The newly elected mayor of Troy, a suburban community here in the Metro, presided over only her third city council meeting last night, but the first one to be packed to the rafters with angry residents and, no doubt, a fair number of outside agitators. Over the weekend, a Facebook status update from earlier in the year, when she was Private Citizen Janice Daniels — and may I just say, that would be an excellent business card to have, don’t you think? “Private Citizen (Your Name Here)?”
Anyway, here’s what P.C. Daniels wrote:
I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.
As you might expect, attention has lingered on the “queers” part, but I’d like to consider the rest of this simple declarative sentence for a bit. I know nothing of her background, although we can certainly assume she was at least considering a run for office in June, when this appeared. She should have been measuring her comments at the very least, but this is Facebook, and if there’s one thing that social network does, it’s winnow. I have hundreds of friends, but it’s fair to say that the ones I see in my daily stops there are pretty much like me. I see a million versions of the hot viral video being promoted by people like me. I know what the hot story being pushed on PeopleOfMyPoliticalPersuasion.com. After a while, I could be lulled into believing the whole world agrees with me, and before you know it, I’m posting about the queers.
Daniels is a political novice and a favorite of the local tea party, so it’s fair to say she’s maybe not totally sophisticated about these things, and her half-assed, unenthusiastic walkback has only made it worse:
She’s pointed out that the offensive Q word is “in the dictionary,” and that she still has the tote bag (“It was a joke”), all the while clinging to her “principle” — that “marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
Although Daniels has apologized weakly several times, always with caveats, she has yet to suggest she actually understands how she offended real people who live, shop and work in Troy and who are her constituents.
…Maureen McGinnis, the mayor pro tem, said City Council members had received hundreds of emails, including those from people who said they wouldn’t shop in Troy stores or eat in Troy restaurants.
Daniels received them, too, she said, “but I also heard from people who said they want to move to Troy.”
But let’s get back to the original statement; gays can get married in New York, and the only thing you can come up with as a protest is to throw away a branded “carrying bag?” And you actually own one in the first place? That’s sort of embarrassing. It’s like saying you’re protesting Arizona’s immigration laws by boycotting Road Runner cartoons, and then, when called on it, protesting that there are cacti in the background, so, y’know, get it? GET IT?
On the other hand, this is a Facebook posting. What hath Sarah Palin wrought?
It should be illegal to be this dumb, let alone hold public office.
OK, the hour is growing late, and I have some work to do. A little bloggage:
Longtime readers know I like to use Bob Greene as a punching bag, but he actually did do a few pieces I liked, almost all of them for Esquire magazine. (Whenever I meet an otherwise bleh writer with one great platform, I always assume it’s the editor’s credit.) In one, he signed up to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test. It turns out anyone can take the SAT, if they pay their money and otherwise follow the rules. As I recall, he aced the verbal and tanked the math. I’d like to see more school board members, policymakers and other civilians try something like that, or, even better, take their state’s own standardized test, which one brave-but-anonymous soul did, described in this WashPost column. His report?
I have a wide circle of friends in various professions. Since taking the test, I’ve detailed its contents as best I can to many of them, particularly the math section, which does more than its share of shoving students in our system out of school and on to the street. Not a single one of them said that the math I described was necessary in their profession.
Time to cut things short and get moving. The week is now fully under way. Hope yours is going well.