Philadelphia mayoral race which focused more on the issues, the answer is nope.

Somewhere in the City of Brotherly Love there has to be a little-known black lesbian politician who is just kicking herself that she didn’t make a run for it this year, given that she would check one more intersectionality box than any of her competitors and represent an impressive three, instead of two, potential “firsts.” But them’s the breaks. My prediction is that whoever ends up as mayor will at best be a mediocre time-server and that by the time he or she leaves office eight years from now, San Antonio will be nation’s sixth-largest city.

UPDATE: Cherelle Parker has apparently won the race and will be the Democrat nominee (and presumptive favorite) in the November race against Republican David Oh. Be ready to hear how “historic” it will be to have the first black woman mayor of Philadelphia.

But what is interesting about Ms. Parker is the platform she ran on. She unapologetically called for Philly to fill all of its open positions in the police department, and she also suggested that the city address its gun violence problem by bringing back stop-and-frisk policies. She was the favorite of the city’s unions, so we can expect that she will pay them back for their support by taking a very soft stance on corruption and mismanagement among city workers. Probably the best thing about last night is that the Democrat Socialist backed by Comrade Bernard and the Adorably Ornery Clueless niece lost, and seems to have vastly underperformed the expectations for her going into the vote. Let’s see how progressives read those tea leaves.

– JVW

31 Responses to “Focusing on What Is Truly Important [UPDATED]”

  1. Credit where it’s due: Vox has a pretty good explanation of what the various candidates stand for and what niche of the Democrat coalition they are targeting. They are also honest enough to refer to the dissatisfaction many Philadelphians have with the Democrats’ stranglehold on the local political scene. Why, the GOP nominee who faces tonight’s Democrat winner might eventually lose by only a 70%-30% margin.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. “Firsts” are inherently virtuous, JVW. Didn’t you get the memo?

    norcal (15fce4)

  3. UPDATE: Cherelle Parker has apparently won the race and will be the Democrat nominee (and presumptive favorite) in the November race against Republican David Oh. Be ready to hear how “historic” it will be to have the first black woman mayor of Philadelphia.

    But what is interesting about Ms. Parker is the platform she ran on. She unapologetically called for Philly to fill all of its open positions in the police department, and she also suggested that the city address its gun violence problem by bringing back stop-and-frisk policies. She was the favorite of the city’s unions, so we can expect that she will pay them back for their support by taking a very soft stance on corruption and mismanagement among city workers. Probably the best thing about last night is that the Democrat Socialist backed by Comrade Bernard and the Adorably Ornery Clueless niece lost, and seems to have vastly underperformed the expectations for her going into the vote. Let’s see how progressives read those tea leaves.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  4. North carolina republicans override abortion veto with help of trojan horse turncoat. This will infuriate democrats and insure they turn out for 2024. Also will help democrat running for gov.

    asset (083cea)

  5. I doubt people will get that worked up by a 12-week abortion law, asset.

    Are you for abortion-on-demand through nine months?

    norcal (15fce4)

  6. In rejecting Helen Gym, it sounds like Philadelphia may have done itself a huge favor. Here is the left-leaning editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer assessing the pitfalls of electing Ms. Gym to executive office:

    Gym should be honest about her big spending agenda before voters go to the polls on May 16. Philadelphia does not have unlimited funds. Under Mayor Jim Kenney, the city’s budget increased 50% to $6 billion with little to show for the spending spree.

    [. . .]

    Gym’s record is one of opposing tax cuts and proposing new taxes. She voted against reducing the wage tax and opposed cuts to business and parking taxes.

    She led the effort to scale back the tax abatement program that helped spur development. Gym and two other Council members proposed a wealth tax that critics said may prompt wealthy individuals to move out of the city.

    [. . .]

    During a recent mayoral forum, when candidate Jeff Brown challenged Gym’s knowledge of business and real estate, she said he “sounds like an angry man right now” and “has no respect for women.”

    At another mayoral forum, former Mayor Michael Nutter asked Gym what she meant when she said, “When I walk into the room, systems of oppression fall and new systems of opportunity come up.”

    “I’m obviously not taking credit and saying that I’m gonna do all this stuff, but yeah, is that my attitude when I come into a room? Absolutely,” she said, inserting an expletive after the first two syllables of the last word.

    Being mayor of Philadelphia requires a thick skin and the ability to work with City Council, state lawmakers, and business leaders. But Gym’s record is one of confrontation.

    [. . .]

    Gym is an effective hell-raiser. But Philadelphia needs a mayor who is a troubleshooter, not a troublemaker. Leading and building consensus in a diverse city doesn’t work with a bullhorn. And rule one for any big spending plans is to show your work.

    Hats off to the people of Philadelphia for avoiding this nonsense (for now).

    JVW (1ad43e)

  7. It sounds like law-and-order was the winning ticket for Ms. Parker, similar to NYC Mayor Adams and Seattle’s Bruce Harrell.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  8. @5 Really? Democrats have been worked up about abortion decision last june. Remember the red wave tsunami in nov. 2022 that didn’t occur. Right wing media is trannys and illegals. Since the kansas vote last year abortion is hardly talked about in right wing media as they know its the elephant in the room. The 80% of voters who oppose banning abortion are just waiting to vote republicans OUT!

    asset (083cea)

  9. You didn’t answer my question, asset.

    norcal (15fce4)

  10. Only asset would yammer on about abortion in a post about Philadelphia, the city which gave us Kermit Gosnell.

    JVW (831f60)

  11. JVW, thank you for a fine post. I don’t know what to say about trolls. They are everywhere, and seem to delight in yammering on until regular people leave. Sort of a Gresham’s Law analogue. I don’t know what can be done about it.

    What I do know is that I appreciate your, Dana, and Patterico’s posts. Thank you.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  12. I am sure we would hear how “historic” it would be for a Republican and Asian-American becoming mayor if David Oh wins.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. It’s all about Narrative, and nothing else. Right now, everyone seems to follow that template. It makes me tired.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  14. The Progressives and their Press will fall back on FIRST! and ignore any policy matters. Most of these election stories are horse-race things anyway.

    I would really like to see the MSM contrast Biden’s economic and trade policies with Trump’s. There’s a big gap on social issue, of course, but where the rubber hits the road, Biden has co-opted most of Trump’s trade and fiscal policies. Including the wasteful spending.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  15. “Firsts” are inherently virtuous, JVW. Didn’t you get the memo?

    Wait until the first woman, or first person descended from slaves, is elected President as a Republican.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  16. North carolina republicans override abortion veto with help of trojan horse turncoat. This will infuriate democrats and insure they turn out for 2024. Also will help democrat running for gov.

    Now, North Carolina women are being subjected to the fascist laws that they have in France, Germany and, well, most of the first world. The horror! They will rise up in their ennui in the dozens!

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  17. Are you for abortion-on-demand through nine months?

    We have that here in New Mexico. I blame the liars on both sides for continuing this charade.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  18. The women in North Carolina are catching a break:

    A national poll conducted for the Wall Street Journal in April by the polling firm run by Tony Fabrizio—the pollster for Donald Trump—asked GOP primary voters: “Do you favor or oppose banning all abortions after 6 weeks except in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother?” Republican voters overwhelmingly supported such an abortion ban—68 percent to 27 percent.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  19. It’s all about Narrative, and nothing else. Right now, everyone seems to follow that template. It makes me tired.

    Back in the misty past of, oh 1990, people had a common connection through newspapers and broadcast news. Politics came as commercials on broadcast TV, and everyone was exposed to more or less the same thing. It wasn’t perfect, but we had cultural cohesion.

    Now? That cohesion has shattered utterly. We have bubbles for the partisans, we have so many ways to tune it all out. No one under the age of 50 (60?) reads newspapers, and most no longer watch broadcast TV. Whole election campaigns are waged with very little meaning getting to the voters: it’s Tribe R and Tribe D and voters may not have a clue what “their” tribe is actually doing.

    I’m no different. I only see political ads by seeking them out, mostly on YouTube. Streaming services don’t show them, BluRay doesn’t show them, my Adblock does its level best not to show them.

    All I have is the news sources I pick, and many of those are either terribly slanted or superficial. It’s amazing that, with the world’s data at my fingertips, I am less informed than I was B.I.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  20. @18:

    This is what, the 3rd time you’ve posted that? And I retort: “GOP primary voters.” How many of them were women of child-bearing age, and what part of the 27% did they comprise?

    Also, you neglect to mention that the poll said that this was a loser among all voters (53-41) with 44% of the responses “Strongly oppose”

    It also showed that 40% of GOP primary voters would be MORE INCLINED to vote for Trump if he was convicted of a felony. Boy, that’s a group I want to be part of!

    This was mostly a Trumpist push poll, with questions designed to show that the GOP loved Trump.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  21. This is what, the 3rd time you’ve posted that?…..Also, you neglect to mention that the poll said that this was a loser among all voters (53-41) with 44% of the responses “Strongly oppose”…….This was mostly a Trumpist push poll, with questions designed to show that the GOP loved Trump.

    I previously quoted the source which included the WSJ poll results as part of a rebuttal to Trump’s Messenger interview.

    I didn’t neglect to mention anything, I wasn’t going to add anything to what the original poster wrote.

    Show me a poll that says the GOP hates Trump. You may not, but Republican Party voters do.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  22. The last sentence in post 21 should read:

    Show me a poll that says the GOP hates Trump. You may, but Republican Party voters love Trump.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. A reasonable metric for progress in Philadelphia is if rioting and looting stops when Philly sports teams win– or lose.

    DCSCA (73bc4e)

  24. Love and hate are connected.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  25. It does seem to be a CNN thing:

    Rollins was sworn into the position in January 2022 as the first Black woman to lead the US attorney’s office for Massachusetts.

    nk (5c10b0)

  26. It does seem to be a CNN thing:

    Funny you should mention that, nk. I think I’ll put up a post about Ms. Rollins and her inglorious departure from her role.

    JVW (9dccf3)

  27. The anti-progressives are quietly winning in places, without alerting people.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. @9 I can’t get pregnant and I don’t want to be told what to do with my body so I don’t tell others. Believe me you would not like me giving you orders.

    asset (358f8d)

  29. @18 I see they had to put 6 weeks to even get a majority of republicans. Democrats ,independents and enough republicans will give north carolina rethugs a post natal abortion in 2024. More good news pennsylvania by election votes democrat. Voters are smartening up and voting out local republican vermin.

    asset (358f8d)

  30. asset (358f8d) — 5/17/2023 @ 3:28 pm

    Is that a “yes”, you are in favor of abortion-on-demand through nine months?

    For somebody who often mentions abortion, why get coy all of a sudden?

    norcal (15fce4)

  31. @30 Not my business. Do what you think is best. The state may have some say in very late term abortion if woman’s health is not involved depends on the reason for state’s interest. Second If you do not support welfare without onerous restrictions like the fundo right to lifers who say abortion is murder ;but once your born kid your on your own because welfare is socialism/communism and if private charities are overwhelmed as they were before social welfare tough go live in a garbage dump like they do in latin america. Hope you don’t think thats to coy.

    asset (b359de)


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