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Opening Arguments

The 800-pound elephant in the room

I'm thinking Tracy Warner is thinking he is insulting Mitch Harper:

When City Council members last week discussed vacating much of Pearl Street for Aunt Millie's/Perfection Bakery, they didn't talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: bakery owner John Popp, a major contributor to a number of Republican candidates.


The most partisan Republican on the council, Mitch Harper, was also the most enthusiastic about the request to turn over the street.

What does that mean, the "most partisan" Republican? Is he more loyal to the party than Tom Smith? Does he hold to Republican principles more strongly than Liz Brown? Does he attend more party functions than Marty Bender? What I suspect Warner means is that Harper is the one most likely to let his Republicanism interfere with what is right, as opposed to Democrats, who are committed to what's right with every fiber of their being.

As high school sophomores discover and some bloggers never get beyond, hypocrisy is the easiest character flaw to spot and therefore the most fun to rail against, and, naturally, only people on the other side are hypocrites; people never seem to discover that flaw among their philosophical brethern. When such deep thinkers turn to politics, they discover partisanship, which, like hypocrisy, is a sin committed only by one's opponents, never by one's allies. At least if Warner has ever written about "partisan Democrats" who can't go along with the public good, I've missed it.

I would have let this go if Warner hadn't ended with such a cheap shot:

Harper received a small contribution