Sometimes my time in the morning with coffee and papers makes me feel like a Roman watching an arena full of gladiators. Thumbs up or thumbs down and the fight is over.
It's not quite so simple, however, when trying to sort through the two papers during election season. Each fronts an opposing point of view . You have to read everything thoroughly then check Huckleberries blog, the Spokesman Review's answer to news coverage in northern Idaho and the often contentious opposition on the CDA Press blogs.
The latest political brouhaha began on the blogs last evening with the report that outgoing councilwoman Dixie Reid chastised in her own inimitable way, the departure from the meeting by several council want-to-be's. The fact that the meeting started at six and dragged on to eleven was not mentioned nor the fact that many of the candidates hadn't been in attendance at all. Were there reasons; were they legitimate? Maybe yes, maybe no. It would appear that Ms Reid did not know when she lit into them. Singling them out to embarrass? Picking and choosing those you don't want on the council Ms Reid? Hmmm?
Then there was the city attorney besmirching a speaker for being an "amateur" practicing law when he challenged the budget process. Another hmmmm. The "city" attorney defending the city's actions. How novel. That doesn't mean he's correct in his interpretation of law. On the other hand, those who wish to challenge need to fight fire with fire. Good intentions aren't enough. In this case perhaps another attorney to present and explain the statute in question from the challengers viewpoint might have carried more weight. I've taken a local opinion columnist/activist to task for the same sins of omission. The lack of substantiation for the views put forth. Community activists take note!
There was an ironic accompanying column in this morning's Press headlined Healthy government requires balance in which the columnist quotes a law professor as saying "Remember this: power corrupts".
There are times, by their demeanor, it would appear "power" has gone to the heads of the sitting council members. Is corruption in play? I'm making no accusation here, but "power" is definitely in play.
The video clips are out of context I'm sure, but the demeanor of the council members is not. Mr. Kennedy questioning Mr. Spencer's educational credentials in asking his questions. I dare ask, Mr. Kennedy, what are yours? Or is your opinion based on something you've been told by someone who is beholden to the city or the project?
And Ms. Reid, you're finger wagging. Tsk, tsk. And embarrassing candidates for office. Class act it was not. Any more than the scouring by the council to find candidates to oppose them. Of course all the name calling, and the lumping together of everyone who dares ask a question as being against everything is just as distasteful. It is rampant on both paper's blogs. No middle ground. And, as is this, only and all opinion.
Then too I found it interesting the only mention of all the above in the Spokesman was in the Huckleberries print column while it rated headlines in the Press. Does that mean no Spokesman reporter covered the meeting?
Ahhh, as Hub said, "Thank heavens we hicks out here in the county only have three of 'em (commissioners/politicians) to deal with. That's quite enough."