Final thoughts on fireworks: Score Slick Jeffie’s veto as a slight boost for the GOP.


In New Albany, the Democratic Party’s intellectually exhausted bait ‘n’ switch brand of politics is making some mighty strange bedfellows out in the hoods.

It reminds me of the old socialist-realist script in the Soviet Union’s cinema and literature: Boy meets tractor; boy falls in love with tractor; boy and tractor live happily ever after.

Back here in anchor-laden New Gahania, non-ironic dishonesty on the part of the ruling elite has accomplished one noteworthy feat of erasure: tractors no longer are needed. Instead, we have mirrors — cracked rear view mirrors, to be sure, but it doesn’t stop the Dickeyites from admiring their twisted, impotent reflections in the debris.

The city council’s recent vote on a Republican-sponsored fireworks ordinance, which might be described as a cautious attempt to lightly restrict the bedlam of explosive civil liberties celebrations, was bipartisan in both directions.

Two Republicans voted for, one against. Two Democrats for, and two against. And, one independent for, one against. That’s about as even a split as can be imagined given the state of our legislative body’s usual rigid partisan alignment, and as a result, the measure proved vulnerable to a veto.

Mayor Jeff Gahan’s argument against the litmus test of an only slightly restrictive fireworks ordinance was conveyed to the body by police chief Todd Bailey, a reliably pliant spinner of Dear Leader’s self-serving party line.

It was yet another matter of such supremely overriding community importance that Gahan couldn’t be bothered to attend; in all probability, our Genius of the Flood Plain shuns the council chamber because it gives him flashbacks to those eight long years spent there as a woefully underpaid savior of humanity, before a visit with former (now deceased) East Chicago mayor Robert Pastrick resulted in Gahan learning the real tricks of the patronage trade.

Chief Bailey said fireworks complaints were down this year (if true, it’s because most people have given up on any hope of relief) and that enforcement of the ordinance would be a terrible burden.

(As such, it should be noted that there are few if any known instances of the police enforcing existing fireworks regulations, this laxity owing to the ruling Democrats viewing fireworks as example of usefully distracting “circuses” — “bread” is what Rally’s does, after all — allowing the lower orders to entertain themselves so they won’t get involved with questioning the Democratic Party’s patronage machine.)

The posturing mayor’s hasty “trampling on our God-given right to make noise” laugher was attached cynically and belatedly, only when publicizing his veto, and it most certainly WAS a political expedient on the perennially unimaginative Gahan’s part.

I’m guessing this won’t help him in electoral terms.

Those New Albanians citing the civil liberties argument in favor of unrestrained fireworks make up two broad groupings: right-leaning libertarians in the suburbs near the fringe area, and apolitical inner-city residents, a majority of them young, and probably a fair number renters.

The suburban libertarians vote, but while they’re possessed of a worldview that enables agreement in principle with Gahan’s veto, this alone won’t change their antipathy toward the mayor in countless other instances.

Meanwhile the majority of inner city neighborhood folks I see and hear detonating fireworks are either youthful and transient, or ignorant of municipal election cycles, although they might turn out for presidential elections. In short, they’re unlikely to vote in terms of prevailing demographics.

The most probable POLITICAL outcome of the vetoed fireworks ordinance is a slight boost for Republican candidates on the part of (a) older neighborhood stakeholders, who (b) value order and stability and (c) actually do vote. Just my two cents.

Feel free to disagree.