Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh, Woman of Troy!

I can save myself a bunch of typing today and just send you over to the Detroit News' Laura Berman's wonderful column about the bull-in-a-china shop mayor of Troy, but sometimes you just want to take your crack at something, even if, in this case, Berman knocked it out of the park.

Berman's piece should be a must-read. She perfectly captures the clumsiness of the "honorable" Janice Daniels, Troy's new mayor, whose off-the-cuff Facebook post in June about gay marriage in New York came back to bite her in the tush.

By now you're likely up to speed on this, but here goes anyway.

Daniels, in June, voiced her displeasure over the new gay marriage law in New York state with this pithy comment on her Facebook page: "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

The incendiary remark occurred before Daniels was elected mayor, which happened just weeks ago. And she initially tried to use that non-mayor status as defense of her unalienable free speech rights, once the posting was uncovered and then went viral, as things tend to do these days, for better or for worse.

In this case, it was for the better and for the worse.

Daniels has been exposed, and that's the better part. The worse part, of course, is that she's still Troy's mayor.

The troubling part of Daniels' gaffe---and that's probably an understatement---is not the slur itself, but her reaction to it once it saw the light of day.

She hasn't really owned up to the posting, balancing out every word of semi-apology with annoying words in defense of her indefensible wording.

She released a statement that reminded us that "queer" is a "dictionary word."

Yeah, and so are a number of other words that shouldn't be used in public, which Facebook is, folks.

She also trotted out the wince-inducing "defense" that it's OK to use "queer" because, hey, the gay community uses it themselves!

Aye, yi yi!!

So that means anyone can fling around nigger, slut, spic, chink, or any other slur, as long as "those people" use it among themselves?

And this woman is a mayor?

Daniels is a Tea Party member, and while I'm tempted to say, "That explains it," I won't, because it would be just as unfair of me to broad stroke brush the Tea Partiers as a bunch of bigots as it is for Mayor Daniels to brand all gays as "queers."

Daniels, by the way, apparently won the mayoral race in Troy, Berman writes, on a platform of being anti-library millage.


Mayor Daniels meets with some concerned Troy citizens on Monday


Again I'm tempted to say, "That explains it."

Of course, the library thing doesn't reflect well on the Troy citizenry, but that's another blog post. The folks there still don't deserve a mayor of Daniels' stature.

This thing has gone national, from the Huffington Post to ABC News. City council members and local businesses are being flooded with phone calls of protest, of which there was a formal one on Monday outside City Hall.

Again, Daniels is not totally relenting, even in the face of all the threats of boycott, etc. of her city.

"I also heard from people who said they want to move to Troy,"Daniels said.

She just doesn't get it, and likely never will.

She's in politics now, and that means that even things said and done "before I was mayor" are still relevant and are an indicator of character.

The Tea Partiers, I have long suspected, are really, really good at protesting and whining and slighting, but have very little idea of what to do once they actually ascend to positions of political power. Daniels seems to be another of these types.

It's much easier to scream, "Throw the bums out!" than it is to govern once you replace the bums.

Mayor Daniels has put a black eye on her city and most of it could have been avoided with some non-filtered contrition and sincere words of regret.

Instead, she buttresses every apology with an underlying theme of "I still don't think I did anything really wrong."

You did, Mayor. Big time.

The notion that she doesn't quite understand that is disturbing.

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