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The Election… and more
By Jim Sack
Fort Wayne Reader
There was little surprise in the local election — the Republicans won everything. Why is that? Why has Allen County become a single party county? In large part it is because of the ineffectiveness of the Democratic Party to express its values in language that Republicans can relate to and identify with. Instead, the ACDP has identified itself too much with the disenfranchised and too little with the solidly middle class folk who are the bulk of local voters. The ACDP has been defined by itself and the Republicans as the party of the poor, minorities, gays, labor (what’s left of it), militant feminists, tree huggers and intellectuals, all true and honorably so. The Democrats have a history of advancing rights and protection for the weak against those who would take advantage. But, the ACDP should loudly position itself as the champion of small business, home owners, veterans and parents, as well. They all have common interests and all rank first fairness as the highest of ideals. If Democrats are going to win in Allen County they are going to have to learn to speak the language of the people they need to win within the context of their traditional causes. Instead, the candidates and leaders of the party still talk in the jargon of the 60s and 70s. That is a turn off and the recent election results go to prove it.
Perplexed in Fort Wayne
Buried on an inside third page of the Journal-Gazette a couple weeks back was a story that in days of yore would have been splashed on the front page like a pint of blood. One of the very top local Republican moneybags in Allen County, a self-proclaimed pillar of virtue in a party that cynically proclaims it alone owns the moral high ground in nearly everything from international affairs to bedroom affairs, is being sued by a former employee for rape. Rape! But, wait, there’s more: the big time donor is defended by the chairman of the Republican Party, himself with a history of personal challenges! Mr. Heritage, the defendant, otherwise known as Bruce Dye, would have been wiser to hire a Democratic lawyer to make this look less like the cronies in his party, dependent on Dye’s money, are circling the wagons like some patriarchal tribe in the poppy fields of Afghanistan. It makes the whole thing look less like a quest for justice and more about protecting the party’s bottom line. Shall we see how the Republican prosecutor handles the matter, and the Republican judges? Lawyer Shine already failed in a legal maneuver to keep the matter hushed up and out of the public eye. It makes you wonder what other sorts of backroom games are next on his agenda to 1) protect party finances, from which Mr. Shine derives considerable succor, and 2), his Republican-values client who admits to the sex, knew she was a married woman, but claims the whole thing was consensual. What, however, is most perplexing is placement of the story and its missing content. Why did the erstwhile Democratic paper not save this political bombshell for their Sunday edition before the recent election when their circulation, and impact, would have been greatest. Instead, the JG editors buried the story on a back page on a low-circulation, laid-back Saturday without any mention of the political affiliations. Hmmm.
Our fine senator has been very active on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere on the Web, but it has been less informational and more confrontational. He could do better. Senator Coats is a fine man who seems recently content only to launch to knee-jerk attacks on anything Democratic. He attacked on Ebola, on Ukraine, on a dozen other issues when prudence dictated patience. His attacks sadly only seemed to echo Republican talking points, not to offer any of Dan’s personal folksy wisdom. Obama’s soft power, not young Americans in uniform, is strangling Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Inflation in Russia is climbing steeply, interest rates have shot up, capital has poured out of Russian banks, big deals have collapsed for lack on Western capital, GAZPROM has compromised on winter gas shipments to Europe, and oil prices have collapsed leaving Putin’s oil-based budget in serious deficit. Threatening missile strikes would not have accomplished what Obama’s soft power strangulation has done. Senator Coats saber rattling was simply wrong, and dangerous. He was also wrong on Ebola. Stopping travel from West Africa was 1) impossible, and 2) counter productive. Other measures have contained the virus when it has reached the US, or Germany or Spain, and now a flood of aid is reaching West Africa to extinguish this outbreak of the virus at the source where it is rampant. To have stopped traffic to West Africa would not have stopped the virus, it would have festered and reached us through many other routes. Just go to airports in Frankfurt, Athens or Paris and see for yourself. Sadly, Dan chose hysteria over science and prudence.
The two roles of a senator are to provide service to constituents and to represent them as a wise elder with the vested vote. In general, Senator Coats’ staff does exceptional work, so services are well rendered to constituents. It would be nice if Dan were to raise his own bar a little bit and, instead of inciting riots, work toward educating the public in order to make informed decisions. Gravitas, Dan. Your seat is safe, please act the wise elder.