Where’s my donkey?


Michael McGuire

The St. Bart’s Spaghetti Supper – a fundraiser for the church – cleverly became a remote ad hoc outpost for the Lobster Fest last night, as Republican candidates apparently needed a place to crash in Chenango County this close to November – so far from the friendly confines of the August hob-knob. Not to say they did anything wrong meeting with the nearly 500 who came, in fact I was impressed.

I was impressed because it wasn’t a political event, and I still couldn’t help but think the democrats lost out, mainly because they weren’t there. Appearances count, no matter where. That’s what great about politics – you look bad in absence.

Is this need for political symmetry all in my head? Does Ricardo Mantalban have to take on William Shatner at Star Trek conventions to defend the Wrath of Khan? Does Shelley Long have to follow Kirstie Alley into Old Country Buffet to compete in public over who was better on Cheers? NO, they all live equally in has-beendom.

But our elected officials are indeed different. What allows me sleep at night is knowing that politicians probably don’t. They’re addicted to the spin, and they should be – because its matters.

By choosing to stay home with family, play horseshoes, or do whatever local democrats did, they missed out on an opportunity.

But what if they didn’t really miss out? If St. Bart’s supper, a pretty low-key and wholesome event, was so easily taken over by politicians, what else could be? Were the democrats absent from St. Bart’s because they were at some 600+ Quilters Guild Convention? Will St. Bart’s be serving partisan pasta from now on? Can any place with 500+ breathing souls become a political junket? I bet if prisoners could vote their would be a Chocolate Pudding Fest in Sing Sing Maximum Security Prison every August, to raise hard and soft campaign cigarettes and garner votes among the Bright Orange states (in this case cell blocks).

But the more that I think about it, the dems were probably just out somewhere else, at some other normally unobtrusive event, with some other dumb reporter thinking republicans missed out.