Sunday, September 05, 2010

On Making A Pest Of Oneself

It's only fair, when people reach out in all seriousness and good faith to engage this blog, to respond; while there may be some cost to that, it's still fair to consider the risks objectively. It's also only fair, when new information comes to light, to seriously consider one's previous remarks. The sum, here, is that it's been a pretty odd week in the engagements department.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday passing out literature and making campaign calls from an early voting center on behalf of Hans Riemer. Hans was, unexpectedly, at the site, and we talked quite a bit. He's a real good guy and I was glad to get a chance to get to know him better. I've said a lot about Hans recently, and while he'd likely feel that there cannot be too many nice words about him on the Internet, that's not really the point of this post. For Google purposes, I will say this: Hans Riemer, Hans Riemer, Hans Riemer.

Yeah, sure, man crush. Whatever. Onward.

In the original endorsement post, I mentioned two other candidates for the at-large County Council race that I'd like to discuss further. One is Marc Elrich, with whom I spent a bit of time speaking yesterday, and just a few minutes of conversation with him caused me to revisit my opinion, which involved calling him a "fucking idiot." Now, it may be that he is a fucking idiot, but what made me call him that was an error. He was not the chief sponsor of the trans fat legislation. I researched that a bit and found that another Council incumbent--and I won't be backing down from my remarks on her--was the chief sponsor, and the vote was unanimous. Marc Elrich has a much wider green streak than I care for, and I think his bus rapid transit plan is fatally flawed. But we discussed other things yesterday, and his approach seems thoughtful and reality-based. His comments on a couple of matters with which I'm only starting to become familiar reflected conviction and principle, and I'd be a shit if I didn't respect that from someone who's fundamentally on the same side as me, even if he has an unfortunate tilt toward the green. I didn't vote for him (I will vote for him in the general, assuming that he wins the primary, which seems likely).

Another candidate, Nancy Floreen, the current Council President, took some heat in the endorsement post, but not from me. This caused her to reach out to contact the blog. After some dancing to establish that everyone was who they said they were, Nancy Floreen did a courageous and incredibly generous thing yesterday; she met an anonymous, sometimes foul-mouthed (penned, actually) blogger at a Starbucks for a conversation. Not only did she show up, she spent between a half hour and 45 minutes on this meeting, in the midst of a busy and hotly contested primary campaign that she could, conceiveably, lose.

In truth, I'm amazed, not because of anything I do or don't know about Floreen, but at a general level. Floreen met with me because cherished real-life friend Sasha blasted her in comments on this blog (I won't go into what Sasha and I have discussed privately--that's for her to address, or not). The mystery of whether Sasha and Nancy Floreen have a future together will remain a mystery for most of you. I did my part there, and the means of communication are in place. The rest is no longer my business.

Now, it develops that I am a complete idiot, but not for reasons that I elaborated the other day. I voted several hours before I met Floreen. And I took it on faith that she'd show up as we had discussed, and that the conversation wouldn't be a disaster. While I was right on both counts, I decided to bet my vote on it, and voted for her. I did promise you full disclosure of idiocy, ne c'est pas?

So I'm here to say this: Nancy Floreen is a reasonable person on issues and solutions, a person whose views on local politics are quite well-aligned with my own. I mean the more articulately expressed and less agitated side of my own. We talked about big local issues (and she provided quite a bit of factual background on the ins and outs of some issues, for which I am additionally grateful). We discussed our shared love of the county as a cultural and political and liveable entity*, the geographic and cultural and experiential diversity of the place, and some accomplishments in Council of which she is justifiably proud.

The absolute worst thing I can say about Nancy Floreen after yesterday's discussion is that she is, in fact, a politician. I don't think that's actually a bad thing to say; after all, it's true, and in our system, without politicians, we'd fall into the kind of anarchy that the other side dreams of. She got me thinking hard about the difference between the tenor and reality of national politics versus that of local politics. I think that the divide at the national level approaches irreparability, and it makes me very tired and sad. I simply don't have the energy to think about the magnitude of the sellout at the national level. Not so when it comes to the County, though passion on issues is strong, and MoCo's population is a bit too educated for its own good, with accompanying levels of self-righteousness and stubbornness.

I wasn't recording or taking notes during our conversation; I never intended for the meeting to be a journalistic sort of enterprise. I'm passing along recollections, and Ms. Floreen, if I'm forgetting anything that you thought important (or worse, if I'm recollecting badly), please feel free to correct me.

I extend my sincere thanks to Nancy Floreen for reaching out, and for kindly and generously making the time to talk with one voter--one who did little to earn the privilege of her focused attention. I very much enjoyed our talk and hope to have an opportunity to talk again sometime, preferably after I've developed a deeper understanding on several issues of local import. For now, I'm just pretty gobsmacked that I got this kind of personal attention. Thank you very kindly.

*Friend ODB has an alternative view, one that's reasonable and works for him. Different strokes, Dirty Dino.

1 comment:

Sasha said...

I, too, admire the graciousness with which Nancy Floreen treated my great and forever friend Landru. More will occcur in another venue.