Over the weekend we thought, “Come Monday we will just go ahead and blog about the War of Five Mayors.”
Cue real life and real challenges hitting everybody in the face.
An accurately headlined Post-Gazette story on the Jordan Miles situation is DOUBLE-PLUS MUST-READ. A couple of dry excerpts:
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010, [officers] were acting on a tip of drug dealing near a church on Tioga Street. According to Agent Bush’s account, Officer Saldutte saw someone near 7940 Tioga and said, “Let’s check that guy out. Let’s see what he’s doing.”
The officers said they drove near Mr. Miles and ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets, which he did. They asked him whether he lived at 7940 Tioga, and he said no. They asked him why he was there, but he walked away, then ran, they said, and Officer Saldutte saw a bulge in his jacket.
The officers told Agent Bush that they yelled, “Pittsburgh police, stop!” Officer Saldutte said he jumped out of the car and gave chase, as Mr. Miles fell on the ice, hitting his face on the sidewalk. (P-G, Rich Lord)
It was thereafter, it is said, things got messy.
Monica Wooding, who lived at 7940 Tioga, then came out and told the officers that she did not know Mr. Miles, they told Agent Bush. At a later preliminary hearing, though, Ms. Wooding told the judge that she knew Mr. Miles well, contradicting the police account of her statements at the scene. Charges against Mr. Miles of aggravated assault, loitering, resisting arrest and escape were dismissed. (ibid)
Not to be made irrelevant, the Tribune-Review runs material which perhaps better emphasizes the extent of the polarization and seething frustration enveloping this trial.
If the Comet had to guess what this civil trial is going to mean in the long view of history, its guess would be, “not much”. Local civil authorities are certainly swiveling their heads in some correct directions, and the black communities as always find copious ways to admit of shared responsibility for the overall picture.
But the long march of history is punctuated by incidents of this seemingly intractable conflict — crashing and wearing on us like the tides. It would be nice for something somewhere to give — to be able to envision sustainable beneficial adjustments coming down the pike. For all sides to grimace, lock eyes, hail Zoltan and forge something that will outlast us and surprise others. The Comet however does not yet see evidence of the requisite dispassion and empathy in the requisite quarters to seriously consider that as a likelihood.
“Learning” is like good looks, or making money. You either use it or you lose it.
In any event, back to lighter fare.
This is obviously what’s happening in the mayor’s race:
The above particular numbers should be taken with pinches of salt, and they are six months old besides. But somewhere in the ether there are numbers — and if we could see them, they’d certainly look something vaguely like that.
Also reported as part of the “fun exercise in speculative politics” at that time:
But let’s say you’re buying it.
There would be two (2) and exactly two (2) rational courses of action for the candidates representing the “75%ers” — that is, as if all three of them: the Auditor General, the Member of Council and the Controller; were not already brain-addled by that potent cocktail of narcissism and magical thinking which calls itself, “This is my time.”
Strategy 1: The three challengers campaign actively and openly if a bit obliquely against each other through Thanksgiving. Through Christmas if they must. Then they spend the holidays and the first smidgen of January 2013 looking over some new independent, credible numbers or other data set — and whomever happens to be in 2nd place by that time, the field amiably coalesces behind that candidate.
Odds of Seeing Strategy 1: Unlikely.
Strategy 2: One of those three candidates unilaterally drops out of the contest, and spiritedly endorses one of the two remaining challengers. Pending a brief public conversation which lasts perhaps only through Groundhog Day, a coalescing will develop around that endorsed candidate regardless.
Odds of Seeing Strategy 2: Significantly more likely. Because as we just stated — at that juncture, the coalescing will happen regardless. The odd man out in that situation would certainly have to look to his sins.
Fallback Position for the 75%ers in the event of Critical Rationality Failure among All Seasoned Challengers: “Option E”. Second fallback: Option G, aka “The Full-On Circus”.
Odds of Rationality Failure: Always reasonably high.