AND THE ONLY SOUND THAT’S LEFT, AFTER THE AMBULANCES GO, IS CINDERELLA SWEEPING UP ON DESOLATION ROWBy
“Democracy is the worship of jackals by jackasses.” – H.L. Mencken
Detroit is broke. Literally unable to pay their bills without borrowing money from any available source, regardless of the transactions legalities. Right now, they’re doing everything, save collecting empties and forgoing kickbacks, to keep the lights on. Detroit is on the brink of a fiscal meltdown on par with Bear Stearns or Enron. This impending bankruptcy did not happen without warning. Numerous observers have, for more than a decade, pointed to the city’s bloated labor force, outmoded processes, and shrinking tax base as a ticking time bomb.
A responsible, serious governor could have headed this disaster at the pass. A responsible, serious governor could have installed a capable emergency financial manager years ago to manage Detroit’s books. But Michigan doesn’t have a responsible, serious governor. Jennifer Granholm elected to ignore the problem rather than risk angering Detroit’s political class and the ministerial Guardian Council. They were too important to her re-election and Jennifer Granholm’s re-election was far more important than the long-term fiscal health of Michigan’s largest city.
We have dull machine politician who exudes a brand of vacuous enthusiasm that seems out of place even on a high school cheerleading squad. In Jennifer Granholm, we have a governor who thought replacing a competent financial manager in Highland Park with Art Blackwell, poster child for the Kleptocrats, was a prudent decision. Imagine the dreck she would have put in charge of Detroit? Bernard Kilpatrick’s girlfriend probably. Or Rayford Jackson.
So here we are. Mike Bishop is waiting in the wings ready to do something about this problem. As well he should and is his right. No official in Lansing should look at Detroit’s fiscal morass with any emotion other than horror. Unfortunately in the zero sum game that is Michigan politics, this can only spell disaster for Detroit. Emergency Financial Manager Jack Brandenburg? There’s no reason to assume it won’t be that bad.
There are no heroes, no profiles in courage, among our political class. Just cowards and demagogues. When the bankruptcy becomes official, the Klavern outstate will foam at the mouth in excitment and grape throwers in the city will do their damndest to shout down any reasonable discourse. Politicians of both parties will either cower in fear of both groups of clay-eaters. Or, even worse, they’ll follow Jennifer Granholm’s lead and get in front of the mob. Ahh…demagoguery. No one ever lost an election telling the rabble what they want to hear. (Freep)
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