It's easy to hate on the Hawaii State Legislature. Shoots, everybody has their gripes about what did and didn't get passed.
But what's with the epic fail shame strategy advanced by the Young Progressives Demanding Action, Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety and Gary Hooser's HAPA as they march on Miller Street this morning?
Haven't they learned yet that silly tactic doesn't work with the Lege, or elicit sympathy from the general public?
I understand they're trying to build participation by allowing folks to indulge their narcissim. But soliciting selfies with the hashtag #HiLegFail really falls flat.
Because truthfully, nobody really cares if Hawaii Center for Food Safety's Kimiko LaHaela Walter is unhappy about the fate of HB 790 and HB 1580. Or anything else:
Well, the effect achieved is just silly. And what's with the banana? (Which looks like something imported from the despised corporate plantations in Central America. She couldn't find a locally-grown variety?)
Center for Food Safety jumped on this bandwagon with its usual simplisitic view of the world:
So many bills that would have benefitted everyday people and the environment died this legislative session because our lawmakers continued to serve the interests of large corporations.
Come on. It's not that black-and white, cut-and-dried. If you're trying to lead a political movement, much less a revolution, you really need to grasp both the nuances and complexities of the legislative process. Especially when your own organization is funded by the heirs of large corporations, as CFS is.
As I noted in the comment section of Hooser's Civil Beat column excoriating the Lege and urging folks to join his shame-blame game:
Actually, Gary, it looks like HAPA "failed" to convince lawmakers of the value of its agenda, which was replete with poorly written bills, fear-mongering testimony and a "my way or the highway" refusal to negotiate or compromise. And you got this poor result despite spending thousands of dollars on advocacy (undisclosed lobbying). Maybe you need to look within, instead of playing your usual blame game.
Hooser was trying to make the case that the Legislature's failure to approve bills he supported “should hasten the movement for new leadership.”
So why aren't the Young Progressives and their supporters — one woman aptly dubbed them faux-gressives — presenting a proposal on how they would have funded and implemented all the stuff they demand/desire?
Instead of “demanding action” from others in their usual self-entitled way, why not be the action? Recruit some viable candidates, run for office, do a good job. But maybe start with articulating a solid platform that includes how they expect to pay for it. Yeah, that's the tough part. So easy to dream and demand. Do much harder to do the work and foot the bill.
In any case, Hooser's Kuleana Academy candidates mostly fell flat, as did he, despite spending more money than any other candidate in the history of Kauai elections. That ought to tell him people's appetites just aren't whetted by either his menu or its execution and presentation.
As one commenter observed:
HAPA seems more like a one-man band than a competent movement.
Of course, if Hooser hadn't indulged his own narcissm and ego, he might still be in the Lege, where he could be working his will on his colleagues and making his faux-gressive dreams come true. But instead he abandoned a powerful post as Senate Majority Leader to make doomed runs for Congress and Lt. Governor. With his tail between his legs, he returned to the Kauai County Council, sold out to the anti-GMO movement, and in the last election, was rejected there, too.
The voters have repeatedly given Hooser a failing grade. So how is it that he thinks he can now sell them on his revolution?