Monday, April 2, 2018

The Denial Dance

Serious case of the I Don’t Wannas this morning. I’m back to work after a lovely Spring Break (yes, my school had one) and the weather is not too cheery.

A few thoughts on the Alec Ross debacle:

Truthfully, my biggest exposure to Ross has been his online ads. And I just don’t like them. They are negative and border on the arrogant. If you know him in real life or have had the opportunity to see him in person you may feel differently. But I haven’t. And, due to his ads, I don’t want to. He may be smart and have great ideas. But, to my mind, the world does not need one more white guy who thinks he knows everything.

And now we come to the situation where he is criticisizing a fellow Democrat with amazingly tone-deaf language.

The campaign of Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), a longtime lawmaker who is gay, says opponent Alec Ross, a tech entrepreneur and politcal newcomer, used dog whistle politics when he said that he will get things done as governor, unlike a state senator who “prances around Annapolis talking.”

Whether or not you believe that this was an intentional homophobic slur, you can still look at how Ross responded to this criticism and shake your head. There’s absolutely no sense of understanding that he made a mistake. It would have been so easy to say, “That was a horrible choice of words. I own that and I am going to do better.”

Mr. Ross did not do that. He put forward his running mate, Julie Verratti, to make his case; she’s openly gay. The Ross campaign is suggesting, no, outright accusing, Madaleno’s campaign of “smearing” Ross. 

This is some kind of dance of denial:

1. Say something offensive
2. Get called on it
3.Refuse to apologize
4. Accuse those who call you on it of an aggressively negative campaign tactic 

Now take that mode of behavior and envision it in Annapolis.

I’m not seeing it. Mr. Ross is by all accounts and bright and able fellow but in this incident he has shown exactly how much of a newcomer is is. Maybe he will learn and grow from this. So far it doesn’t look promising.

And another thing. Shouldn’t Democrats be focused on giving voters positive reasons to vote for a different vision of state leadership? 

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