Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Summit GOP: A disastrous old drawing board

In the wake of Mayor Don Robart's off-the-page defeat by Democrat Don Walters on Tuesday, the leadership crises within the county Republican Party worsened exponentially.  Robart, after all, was a key veteran party soldier who could always count  on a preferred seat on the dais at the fancy GOP dinners.

With Robart out of the picture, and Kevin Coughlin back in the picture in Stow as  Alex Arshinkoff's nemesis, it would be foolhardy  for a moribund local party to return to a tattered old drawing board to regroup when such a board apparently  exists only in the minds of plantation owners.

If you followed  Robart's bizarre path at City Hall in recent years, you would have no trouble guessing that it was a Rube Goldberg production with him deeply involved with the Tea Party.  He doused the Teeps  at a rally with his official blessings. (I left the rally  thinking that if you talk like a duck and walk like a duck, then by God, you are a duck!)  Around the area the Falls became known as Tea Party Central. .

Having run unopposed the last time, Robart  was unprepared to face  strong competition this time until it was too late.  It was a working definition of chutzpah by a pol who after nearly three decades in office  never figured he could lose.

His dreamy Valhalla called Portage Crossing, a retail development that has been years in the making, simply didn't serve him well as one of his mayoral conceits. It lay with full exposure as a sprawling disheveled site featuring scattered hillocks of dirt instead of new buildings.

And he blew his cover as a caring executive by ignoring the opinions of some of his own people who saw no problems in granting a family discount at the Natatorium for a gay married couple, one of whose spouses was  wounded in Iraq.

Global warming? Only a myth of people who believed in Easter bunnies.

Labor unions?   They would destroy his vision of his city's healthy future.  (This was said despite his city's presence in a region with a rich union tradition!)

Don Robart, in his own elitist way, was perfectly content to run the city apart from any alliances with officials in other places, including Akron, a glaring disconnect that apparently escaped the newspapers that endorsed him this time.

Politics can  be cruel, but like pro football, you should know of the consequences of possible job-killing  injuries before you race onto the field.

Frankly, as one who has witnessed the rise of Arshinkoff  for decades, I'm not sure where he or the party goes from here. Like Robart, he has turned his property into a right-wing operation with  annual  speakers like Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Ohio Rep.  Jim Jordan, a Tea Party-minded congressman.

But as the chairman pandered to the Hard Right to assure himself of winning the hearts and minds of the Teeps, it would have been a teaching moment if he  had  recalled the simple  question that a little girl asked her grandfather who had told her of a  military victory in Robert Southey's poem, The Battle of Blenheim:
  "But what good of it came at last?"

1 comment:

JLM said...

To paraphrase Ronald Wilson Reagan's campaign-

"It's morning in Cuyahoga Falls."