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30 September 2006

I've decided to endorse Granholm

I'm not a newspaper editor or anything,
so I guess it's sort of imperious of me
to cast myself in the role of endorser,
but it's said by some that the blogosphere may
be as powerful a political force as
pre-Internet types of media,
so I guess I'm as qualified as anyone to endorse Jennifer Granholm
for re-election as governor of Michigan.

What clinched the present announcement
is Devin[sp?] Scillian[sp?]'s television
interview of Dick DeVos on today's
edition of Local 4's version of the
local/regional Sunday Schlock Talk Show genre of television.

While I generally find Republicans
more plain-spoken, frank and principled
in their rhetoric than I do their Democratic counterparts,
I saw DeVos' interview style as cagey,
passive aggressive and ideologically doctrinaire.
At the moment I happened to tune in,
they were talking about the financial and
labor/management crisis of the Detroit school district.
As I expected, DeVos said in so many words that
Detroit (meaning, I can only assume, Detroit's electorate)
simply must wake up and smell the coffee
and understand that it doesn't have the
sheer luxury of continuing its cherished
tradition of having public opinion that is pro-union.
He didn't, of course, state it in those words.
If he had, I'd be writing the opposite endorsement
right now, in spite of my unabashed pro-union
stance, because that's how starved I am
for refreshingly candid rhetoric in American
politricks. No, he simply rolled out the
already very shopworn clichés about
'changing our way of thinking,'
'being open to new ideas,' and other
BS. I'm proud of the education I received
in the Detroit Public Schools.
Their well-apprenticed faculty taught me how to write,
and they didn't force me to watch TV commercials.
The least I can do now is write on their behalf.

Then came the subject of insurance premiums.
The host did the state the disservice of framing
insurance cost spirals as a 'Detroit issue,'
which it is, of course, but insurance industry practices are also a
poor people's issue and a young people's issue,
due to the industry's insistence that it has
a legitimate interest in incorporating credit scoring into rate-setting.
DeVos' assessment of Detroit's insurance woes,
while frank,
was shallow, uninformed and insulting.
He blamed Detroit's insurance woes on high crime rate
and (this remark, in itself, is what clinched
my departure from the 'undecided' camp, BTW)
also cited noncompliance (driving without insurance, the other DWI)
as a driver of high insurance rates.
A few years ago, it MIGHT have been, though I kinda doubt it.
Under the new law, though, anyone who gets busted
(more probable than not given 'information sharing') for
the new, sober type of DWI
will be soaked so royally by the insurance
industry, MAIPF and the state treasury that any complaint that such
persons are putting less than their fair share
into the 'system' is not only negated, it is
soundly reversed. DeVos' showed no inkling
of getting it about the fact that the 'motive'
for the 'crime' of driving without insurance
is virtually always the desire to keep oneself
in circulation, which is to say in the labor market,
which is to say HAVING A WORK ETHIC.
The answer to so-called Driver Responsibility
isn't still more draconian persecution of people
who adopt an automotive lifestyle even though
they can't begin to afford it, it's improvement of mass
transit in Michigan to a point where it's actually

Then came the 'are you part of the religious right' question.
This pat question, of course, met with the usual pat answers, like the fact
that the candidate's political views are informed by his
religious beliefs. Yawn. Devin could have asked an interesting
or meaningful question, such as whether DeVos is of the opinion
(like some of today's more doctrinaire religious rightists)
that 'freedom of conscience' applies to business principals
who feel, for some 'reason,' that they have an ethical
obligation not to hire people whose lifestyles they consider immoral.
Instead the interview signed off with some haha remarks
about how he doesn't know much anything about his wife's public affairs activities.
It should be no mystery that I have adopted an editorial
policy here at alimento of referring to people with careers in
main$tream media as prostitutes.

I must emphasize that my ringing endorsement of
Granholm over DeVos is definitely support of
Granholm as the LESSER OF TWO EVILS.
Granholm has disappointed me at almost every turn.
Like a typical DLC Democrat, she has allowed
the Republicans to steer the policy debate.
She didn't hesitate to chisel the budget deficit on the backs of the poor,
modeling the state's accounts receivable practices
after the more down-market and exploitative segments
of the financial sector.
She made a few weak objections to the Medicaid cuts,
but offered little in the way of assertive resistance.
Granholm's advertising strategy has a frighteningly
nativist and generally demagogic tone.
This is unacceptable, but DeVos' worldview
and policy agenda are so completely at cross purposes
to everything I've ever considered right and just, that I
must vote for Granholm, and must display Granholm
campaign paraphernalia(sp?) on my person and my car,
and must use my violently-procured
freedom-to-blog on her behalf. Good luck, Jen.

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