If you want to see what a desperate, sad, and hopeless state Mayor Hahn’s campaign is in, you simply need to look at what he’s doing to try and get re-elected. This Son of Kenneth, this Mayor of One of America’s Largest Cities, this Longtime Politician, so stained with inaction, corruption, a lack of charisma, or leadership, has a new campaign theme. What is it?
Simple. It’s called “I may be a crook, but at least I’m white. Tony’s a Mexican. And we gotta stop the Mexicans from taking over.”
Ok, not literally, but that is more or less the campaign theme. Bill Carrick and Kam Kuwata are smart and literate enough to put it some other way. I’m sure after Carrick’s presidential candidate, Dick Gephardt, saw his career go down in flames, after a torrent of negative campaigning, he and his cohorts have learned from that little disaster. (What is Dickie G. doing now, anyway?)
Now, I’m not a member of the Legions of P.C. that cry “racism” the way the little boy cried “wolf” (as is too often the case these days), but watching the kind of campaign Hahn is running, and watching how easily people are falling for it, makes you wonder What Would Kenneth Do if he were confronted with someone in public life who can’t say much more than “Vote for Me I’m White.”
Take for example the Mayor’s front-and-center placement of Crank Candidate Walter Moore’s endorsement. Surely your remember this clown – he’s the guy who cared more about the rights of bunnies and birdies instead of property owners. Hahn lost the endorsements of prominent leaders in just about every community there is in Los Angeles – which he derided as bunk.
Yet he was joyous to get Crank Walter Moore’s endorsement to telegraph to Angry White People “Hey, I may be a corrupt, and incompetent steward of your tax dollars, but at least I’m white.”
A quick look at the cranky ex-candidate’s website proves that a) Moore is just another white person afraid of “those people” and b) Hahn is getting his support primarily because of his skin color.
How else to explain Moore’s total abandonment of principle to support his former nemesis? (Memo to Moore: You keep sending me two copies of your stupid emails all the time – and I don’t want any of them. Stop it.)
Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that any Good Republican would consider voting for Hahn. I mean, I can understand a Republican not wanting to vote for Tony Villaraigosa because of his openly liberal views, but the sad truth is, on most issues Hahn and Villaraigosa are not that far apart. So why vote for Hahn if he’s really no different on 90% of issues than Tony V?
Even the famous Mayor Sam’s Sister City blog, no home to hippie liberalism, has bitten the bullet and supported Villaraigosa to root out the Hahn mess in City Hall. And yet, there’s Mayor Hahn, belatedly picking up semi-right wing causes in an unabashed effort to get the only block left to him – the white people who Don’t Like Mexicans.
I wish I could hold a seance and call upon the spirit of former Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and ask him what he thinks of the kind of campaign his son is running, stooping to race-baiting as the only way left to hold on to power. I’d ask Supervisor Hahn if this is something he’d do himself, or would have done in the turbulent 60s when race relations weren’t so great. What Woud Kenneth Do?
I’d even ask him if he was proud of the constant ethical problems his son has had, or how after years in office, Hahn the Minor has yet to really do much with his career, or his life, besides Get Re-Elected.
In fact, I wish I could force Jimi Hahn to justify his campaign to his father, face-to-face. I’d love to see Jimi try and obfuscate and use the hair-splitting lie to wriggle his way out of the situation. I’d like to see how far he gets with his weasel-ish performance in front of an actual adult, and leader, especially one like his father was. Especially since he invokes his father’s name when more emails are subpoenaed and more US Attorneys and FBI agents are sent to City Hall.
And it’s not like this is the first time he’s done it anyway. Let’s face facts – in 2001, Jimi Hahn invoked the image of Saint Ken to shore up support in the African American community, while at the same time sending under-the-radar messages to same community warning them of the specter of the Rise of the Browns.
At the same time, such a scorched-earth policy is not entirely unexpected. When a candidate is down and out, they tend to get desperate enough to try something, anything, just to hold on, since they are either facing jail time or an unemployable future.
If I was in charge of Hahn’s re-election effort (and I thank God I’m not!!!) I don’t know what I’d do. But I’d have a hard time fanning the flames of hatred just to bleed a handful of votes out of a pack of cranks I a) dislike intensely and b) would hate to see get something out of a new administration should he win.
Mayor Willie Brown, who mismanaged San Francisco into financial ruin during the boom years, and saddled it with massive, permanent financial, and social problems, took a similar right turn when faced with a possible defeat, begging hard-right Republicans to support his re-election.
He ended up having to hand out taxpayer funded goodies and civil service jobs to people a year before the election hated his guts (partially because of his politics, partially because of his skin color). It was a sick, depraved example of the decline of a so-called leader, and helped cement San Francisco’s slide into mediocrity, one Gavin Newsom is desperately trying to rescue it from.
Whatever. The whole thing is disgusting, and I really hope at this point Villaraigosa wins. I don’t know that he’s the best guy for the job, but for now, I am not as much about who will do the best job, as much as I am about seeing a pack of jerks get denied their post-election goodies. Maybe some other jerks will get them, but at least it ain’t gonna be THOSE jerks.
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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