As Usual, I Don’t Know Quite What to Think

22 March 2007

A couple articles in this morning’s T-P gave me some pause. I was reluctant to start quitting on Nagin, but now that I’ve had enough (this happened a while ago, but not as early as Brinkley et al.), I’m inclined to deny him the benefit of the doubt. His latest notorious line was more of the same, and it made me feel angry that he represents us so poorly and does such a disservice to the recovery, not to mention race relations.

But today the paper printed the transcript of his speech (here’s the video), and by my reading, his story holds up pretty well. If I open my mind a bit, I can buy that the story was pumped up by a hungry reporter, and he was taken out of context. I don’t usually buy the “out of context” argument, but I’m not sure he’s off base here. I’m willing to acknowledge that I may not be cynical enough on this one, but check it out.

Now, I will acknowledge that a) the “I don’t follow a script” bit is getting mighty tired, b) he still comes across as a pompous ass, and c) who the hell would call him the greatest mayor ever?

But still, the content wouldn’t have raised my ire if I hadn’t been primed to see it that way in the initial report. I think it’s actually a pretty pro-NOLA speech. Let me know if I’ve been slipped some koolaid.

The other thing, less revealing, is the latest on Dollar Bill Jefferson. I know the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend, but I’m more eager than ever to hear Jefferson’s supposedly innocent explanation for the cold cash. Now that we know just how shady the AG’s office is, perhaps we should re-think the assumptions we all made about what Jefferson was really up to.

I resent the hell out of his refusal to explain and the clout that he’s cost the city in the meantime. I’ll never forgive that.

But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that the accusations were at least exaggerated as the result of W issuing the command to bring him down a peg. The people against him most care much more about loyalty to W and power than justice (this interview with Tom Delay will convince you just how far the Right is going these days–he’s even more psycho than I thought).

One more thing I’m not sure about: Whether KU will win tonight against SIU. I think they will, but in case they lose, I want to share my uber-clever headline now–Salukis: Shattered!

Update:  Now what do we make of this?