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?"