I don't want to overly short-circuit the unmistakably laid back craniums of almost all Albuquerque and New Mexico citizens, but it IS POSSIBLE to both BE IN FAVOR OF something, and CRITICIZE IT. To restate this largely unseen phenomenon in the Land of Enchantment, it is possible, perhaps even preferable and positive, that a person can favor a politician, Party or idea while still being critical of how the favorable politician/Party/idea is acting or being implemented.
No, I'm not digging getting all pedantic on Burque Babble reader's craniums, but there seems to be a general lack of discoursive (probable invented word) sophistication in this regard. Needless to say, these comments are not directed at the uber-sophisticated discourse mavens who read this humble blog, but instead toward...uh...everybody but the fine readers of this humble blog.
Or so it seems. For instance, if one prefers Patricia Madrid over Heather Wilson, conventional NM discourse rules dictate that one is correct in saying something like "Patsy Madrid is the greatest thing since a grilled cheese sandwich and Heather Wilson is evil on a par with the Nazis, Karl Rove, and those guys from your alma mater who call every stinking week to beg for money even though you only got a BA from the place and it really didn't help you get a job or anything."
Anything deviating from this strict "Patsy Great, Heather Evil" line is unacceptable. Sure, it might be polarizing and kinda lead to extremely short political discussions around these parts, but them's the rules.
The same evidently goes for all Political Parties as well, with one little caveat. It is perfectly acceptable, in fact strongly encouraged, for one to publicly bash the Party and anyone involved with it in any previous election cycle. Take the '04 Democratic Party. It, anyone associated with it, and especially its Presidential candidate John Kerry can be lampooned, ridiculed and lambasted with total impunity. Kerry's face on a dartboard while being sliced with hurled glass slivers from smashed Heinz ketchup bottles is completely okay.
Interestingly, this same rule applies to failed seekers of U.S. House #1 versus Heather Wilson. Even the mention of the two words "Phil" and "Maloof" are enough to send anyone within earshot into paroxysms of spit laughter. By the way, never say the words "Phil" and "Maloof" together when someone has liquid or food in their mouths. That stuff is gonna be flying out of that mouth at supersonic speed right toward you before you can blink. I haven't heard much about Eric Griego's comedy act since the Mayor's race, but my suggestion for his next bit is to simply say "Phil" and "Maloof" over and over and over. It could become for him what a watermelon is to Gallagher.
And now that I think about it, it's the same with the other ugly princes who took on the Heather dragon. Bring up John Kelly and Richard Romero and it's considered perfectly fine to do that "pinch your nose, something stinks" face, or the "finger thrust deep into open mouth in order to gag" schtick.
The funny thing was, during the failed ugly princes' campaign to beat Heather it wasn't nearly as cool to criticize them. For instance, I remember attending that kooky, inspiring Michael Moore appearance at the Pit just prior to Election 2004. It was a marvelous event, and one that almost makes me start to cry (seriously) thinking back to that time and the chance those on the Left had and how that Election was scarring, patently scarring in its psychic damage. I have to pause to think about it....
Anyway, those thousands in attendance doubtless remember that Richard Romero gave a speech during the event, given a powerful platform to associate himself with the positive energy of the shindig and mobilize us toward rabid Romero-mentum.
What a disaster. The obviously well-intentioned Romero quickly demonstrated that he couldn't rouse sharks to a bleeding beach swimmer. It was tangibly embarrassing to listen to. So embarrassing one was tempted to do the "put fingers in ears and say 'la la la la la la la la la la la' real loud" trick. To be honest, I think I did do that trick toward the end of the speech.
Still, in thinking back on Romero in '04 and '02 I can't recall any meaningful Democratic criticism of his candidacy. Sure the Greens were, in their own meaningless way, harping that Romero wasn't Left enough, but the rank and file Democrats just backed the Romero team like some die-hard NMSU Aggie football fans living in denial that their team doesn't suck.
And that's not right.
We need to ratchet up the level of discourse 'round these parts to include a healthy criticism of those we support. I know terms like "tough love" and "Critical Friends" are overused, creepy and almost as bad as "branding" and "issue framing", but we've got to thicken the political skin here. And raise the bar on depth of analysis.
Now any reader of Burque Babble over the last few months knows that this is the absolute LAST PLACE to expect deep political analysis. But maybe the collective ABQ/NM blog world can at least add a thimble or two of political savvy to what is now pretty much an Elephant Butte dry bed of political discourse.
And we can begin by calling Patsy as we see her, knowing damn well we're voting for her in November. Well, most probably. We do want to play at least somewhat hard to get.
In typical digressive fashion, I had originally planned to include points about how I love light rail but have concerns over ABQ's Old Town/Nob Hill & Downtown/Airport plans, but we'll wait on those outpourings of "tough love" for the next post.
P.S.: I was also gonna bring up my attendance at tomorrow night's City Council "Blog-In", but self-imposed space and a high degree of personal embarrassment about going to the "blog-in" make that impossible. I'm sure I'll write about it (obviously giving a "unique" perspective on an event which will lead to 1,000 blog postings, minimum), but I'm still picking out which paper bag I want to wear over my head to the event.