Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This Blog Supports Luke Ravenstahl for the Hell of it

I was quite disturbed to wake up this morning, open up the Post Gazette's "Early Returns" section, and find myself lumped in with a bunch of damned, dirty, hippie, Peduto supporters. According to the two headed beast that is James O'Toole-Rich Lord, yours truly is one of several local blogs that skewer Mr. Ravenstahl almost daily, and heap scorn on mainstream media reports that, in their view, go easy on the mayor.

Is it me or does that almost make this place sound like a RonCo Showtime Rotisserie?*

If anyone thought that we were attacking Mr. Ravenstahl because we had an affinity to another candidate, they would be sadly mistaken. Mr. Ravenstahl happens to occupy a very conspicuous position in City government, one where it is not easy to hide, making him vulnerable to slings and arrows thrown by people like me. The mayor is a target; Luke happens to be the mayor. As I said to some guy at the City Paper,

I think that the recent obsession with Ravenstahl is more of a function of the general proliferation of blogs. Tom Murphy was hit pretty hard too towards the end of his term as blogs were coming into their own, and there was some nasty, nasty stuff written about him (both fair and unfair) on the internet. Something tells me that if David L. Lawrence or Ebeneezer Denny were alive during the time of blogs, they would have been similarly reamed. (I think Thomas Paine actually wrote a pamphlet about Denny called "An Appeal to the Common Sense of the Citizens of Pittsburg and their Mayor" questioning his service in the Revolutionary War.)...
If there was a reason that we aren't doing more Peduto critiquing, it's not because he's a better candidate or he's somehow better liked by the author here, but because he's not out standing in front of the cameras every day throwing out new policy proposals, conveniently timed to improve his chances of being elected mayor.

Or perhaps he IS doing that, and we're just not paying all that much attention to him.

I'm sure as the election gets closer and closer we'll start being snarkier and snarkier 'round here, and we'll be making the obligatory comparisons between Ravenstahl's Opie and Peduto's Otis in this Maybury we call Pittsburgh.** Indeed, we raised the ire of some ardent Peduto supporters on several occasions last time he ran for the mayor's office.

So with that in mind, here are today's obligatory shots at Councilman Otis: I find it hard to believe that a guy who represents some of the most privileged portions of the City of Pittsburgh can truly appreciate the problems of the least advantaged. I'm also skeptical of the air of faux populism that he seems to engender in his most loyal followers. I am not convinced of the superiority of his policies and am deeply concerned that they will unnecessarily cost me time and cause me needless frustration.

Of course, having said that don't let anyone think that suddenly I'm supporting Ravenstahl either.

In general, however, I'm not a big fan of politicians, so I certainly see no reason to change my opinion during this race. I will remain safely agnostic for now until a real candidate runs.

What's Joe Cusick doing these days?

*Set it and forget it! Only 4 easy payments of $39.95!
**H/t to Luke. Somebody should pay him royalties.


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