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Friday, September 3, 2010

Scranton City Council Member Pat Rogan

A Democrat politician and member of city council, Pat Rogan, has taking some extreme flack by hosting a fundraiser for Republican Lou Barletta.  How bad is the criticism?  Words like...

little punk
politically stupid

...have been thrown around repeatedly on certain local message boards and Facebook pages.

My opinion?

Well for the record Mr Rogan was part of a Democratic ticket for city council headed by current council president Janet Evans.  I've been pretty critical of Mrs Evans' leadership, so that's strike one.  I despise the "beware of the great brown horde" message of Lou Barletta.  Anyone who runs a campaign that consists of the "be afraid" message is not to be trusted in my book.  That's strike two. But there is no strike three, at least not for me.

Yes, I think young Mr Rogan can support whomever he wants.  In fact, I'll say this much for him:  he is consistent.  During his last run at a city council seat, he campaigned on a laughable platform that supported Hazelton-esque illegal immigrant legislation for Scranton.  Yes, we are talking about the same legislation that would turn landlords into agents of the INS.  My brother Chris is a landlord.  The thought of him having to validate citizenship is scary at best, insane at worst.  Anyway, that platform was a joke, but this is America, and in this country you are free to be an ass if you really, really want to, and that's fine with me.

So why the anger?

It's just the politics of usual at work in this area.  If you are a Democrat, you are expected and required to tow the line for Democrats, no matter what.  Hitler could be a Democrat, and if he was running against Mother Teresa you would still have the party faithful pressing you to vote for the ticket.  That's how the game is played, and sadly, that's part of the reason why politics has become the sport of liars and thieves in this country.  I don't like Lou Barletta, but I'll be damned if I'm going to demonize someone who does.  Yes, I'd argue to the hinterlands that Barletta is political opportunist who is using "soft racism" to get elected, but that doesn't mean that someone who disagrees with me is somehow an "arrogant little punk".  No, it means that they disagree with me.  It's that disagreement that ultimately makes America a better place because neither political party has a monopoly on the truth, and in fact what is best can often be pulled together from ideas taken from both sides of the political isle.

Bottom Line:  People aren't angry at Pat Rogan for supporting Lou Barletta...they are angry because he is not following orders.  How sad is it that "compliant with political marching orders" has somehow become a trait that people bizarrely admire?  I admire an independent streak in my leaders.  I may not ever vote for Mr Rogan, but at least he is following his convictions.  Can the same be said for every other politician in the area?  Hell, do many politicians in this area even have convictions, other than a conviction to stay in office (or a conviction in federal court)?

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