Saturday, January 21, 2006

A feeding frenzy: there is blood in the water!

Ed Case is all about Ed Case. I watch him and I think: jeez, what a cracker. That guy is more mainland haole then I am, and I am about as mainland haole as you get! (Proudly) He is stiff and arrogant and completely unimpressive.

Several things strike me, and I want to note them here. First off, I agree, in principle, that our Senators have reached an age when they should seriously consider stepping down for the good of this state and for the good of the Democratic Party. They have reached an age when one can legitimately and fairly begin to question their ability to effectively fulfill the duties and obligations of the offices to which they have been elected. All that being said, it is the height of arrogance that Ed Case assumes that he, after less than three terms in office is the natural successor to a man like Daniel Akaka. Senator Akaka, for all his faults (i.e. voting for drilling in ANWR and the fact that he rarely returns to Hawaii) is a much loved man in this state. He is fundamentally decent and takes the best care of this state as he knows how. Perhaps Ed Case has forgotten his colleague Congressman Neil Abercrombie who has a bit more seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives (essentially he has served the first district of Hawaii since 1991). I am not saying that Congressman Abercrombie is next in line either, but he has a more legitimate argument when taken in the one dimensional frame that Case has cast his bid.

Ed Case has a long history of political opportunism. He was a member of the state House of Representatives until he saw an opportunity to run for Governor in 2002. He just lost to Mazie Hirono. Shortly thereafter Congresswoman Patsy Mink died. Case immediately jumped in the race and in a true sign of the fact that he lacks class, beat Mink’s widower in the special election to complete his term. He did this despite the fact that Mink announced that he would not run for re-election. As clear a sign as there is that Case is all about Case.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that Case is hardly a Democrat. Not only is he not loyal to the state party, but he strays regularly from the national party. Clearly, no one wants a robot who marches to the drum of the party. An elected official that votes his conscience is something that anyone should be able to respect, but Case doesn’t just vote his conscience, he has no loyalty. There are times when a party needs to stand together, united for a common cause. Otherwise, what is the point of having political parties?

Ed Case is an opportunist. In this state where race matters so much (yes it matters elsewhere, but is never discussed), he conveniently went out and married a Japanese-American woman just before running for Governor. Some believe his story of re-connecting at a 30th Reunion, but I am too cynical for all that (I guess you can take the boy out of the Northeast, but not the Northeast out of the boy). Seems like she is a trophy, at least to me, and there is a bit of whispering around the state capitol to that extent as well. I personally think one should be able to be married to whomever one wishes and that should be sufficient, but Hawaii just isn’t like that. It is a fact and a state of mind here. Often the first question, when meeting someone here, is a discussion of ethnic background. That would make the wasps where I come from positively red with embarrassment.

At the opening day of the 2006 Legislature, Case was seen mingling quite happily with the Republican caucus. Loyalty must be remembered, and no one ever wins a Democratic primary against a much loved elder statesman by running to the right.

Remember that Eddie, when we finally rid ourselves of you!

As a result of this sudden move, many an eager state legislator has been seen at the Capitol trolling for support. It is like a fishing boat sailing into Kewalo Basin, fish bits falling off the back, and the sharks trailing behind. Innocent bystanders should watch out for the impending feeding frenzy, lest they lose an arm or a leg to this crew of political opportunists. A good politician would hang back and observe a bit before throwing in with this set. Never trust a politician that acts so rashly on their own behalf. Decisive action in leadership may be valued, but decisive action in selfishness is not!