First we have to recognize the relationship between style and content: If you are a crappy, slipshod writer, your ideas are likely to be crap, too. Take Tim Redmond, for example, whose editorial in the current SF Bay Guardian provides a useful example:
And then it got to be April, and the filing deadline passed, and frankly, I didn't get the sense Gonzalez was that eager. Now some of his allies are pushing him to mount a write-in campaign for the Green Party nomination — and frankly, with all due respect, the whole thing has a sort of last-minute, half-assed look to it. So I called Gonzalez this week to bat things around, and it turns out he's in almost exactly the same place I am. You want to run for the US Congress against a nine-term incumbent, you have to start early, take it seriously, raise a bunch of money, deal with the problems head-on...and frankly, that's not where we are right now. "If it was a year ago, I might be thinking different," Gonzalez told me. (April 26-May 2, 2006, emphasis added)
Frankly, Tim, with all due respect, you need to do a better job of proofing your copy, which is full of intellectual detritus and overall rather half-assed. In the process you might even end up "thinking different,"[sic] as Matt Gonzalez might say.
The rest of Redmond's piece exhibits the smug self-righteousness of the city's political left. Nancy Pelosi is morally corrupt, because, among other reasons, "it took her forever to even sort of come out against the war." That is, you are immoral if you have the slightest doubt about the fringe left's opinion of the war in Iraq. People of good will can't, according to lefties like Redmond, sincerely disagree about the war and worry about the US pulling out before the Iraqis are ready to handle their own security.
"My original thought was that Pelosi has never been held accountable for her actions, and a good solid challenge from the left would force her to come back and actually campaign...We could see who really has political courage in this town." To the extent that this qualifies as a thought, it's silly on its face, since as a member of the House, Pelosi has to run for re-election every two years. And how much "political courage" does it really take to be on the left in San Francisco? None, actually.
"Pelosi is a terrible politician. She's venal, driven by campaign money, and has no real agenda except power. She's the one who privatized the Presidio, potentially paving the way for the privatization of millions of acres of national parkland." If Pelosi is such "a terrible politician," why has she never lost an election? And why has Matt Gonzalez---who Redmond thinks would have been a plausible challenger---won only one out of three? Pelosi singlehandedly "privatized" the Presidio? Bullshit. In any event, the Presidio seems to be doing just fine under the current system, whatever you call it. It's intact, anchored by George Lucas's operation, and the building and housing units are being rehabbed and rented out to non-profits and individuals. So what's the problem? Pelosi's agenda is that of the Democratic Party, which is a coalition of working people, blacks, women and every other kind of American you can name.
It's this kind of moral self-righteousness and intellectual insularity that prevents the Green Party and the country's left from getting any real traction with voters. The Greens are not only not ready for prime time, they never will be, which is as it should be.
Labels: Tim Redmond