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Tired of the buzz: Flies & politicians redefine annoying

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POSTED November 6, 2012 6:48 p.m.

Flies. They’re everywhere these days.

The sudden drop in night temperatures has brought them inside. But then the spring-like afternoons make them more active. Still, they are easy kills as these are lethargic times for the annoying little pests.

That said it has been hard to determine what has been more annoying lately - flies or politicians.

Both have been relentlessly buzzing us now for weeks. It’s hard to believe either serves a useful purpose in the overall scheme of things. One might concede, however, there is a need for flies, if only to remind us that some pests that are less obnoxious than the ones delivering garbage in the form of political hit pieces.

Some of the garbage that has gone directly into the recycling Toter this year includes mailers graced with the image of convicted sex offenders and perhaps one of the ugliest photos ever taken of Cathleen Galgiani courtesy of the California Republican Party.

Like every other hit piece, it takes a complicated issue such as the prison overcrowding reduction mandate and boils it down to fear.

Then there is the Democratic Party’s convoluted reading of a budget vote to try to portray Jeff Denham as anti-military. How can one logically be anti-military after serving 20 years, including a stint in Desert Storm?

The insensitivity award goes to the out-of-state American Action Network political action committee bankrolling an anti-Jose Hernandez TV ad that has gotten more air time than the Olympics. It’s a bit of a humorous commercial - especially Hernandez riding the bullet train as if it is a stampeding bronco - until they overplay the humor a bit too much.

“Say no way to Jose.” is how the commercial ends. I find it offensive and I’m not even Hispanic. Does anyone who comes up with the commercials bother to try to understand the local cultural and social landscape?

It’s like the commercial bashing Jerry McNerney. It correctly states all of the votes that the congressman has made that seem to be at odds with the needs of the struggling Northern San Joaquin Valley. But the deal breaker is the background photos of the absolute worst parts of Stockton in terms of blight and decay. Folks in Stockton are pretty sensitive to being panned nationally as a cesspool by snarky writers from Forbes et al. Besides, the Fort Apache-like urban Tobacco Road-style scenes are areas that have been that way for 30-plus years in Stockton. They are no different than what you can find in parts of “shining” cities that Forbes and their ilk are so enthralled with.

The Democratic PAC commercial harping on the fact Ricky Gill has “never held a job” is equally repulsive but for different reasons.

While Gill’s parents are successful physicians and farmers, he is still under 25. And in case the Democrats who approved the commercial care, folks in Stockton aren’t exactly jumping up and down about national unemployment being down to 7.8 percent, especially those 25 and under. The jobless rate in Stockton is 16.3 percent with those between 18 and 25 pushing 30 percent unemployment.

Besides, it is pretty lame for a party that championed lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, based on the fact an 18 year-old could be drafted and expected to lay down his life for this country, to imply somehow that a 24 year-old who will be able to be sworn in if elected because he’ll reach the minimum age of 25 in December should not be taken seriously because of his age.

Then there are the sound bites from Sacramento politicians telling us a particular proposition is going to prevent Sacramento politicians from hijacking money. First of all, wordings in bonds and propositions have never stopped Sacramento politicians before. And - let’s not forget - they are Sacramento politicians. Of course, it is always the other Sacramento politicians that create the problems and not the ones that we enable with our votes.

Making it all the worse are the party animals among us who gleefully act as if their chosen party is pious while the opposition is wallowing in gutter politics.

In a way, we’re to blame for the smell of foul politics. We expect presidential candidates to reduce a viable strategy to turn around the economy into 90-second debate answers or 30-second commercials. We also often refuse to listen to anyone who isn’t aligned with - or doesn’t play to - our biases.

So why are we shocked when what rises to the top is the stuff that makes fertile breeding grounds for flies?

 

This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209-249-3519.

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