Monday, September 13, 2010

The No-Platform Platform

Yesterday, I discussed the importance of not sounding like a crazy person if you're attempting to run for public office. Today, I'll be discussing the importance of sounding like something if you're running for public office. You can't keep things a secret. Oh, sure, you can try, but how long is that really going to work for? Those second and third wives and going to catch on eventually. Ah, but I kid. About the wives, that is. Not about not keeping things secret. Seriously, you're going to have to let people in on what it is that you're going to do to, say, balance a budget. You can't say "I'm not going to tell you." Or can you?

Whether you can or not, Jerry Brown (who is running for governor of California against Meg "My Money Grows On Trees" Whitman) has taken up just that strategy. According to
SF Gate, Jerry Brown "...recently visited The (San Francisco) Chronicle's editorial board, he brought with him a large three-ring binder with his ideas on how to bring state spending back into the black." Oh, good! "But he wouldn't tell us what was in the book." Wait. He what now?

Correct. He wouldn't tell them what was in the book. He wouldn't tell them much of anything, really. Let's look at a few examples.

When asked what he, as governor, "...would do that state employee labor unions, which are spending millions to get him elected, won't like. He answered, "Well, I'm certainly not going to tell you now." Hmm. Granted, I agree that if you plan on doing things to people that they're not going to like, it's probably not the best idea to mention that ahead of time. But don't you have to come up with a better answer than, "I'm not telling"? I think you kind of do.

But Jerry Brown apparently did not. Not only was he not telling anyone about that, he also wasn't telling anyone about how he plans to negotiate with various groups, stating, "I'm not going to reveal my negotiating strategy now. I'm going to try to push everybody together." Soooo...that's not his strategy? The pushing together? It kind of sounds like a strategy. Is he trying to fake us out? The ol' Statue of Liberty play? Something like that? What?

When a one John Diaz, who is the Editorial Page Editor for the Chronicle, asked "...what tough calls Brown was willing to make, he answered, "There's only a process that will lead us to where we're going." Oh, OK. See...wait. There's only a....and it will...huh. Yeah, those are just words. They don't seem to be strung together to say a whole lot. Hmm.

Look, California is facing a 19 billion dollar deficit in the budget. I don't know that you can run for governor and insist that you can solve the budget problem, while at the same time keeping it a secret. As it stands right now, I'm not voting for either one of them. Meg Whitman is out of touch with reality (as evidenced by her spending $108 million of her own money just to get the nomination to run). And Jerry Brown is playing "I've Got A Secret" and sounding a bit like a doddering old man, which is causing me to use a Grandpa Simpson voice in my head whenever I read anything that Brown has said. (It's fun. Try it!) And I know that not enough people will vote third party for it to make a difference. So either way, we're screwed. With Meg Whitman, we'll know right away how we're being screwed and with Jerry Brown, we'll just have to wait a while until he wants to tell us how we're being screwed. Either way, nothing is going to be getting better any time soon.

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