Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Man Who Wasn't There

Lessie Read and Roberta Fulbright must be spinning in their graves.

Almost as if they'd been given their script, the current editorial board at the Northwest Arkansas Times today began the Cowbirds' effort to find a new standard bearer for the interests of the "developers" and special treatment for corporate concerns. They wax nostalgic for the good old days when Fred Hanna was mayor and business had all the seats at the table. They plead for the past, and they bemoan the unfortunate circumstances that snatched from the contest the man they had wishfully dubbed the "frontrunner."

"Following years of conservative rule under the late mayor Fred Hanna, and now, eight years of so-called progressive direction on the part of outgoing Mayor Dan Coody, many people figured it was time for the pendulum to swing back the other direction, making [Jeff] Koenig's chamber of commerce backing and other business ties an attractive option. The ones remaining after Koenig's decision to withdraw seemingly don't fall into the same philosophical corner where Koenig was most comfortable. Koenig's announcement could arguably open the race up for another contestant or two who believe they can speak to Koenig's supporters."

It is not surprising that the Cowbirds would speak through their house organ to recruit candidates, but it was odd that their mouthpiece would admit it was unfair then proceed to cast the current aspirants as "leftists." By their standards, perhaps, because they must realize that almost everyone in town is left of their editorial stenographers, but it is no more accurate than calling Hanna a conservative or Coody a progressive. They long for “that figure still pondering probabilities somewhere in the shadows.”

It doesn't take 704 words of platitudinous prose to get their point. What the editors mean is, they want a Cowbird to run city hall. They should just say so.

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