Sunday, January 29, 2006

You Say Cafare-o, I Say Cafaro

. . . but unfortunately, we can't call the whole thing off.

I try to keep discussion here at the Akron Pages fairly high-toned. It's not that I don't engage in sheer tirades -- my real-life friends could disabuse you of that. And it's certainly not because I am at my core a nice person who hates meanness (like, say, Jill). At my core I'm pretty much a bastard, I just filter it well most of the time.

The tone here is primarily the effect of my boredom with blogs that are pure rant. I wanted something more substantive. That's what you find on the blogs I roll and it's what I try to deliver here.

But certain topics bring out the worst in me. Some things I can barely discuss without slipping in to profanity-laced invective and little more. Call it my "Don't Get Me Started" list. It includes:

-The New York Yankees
-Microsoft Word
-The Ford Expedition
-Going Dark in August
-Carlos Boozer
-9/11 Conspiracy Theorists, HIV Skeptics and Other Lefty Loonies
-The Service at the Kinko's on Exchange
-Casey Blake's Batting Average in the Clutch
-People Who Think Fox News Really Is Fair and Balanced

To this list (only sampled above) we must regrettably add Capri Cafaro Running in Ohio-13. It's beyond a rational disagreement -- this campaign simply vexes me no end.

So the tone in the Cafaro discussion has, shall we say, dropped a few levels, both in my observations and in the comments. It plummeted in this post, and only came up a little in this one. It's bad enough that other blogs have noted it and Cafaro fans have flamed me. (Though it should be noted that the first one was apparently Saving Ohio from Arlington, Virginia. Thanks for helping out, dude.)

Let me make a couple of things clear. First off, my ire isn't about the young lady herself, it's about this campaign. It's easy to hate the pretty rich girl for being pretty and rich, just as it's easy to like the pretty rich girl for being pretty and rich. Those are opposite sides of the same low-denomination coin. I've really tried to avoid that.

Cafaro herself is obviously intelligent -- Jill's misgivings about her child prodigy narrative aside, Stanford undergrad/Georgetown grad school doesn't spell "dummy." She's obviously industrious. And she's appears to genuinely live her social conscience. Given the magnitude of her jack, she could be doing the vapid socialite thing, or she could be doing something more about making money and less about making things better.

Furthermore, I have yet to hear a policy position with which I strongly disagree. I'm guessing her stance on trade is different than mine, but we probably agree on the issues 90-95% of the time.

I just don't like this campaign. I might not mind if, post-1994, she set up shop here in NEO, then moved into the 13th when the seat opened. Instead, she immediately heads off to New York for a year and change, and only comes back here to run. She had a house in the 14th, purchased, it appears, for that run, and now has apparently opened up the trust fund to buy in the 13th.

It seems so cravenly cynical that, even if it isn't, she is the only Democrat running who would be truly vulnerable in the general. She will either buy the nomination and struggle in the general or she will lose in the primary, but only after forcing her opponents to spend heavily to defeat her.

Can someone tell me why this is a good idea? Can someone please explain why she is so fantabulously better than Betty Sutton on anything that it's worth burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Dems -- contributions you may have noticed that aren't exactly in overfuckingabundence? Can someone show me one goddam scenario in which the Dems lose this seat other than Cafaro's money getting her the nomination and her biography pissing off enough independents and Dems to lose the general? Can somebody explain how she is so fucking great as to be worth that risk? WHAT! THE! FUCK!?!?!?!??!!?


OK. We'll get that tone back under control eventually.

In the meantime, a few guidelines for myself and my commenters. We will not denigrate Cafaro's intellect or accomplishments. We will not gleefully note the proximity of her name to insults generally hurled by misogynists. I think snide remarks about her father's business (and, erm, conviction) skirt the line and would rather not see them here. I simply want to beat the drum that a person who wishes to represent Ohio in Congress ought to care enough about the place to live here as an adult.

On the other side, Cafarofan can comment until blue in the virtual face about how wonderful she is on labor issues, but until you can explain to me why I should vote for a person who wants to call herself my Representative without first calling herself my neighbor, you just won't persuade me.


Anonymous said...

I had the opportunity to meet Capri on Friday evening and the one thing I can tell you is she is right on track with the issues and is determined not to be out worked. She is a good campaigner and will work hard for the folks here in the 13th. We are glad to have her move to Lorain County and will be a great voice for the people of the 13th to represent us in the absence of Sherrod Brown.

Jill said...

Pho - That was a great post! I loved it all. And my love stems from the two main sticking points about the information I've been able to gather about Miss Cafaro as being sticking points that could easily be handled, diffused and neutralized by a good campaign -as you note, seems to be lacking:

1) It appears that she hasn't really lived in Ohio since she went to college at age...I'm not quite sure, but it appears to be about 16, possibly younger. I have a problem with this, as a voter.

2) She's not provided a coherent timeline of where she has been and what she has been doing since then. The bios throw out names and places, but does anyone who isn't in her camp really have a clear picture of what she's done? I have a problem with this as a voter.

I don't write anything in my blog or on anyone else's that I don't stand behind. She's running for CONGRESS to represent a state she hasn't lived in for more than a decade. I think she needs to make a strong case as to why a voter shouldn't be bothered by that. What can she say to mitigate that concern?

I do not think it's unreasonable to have the two reservations I've noted, partly because it would be so easy for her to clear up the cloudiness.

This is not intended to impune her reputation. I think my questions are not only fair, but to be expected from other folks.

Thank you, Pho. :)

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a pretty legit article.

Anonymous said...

Living in New York? Hey Pho, do you think she was rooting for the Yankees when she spent the last year or so in the Big Apple.

At least with Sherrod Brown, the 13th district is represented by a legit Tribe fan/Yankees hater.

TBMD said...

Is, or Is Not, Tom Sawyer in this race? At least he's from Akron. He's got limitations (essentially anonymous during his time in Congress), but doesn't appear to be completely incompetent.

The 13th is designed as a safe Democratic seat, but he's someone I wouldn't have to put a bag over my head to support.

yr right wing looney.

Scott Piepho said...

As it happens, I spoke to Sawyer tonight and he is indeed running. He probably is ironically the dark horse, so keep your bag ready nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't think the sins of the father apply to children, but when 99.9% of why she can even considering running is because of her dad's money I don't think its off base to say its tainted money at best, mob money at worst. Not only that, she was in charge of the defense company that the whole bribery scandal is about. She took federal immunity for her part in exchange for testimony.

If we're going to bring the fire against Ney a few miles to the south, we need to nominate someone who isn't going to get burned themselves.