November 5, 2007

Democracy in Action!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:53 pm by scottorwig

Tomorrow is election day. If you didn’t already know this, don’t feel too bad–I’m only aware of it because of all the hilarious campaign ads that have been bombarding the 5 channels I can get at my apartment. Basically, the deal is that we’re voting on a new Mayor to replace Danny Glover-lookalike John Street and a bunch of random state and county officials that you neither know of nor care about–so let’s just focus on the mayoral election for now.

Your candidates are Michael Nutter and Al Taubenberger. Now, if you’ve followed Philly politics at all during the past year, you’d know that people have been referring to Nutter as the Mayor since the middle of May, when he won the Democratic nomination over a bunch of people I’ve already forgotten about. And since Philly has elected a Democrat Mayor every election since 1952, nothing short of him shooting a cop or being a Cowboys fan can keep him from winning tomorrow.

But that doesn’t mean Al Taubenberger isn’t trying. He’s made a TV commercial and everything! If you haven’t seen the ad, I strongly advice you check it out, as it may just be the single worst campaign advertisement of all time; it has the look and feel of a car dealership commercial and manages to touch on exactly zero political issues. Here are the facts I’ve learned about Al Taubenberger from this commercial:

1 . He’s a nice guy!

2. He’s from the Northeast!

3. He’s the underdog!

4. He doesn’t know any black people!

The first two points? Fine. He’s a genial fellow who identifies with a neighborhood in the city. But the underdog part? This is democracy, not Rocky. We’re supposed to judge candidates on the basis of their ideas, and the people of Philadelphia have decided that they like Michael Nutter’s ideas better. He’s the underdog because he sucks at what he does, and I’m supposed to give him my vote because of that? Has American Democracy fallen so far that the concept of a “pity vote” is a viable vote-getting strategy?

And look at the people in that ad–does it seem like that’s a representative sample of our population? If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Al Taubenberger is running for Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa. Philly is 43% black. Al Taubenberger’s commercial is 100% white. I understand that the black vote is overwhelmingly Democrat–but damn, Al, at least pretend you’re trying to win.

I’m sure Al Taubenberger is a smart enough guy, and I’m sure he knows he doesn’t have a chance in hell at winning this election, so why waste the money on running a commercial that reaches out to absolutely no one other than his current supporters, and provides no information concerning what he plans to do as Mayor?

This is what happens in a two-party system when people vote exclusively along party lines. Al Taubenberger could cure cancer, make SEPTA run on time and take the Eagles to the Super Bowl and still lose the election because he’s a Republican.

P.S.: Your new Mayor, Michael Nutter, wants to give cops the freedom to frisk you on the street without a warrant or probable cause. Cut your hair, hippie–they’re coming for you!



  1. modestt said,

    My neighbor was chased by undercover cops and taken down in front of our house… all on the basis of him fitting the vague description of: black male, wearing a white T, bearded, riding a bike. Nutter’s already begunnnn…, but don’t worry I’m not empathizing with Taubenberger either.

    Our city’s mayor, whoever it may be, needs to be stripped of so much appointing power within the city government.

    We need to stop contributing to the polarization of our politics, people like Ann Coulter (who calls fans of Rage Against the Machine “losers”, ummm Scott you and I had fun at Rock the Bells right? I hope we’re not losers, ha) are banking on it.

    Brilliant writing

  2. salsaramirez said,

    “Ann Coulter (who calls fans of Rage Against the Machine ‘losers'”. Wow, I never thought I’d agree with anything that woman had to say…KIDDING.

    I disagree, Tiff. You say we are contributing to polarization-I instead argue that we are contributing nothing. I think we’ve reached an age where anything we produce can be subsumed as “content”, aggregated on the web. I guess I’m just trying to justify my position as the poster boy for decadent liberal youth.

    What ended up happening to your neighbor? Is he alright? Actually, if he had nothing to hide, why would we mind being taken down by cops in front of his house? Right?

  3. modestt said,

    He was actually completely innocent. He said he had gone down the street to the deli around the corner to grab a beer, and then unexpectedly a van pulled up and guys ran out chasing him. They never identified themselves as police officers and they didn’t have any visible badges.

    I’d run too.

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