Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 30, 2008
POLITICS: Detroit Is Still Burning

The marvelous Matt Labash has a lengthy profile of Detroit that's both hilarious and heartbreaking. (H/T) On a macro level, conservatives tend to laugh at Detroit as being the Zimbabwe of American cities, a place where all of the worst pathologies of political, economic and cultural liberalism have been allowed to run wild for decades with predictably ghastly results, yet the city's incompetent and kleptocratic political class is perpetually insulated from accountability by an impenetrable wall of race-mongering. The Reagan Revolution, the reformist governorship of John Engler, the Gingrich/Clinton welfare reforms, the economic booms of 1983-89, 1995-99, and 2003-06...all of these helped put temporary brakes on the downward spiral at times but none did anything to alter the fundamental dynamics that have kept the city stuck in a permanent reverse gear. Detroit's residents, like Chicago's, truly have the government they want and deserve.

And yet, as is often true of the truly wrecked places of the world, on an individual level the human tragedies of the place are still worthy of our pity even as they overwhelm even the most optimistic among us (Detroit is almost certainly too far gone to be revived by a Rudy Giuliani or Bobby Jindal type, not that any is on the horizon). Labash combines horrifying statistics with heart-rending anecdotes to bring home precisely how bad things have gotten, and to pay tribute to the Detroiters who still battle the blaze. It's a must-read.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:12 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

I saw the LaBash article the other day Crank. You are quite right on all counts. And it is funny and sad at the same time. What has there been, 57 years of continuous dem rule over Detroit? But maybe it wouldn't have mattered who was in power?

Posted by: feeblemind at December 30, 2008 5:48 PM

Mugabe just called. Even he resents being lumped in with Detroit!

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at December 30, 2008 10:22 PM

With oil below $40 and their state budgets in the toilet, let's see how popular Jindal and Princess Sarah are in a few weeks.

As for your characteristically ideological portrait of Detroit and Chicago, it is about what to expect from an addled, bitter wing nut.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 31, 2008 12:16 AM

Whose state budget is not in the toilet? They'll do fine because they are good politicians, and neither achieved power by buying friends ala Bloomberg.
Are you throwing rocks or actually defending those two toilets? Chicago is pure comedic gold. Blago is a god-like creature. He just castrated the Senate Majority Leader, Reid has been rolled ala Pat Geary. Detroit is a tragedy, nuf said.

Posted by: dave at December 31, 2008 7:32 AM

The picture website of Detroit that is mentioned in the article is pretty good. He had some pictures of what was left of Tiger Stadium -- just the grandstand behind home plate. Kind of sad that there's not much left.

Posted by: Tom at December 31, 2008 11:52 AM

I am perpetually awed by the unabashed misogyny of the left. "Princess" Sara? Could you imagine an equivalent for a man? It is a derogatory that plays exclusively on the fact that she is a woman. "Princess" Hillary might play on the fact that she inherited her power, although "Queen" would more identify the relationship. "Princess" Caroline (Kennedy) would certainly capture something accurate (you could imagine the male equivalent - Prince John-John). But in Palin's case, the only thing that fits is that she is a woman. She didn't inherit any privilege.

If the left hates women so much, why are they so perpetually pro choice? Must be a false consciousness that abortion rights give women power so that the real deprivation of power for women that the left perpetuates is tolerated.

Posted by: Nobody at December 31, 2008 12:37 PM

Nobody, I don't hate women; I hate THAT woman.

Let's see, Crank referred to Caroline Kennedy as "King Arthur's Daughter." Let me know if I'm going too fast for you. The King's daughter is . . . , come on, give it a try. Princess!! Yes. You got it.

Dave, the only plausible arguments for Jindal and Princess Sarah were how popular they are. Well, let's see them actually govern now and not just hand out budget surpluses.

Blago is governor, so if you want to indict on that basis, you've got to go for the whole state. Chicago has more than its share of crooks and charlatans, but it is a very livable city, in my view, the most livable of the big cities in the country. Detroit is a mess and has been one for decades now. Newark and Jersey City are pits, too, but at least they have NYC in proximity to aid growth in the region. What does Detroit have? Windosr Ontario?

Posted by: Magrooder at December 31, 2008 7:19 PM

1. Maybe you missed the Camelot reference...Kennedy is a princess in the sense of trying to inherit based on genes alone. She has done zero.

2. Not just popularity. Accomplishments. I know those are anathema to Obama's fanboys, but they do matter.

3. I'm fine knocking how the whole state is run, but Blago does hail from Chicago, he represented a district there until he handed it to Rahm.

Posted by: Crank at December 31, 2008 9:37 PM

"I don't hate women; I hate THAT woman"

You express your hate around the fact that she is a woman. As I wrote, calling Caroline Kennedy (or her brother if he were still alive and trying to parlay his name into an apointment) would be a point to refer to royalty. When directed at Palin, it is strictly about the fact that she is a woman. There is no priveledge in her background.

I'm sure you don't hate women who know their place (i.e. agree with whatever positions you like and support the power structure you prefer). But you hate the fact that women specifically (not as persons but as women) hold positions you don't like. It is really quite obvious.

Newark and Jersey City are dominated by Democrats (as is the state generally). See a pattern?

What people like about Jindal and Palin is that they solve problems using conservative principles and rally support for those positions. This is more significant in Jindal's case, given his state. I know you find it hard to believe, but people actually like their political positions and the fact that they don't come from political dynasties.

Posted by: Nobody at December 31, 2008 9:50 PM

Identify one problem Princess Sarah and Jindal have solved. One.

Crank. You want an accomplishment? Obama was elected President; only the 44th ever. Oh, and he is black and his middle name is Hussein. That is an accomplishment, junior.

I hate Palin because her positions and her basic political approach are hate-worthy. Crank's crush on her just makes it more unpalatable.

How is it that Giuliani's cops into sodomy are well, "boys will be boys," as just one example of excusing that punk.

Crank, you missed the princes reference, you know, women=princess.

Crank and Dave, Chicago is well-run; Illinois is a well-run state. What is the problem? The GOP can't win state-wide? Must be it since you have no facts.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 31, 2008 11:44 PM

You hate Sarah Palin because you disagree with her positions on issues? Which positions is it of hers that cause you to hate her so much? Seriously dude, stop drinking the haterade.

Posted by: SFC B at January 1, 2009 12:41 AM

Note how (yet again) the liberals have changed the discussion from how poorly Detroit is run by a Democrat to an arguement about two Republican governors. Liberals are very good at changing the subject and never addressing the original issue.

I admire how they can do this w/o feeling any hint of shame. Bravo!

Posted by: Lee at January 1, 2009 9:45 AM

Yeah, Magrooder's latest is quite a red herring. So, Obama's great accomplishment is just getting elected while being black. That's all too typical of the attitude of his supporters. All he has to do to win the votes of such people in 2012 is still be black.

To pick one obvious example apiece, you won't find anything in Obama's record to match Palin's pipeline deal or Jindal's record overhauling the Louisiana hospital system.

Posted by: Crank at January 1, 2009 10:17 AM

Dear Lee,
Detroit is a poorly run city.
Mr. Liberal (Berto)

P.S. Detroit sits in the United States, which is a poorly run nation.

Posted by: Berto at January 1, 2009 11:18 AM

Crank, the latent racism shows through on 1/1; this should be an interesting year.

Crank, hate to tell you but there is no pipeline deal; it is a chimera, spun out out desperate Republicans.

SFC B, I also hate her lies that continue in the face of unequivocal facts. I hate her anti-intellectualism. I hate her efforts to divide the country into "real americans" and, intelligent people (presumably).

Posted by: Magrooder at January 1, 2009 7:18 PM

Another Detroit blogger/photographer is Sweet Juniper. He has some Flickr pages that are just amazing to look at. It's no wonder Motown is a go-to post-apocalyptic location for filmmakers.

Be sure to browse the "Detroit Public Schools Book Depository" and "Michigan Central Station" galleries.

Posted by: Mr Furious at January 3, 2009 1:32 AM
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