MSNBC/WDSU City of New Orleans Mayoral Debate: Part Deux
So you didn't get to see the debate last night? There's only one thing needed to be known: Chris Matthews is a douchebag. There it is.
This "debate" has nothing to do with who will be Mayor of New Orleans. Its about giving Chris Matthews an opportunity to grandstand. Hey, Chris, could you talk over the two people this event is to be focused on anymore? I am sorry--I couldn't hear Landrieu's or Nagin's answers to your stupid, irrelevant questions (Hillary Clinton or John McCain for POTUS in 2008) because you won't shut up with your loud, piercing voice . . .
I could go off further on this in several directions, but let me focus in on my particular favorite myth that people such as Chris Matthews continue to perpetuate: the "building a city below city level" thing. Once again, this statement is made and unfortunately neither Nagin or Landrieu ever corrects it. Yes, many areas of the City of New Orleans or below sea level, but many sections of New Orleans are at or above sea level. Therefore, to completely assume the entire city is at a lower elevation than Lake Pontchatrain, Lake Borgne, or the Gulf of Mexico is false, but yet this belief is an unquestioned fact since August 2005. To simply frame the entire post-KTMB situation in New Orleans as "are we going to rebuild a city below sea level" typifies the way the American public is handled by media (and by the politicians). Everything has to be yes or no, A or B. Its not quite that easy with anything, much less discussing the future of the City of New Orleans. But yet it continues unabated.
Another thing: in addition to the grandstanding stage of Chris Matthews--a friend a few minutes ago said something very interesting as we discussed the Chris Matthews I Get to "come down here" and Eat at Antoine's and Galitoire's Show. It seemed as if this event wasn't meant to gauge the two candidates vying to be the leader of this city at perhaps the most crucial time in its 288-year old history. Instead, it was as if New Orleans was on trial--and the two guys up on stage were there to justify its continued existence. So are any other cities in this country expendable, Mr. Cab Driver?
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . and another thing I almost forget to mention. For the second time this week in a televised debate, Mayor Nagin mentioned Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. I don't care what the context is (the original place on Broad--upcoming new post to come on this, by the way--where the political deals traditionally got done over lunch), why does he keep giving these sellouts mention and advertisement? What about chastizing them for moving their corporate headquarters from our city? Instead he gives them a plug. That alone loses my vote.
An Outsider's Take:
I sent an email yesterday afternoon to some out-of-town relatives informing that the debate was to be televised nationally on MSNBC. My wife's aunt in Houston SuburbiaLand Northeast responded with her thoughts post-debate. She's not from here, never lived here, but has been to New Orleans visiting us several times over the past couple of years (including Barkus weekend post-KTMB). Here's her "untainted" take on what she saw last night:
OK. Here is my opinion from a person that doesn't live in New Orleans and may not know the "real" issues and the two candidates presented tonight. I haven't watched any previous debates. I may be way off base since I am basing my opinions from this debate and what I have seen on the news.
First off: The major question I had was not answered: How are they going to get the people back to New Orleans what is the plan for rebuilding the city?
He seems slimy. He doesn't admit to statements he made before, he doesn't answer any question negatively (he sugarcoats every bad situation) so this makes me think that he isn't truthful and doesn't speak from his heart, his ideals and opinions. He makes too many promises (without immigrant workers we can still rebuild New Orleans). Then why isn't he doing it? Where is theplan to get the people home and back to work? He says the levees will be fine (Is that true? I find it hard to believe that they can withstand a higher category than a 3). He doesn't seem to have much political clout to get things moving (from what I observed/don't know if it's true). He says there have been incremental improvements but there is no where to go but up right now-right? Shouldn't it be happening in a more efficient way by now? The levees are a Federal responsibility, yes, but does he have the ability to get the government to act responsibly and fix it right?
He is much better spoken and articulate. He makes good points and seems to know the issues and appears to have more clout to get things done. BUT he didn't tell me what his plan is! I think his point on getting tourism back was excellent, it showed America that New Orleans didn't die. He made a few good points on rebuilding in areas prone to flooding (even if they aren't below sea level, they are still vulnerable). He points that rebuilding is done in Florida, Mississippi, San Francisco, etc., so why not in New Orleans? He also says the levees will be rebuilt to withstand a category 5, but is it realistic with what we know about our government? Is he also making too many promises?
He was an idiot. His questions were so off base so many times (the immigration issue, are the candidates too boring, Hilary Clinton??) Who cares? What are the candidates plans? I did like his question about Bush, but I still think Americans have a 10 minute attention span and it wouldn't have helped keep the issue in the American minds any longer. However, what it would have done is perhaps provided more aid and money to the area.
Anyway I have rambled on enough and to make a long story short, if I was voting on Saturday I'd vote for Landrieu since from my perception (I don't live there so am not close to the issues) Nagin hasn't done the best job in the rebuilding stage and if he is reelected has already burnedtoo many bridges whereas Landrieu would be a fresh start.
My brothers in the cause also chime in similarly on the Chris Matthews Show, Live from New Orleans: Wetbank Guide, Ashley Morris: The Blog, World Class New Orleans, and People Get Ready.
TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Election, Nagin, Landrieu, Chris Matthews