Monday, September 10, 2012

That Villaraigosa Moment

No one believed the vote on the “God and Jerusalem” wording in the Democratic platform was conducted fairly or democratically: a two-thirds vote was required to restore the deleted words and that clearly — and audibly — didn’t happen. Neither the audience nor the news media was convinced by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s ruling that the amendment passed. But no matter. As he told the Los Angeles Times, the Mayor has the good opinion of those who really count:

“I can tell you this — the president of the United States said, ‘Wow.’ The president said, ‘You showed why you were speaker of the California Assembly. The president, the vice president, Mrs. Obama, all of them acknowledged the decisive way I handled that.’”

Democracy shemocracy! Who cares when the Supreme Leader claps you on the back and congratulates you for a job well done? In that Villaraigosa moment, the true contours of power in the world’s greatest democracy were revealed.

The little people — i.e. the delegates, the voters, and those who have stopped voting for precisely this reason — are irrelevant pawns, to be moved about the chessboard by these giants.

“It was a lot of ado about nothing,” said Villaraigosa, misquoting and well as misusing Shakespeare:

“When reporters told him after the vote that they did not clearly hear two-thirds support, he responded, ‘That’s nice to know. I was the chairman and I did, and that was the prerogative of the chair.’”