Surprising exactly one person, Bob O’Connor (D) beat Joe Weinroth (R ) for mayor of Pittsburgh today. I don’t know who this Weinroth guy is, but you have to know that he was only running in case O’Connor got hit by a truck or got caught with a kilo of uncut Panamanian blow. This is Pittsburgh; Zippy the Pinhead (D) would take Dwight Eisenhower (R ) without breaking a sweat.
O’Connor keynoted his victory speech with a promise to “increase efficiency” in city government. With apologies to Godwin, when I hear about efficiency in government I reach for my browning. Representative government isn’t efficient. Two-party politics is far from efficient. True democracy is a mess, a theater of the absurd which Churchill was right to describe as, ‘the worst possible form of government, except for everything else.’
One-party rule is efficient. Corruption and cronyism is ‘efficient.’ ‘Efficient’ leaders make decisions without deliberation, never to be unmade. Of all the things to which the Bush administration aspired one of the most important in their view was ‘efficiency.’ If mess means representative government, and clean government, I’ll take the mess.
Weinroth’s concession speech focused on how everybody won because his presence contributed to ‘the debate.’ If he ever had a chance of winning he’d have made noises about the spirited race and the solid effort that his supporters put in, but the best he could do was that he got people to talk about him. Judging by tonight’s dinner with the extended family, he could have accomplished the same thing by having his girlfriend glue his balls together. [link]
Your snapshot of one-party rule in Allegheny County. This is why I busted my ass for Jim Roddey (R ) when county council decided to reinstate the post of County Executive. Naturally the Democrats ran Cyril Wecht, the last guy who’d held the job when county council decided to fire him and eliminate the position over accusations of embezzlement. Wecht, who’s a big fan of running government as a family business, knows all about efficiency. As strange as it felt reassuring nervous borough leaders that Roddey wouldn’t vote to increase abortion rights (like he could if he wanted to), it felt great when he won.