Loose Lips’ 3/21 column left me wondering what crackpot political science courses he took in college. The majority of Ward 6 council candidates speaking at the March 4 Green Party forum advocate bigger, more inefficient government, he saysbecause they want to see the District’s scattered environmental offices collected into a single agency.
Maybe I’m crazy, but unification under a single umbrella sounds to me less wasteful, more efficient, and, ideally, more accountable. Does Loose Lips advocate the trendy libertarian notion that we should rely on boardrooms instead of elected government for our environmental safety, health, education, etc.? Maybe Lips got sucked along when Clinton converted to the same ideology during his first term.
That would explain his special contempt for Steve Michael, who at the Green forum proposed powerful citizen review boards over D.C. agencies. (Ugh! The stench of democracy!) LL portrays Michael as a single-issue ACT UP “militant.” Hmmm. Michael drew cheers when he suggested that the crime rate might have some connection with poverty, unemployment, and last year’s welfare “reform” bill, and he compared declining bus service for D.C. residents with our first-rate subway system, which benefits suburbanites. He’s wary of a growing private prison industry greedy for new inmates and its lobbying influence over the anti-crime agenda. I guess all those constitute a single issue.
Before we dismiss ACT UP militants, let’s remember that thousands of HIV-positive D.C. residents are still with us thanks to ACT UP’s decadelong battle to get government and industry to test and release new drugs. An ACT UP activist might know something about enforcing accountability.
Michael must have some chance of winning; why else would LL discredit him with an irrelevant landlord conflict from two years ago? Why else would LL call the issue-based, civil debate between Michael and Sandy McCall a “grudge debate”? Why else should LL accuse him of “harbor[ing] a deep distrust of authority,” as if suspecting the motives of D.C.’s most powerful made Michael some kind of kook?