Do politicians know where their campaign signs are posted? I wondered when I saw the Hanabusa sign in front of the ice dealer's house, the array of Abercrombie signs plastered on the Kapahi ag land being turned into upscale gentleman's estates.
Or is the idea just to get 'em out there, never mind where?
So Al Gore flew all the way over here to
stump for Abercrombie and Sen.
Brian Schatz, I mean, lecture us about getting on it to reverse climate
change. As Civil Beat reported, with no apparent touch of irony:
By turns a university professor, a wry observer, a recovering politician, a joke teller and a Southern preacher, Al Gore fired up an audience of thousands at the Stan Sheriff Center to believe that global warming can be stopped. But it's possible only if each of us does our part.
And his part, it seems, is jetting around the world denouncing the evils of carbon emissions, while living alone in “a 10,000-square-foot colonial in Nashville, where magnolia trees shade the house and geothermal wells, buried beneath the driveway, cool and heat its 20 rooms,” while also maintaining “a luxury apartment at the St. Regis tower” in San Francisco.
Do you suppose he hangs out the laundry?
Civil Beat continued with Gore's rousing call to action:
"The way we have to respond to this is going to require a set of changes that are beyond our routine," he said, his voice growing to a shout. "I know that we are capable of that. Our way of life is at stake, our grandchildren are at stake, the future of civilization is at stake."
But don't touch capitalism. Or god forbid, the two drivers of Hawaii's economy: fossil fuel-guzzling tourism or the military. We're not talking about changes that far outside our routine. Because who can possibly imagine civilization without an imperialistic war machine, the kind of cheap leisure travel that dumps 500,000 people per year on the trail to Hanakapiai? And what, a million-plus on poor little Ke'e? With a 20 percent increase expected no less.
In politics, there's rhetoric, and there's reason, and ne'er the twain shall meet.
Got a call yesterday from SMS Research, apparently conducting a poll for the Abercrombie campaign. One tip off was this question: Would you rather have a governor without executive experience who is agreeable, or one with executive experience who doesn't always get along with others?
Is there a door number three?
It seems that Neil is worried about his image, as I was asked to agree or disagree with statements like: Abercrombie's personality may prevent me from voting for him; he may do the job well, but he's rude; his stubbornness has made him ineffective. A few softballs were tossed in: he cares for children and their future; he has a passion for public service; he cares about senior issues; he gets the job done.
What, nothing about cuddling puppies? And curiously silent on two touchy spots: Hawaiian issues and the environment.
“What do you think of Abercrombie?” the pollster asked, giving me a chance to go off-script.
“I think he's arrogant, dishonest and I really haven't agreed with his stance on a lot of important issues.”
“What do you think of Abercrombie?” the pollster asked again, helpfully supplying a few adjectives. "Stubborn? Argumentative?"
“I just said he's arrogant, dishonest and I don't agree with him on the issues. Isn't that enough?”
I was then asked to say whether the following statements made me think better or worse of the governor:
“He restored funding to Hawaii's neediest; his staff has put Hawaii in a better position today; he fights for issues he believes are important for the people of Hawaii...”
At that point I broke in: “Wait, are these supposed to be statements of fact?”
“Oh, yes,” I was told. “They're based on research.”
But then, the chill fog of reality settled in as I was asked to give my impression of various political figures, some of 'em going waaay back: Schatz, Hanabusa, Tsutsui, Ige, Abercrombie, Aiona, Mufi, Cayetano, Waihee, Ariyoshi.
Yeah, folks, that's the Hawaii heavy-hitter political line up. Read 'em and weep.
Then I read this announcement from the Honolulu Prosecutor's office, about Shaylene Iseri's former first deputy, and I laughed aloud:
Please welcome Jake Delaplane, who joins the Career Criminal Unit.
I'm still giggling.