Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Gubner Has a Little Gas Problem

The ABH is festooned with folks talking about the Gubner's decision to close school yesterday and today. In an article, the usual suspects from both parties weigh in. (For the record, while we agree with him on this one, Bobby Kahn's talking points blew.)

Interestingly, three of the four letters to the editor today talk about it as well, and surprisingly, no one there seems to want to shill for the GOP.

A guy from Comer sez, "
Never mind that buses are a form of mass transportation, which happens to be far more fuel-efficient than a parade of big ugly SUVs."

A first-grade teacher weighs in with some suggestions on alternate courses of action.

Our favorite comes from Mary Songster, who makes a good point. "
Even more disturbing is the thought that 50 kids who would have been on one bus to one destination are now being taken by 50 different cars to 50 different locations - not saving resources, but shifting the burden.[emphasis ours]"

She makes a good point. The Gubner is making himself look good on the backs of parents who actually have to shoulder the burden of his decision.

Also, far be it from us to argue with the highly-paid consultants who tell Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor what to do, but we think the message is wrong on this one. It's not about the Gubner's priorities on education (heaven knows there's better evidence than this to point out where Sonny stands on education), and it's not "leaving parents in a bind," as the article in the ABH puts it. It's about Sonny making a rash decision to make himself look good at the expense of parents. We think that message would resonante a little more come November of next year.

But what do we know?

We'd know more with your help. Send us your tips here.


Anonymous said...

I think you're on target re: the political message being about poor decision making, not priorities. The education messages, etc. support the central contention: that we have a governor who is unwilling (or unable) to think about all the consequences of his decisions, and has a staff that is unwilling to advise him of the consequences. Think about the ramifications of this approach on other issues.


Publius said...

The problem with Sonny, at last from the perspective of designing a message against him, is that he's really a pretty likable guy.

So, my opinion only, the consultantocracy had best be very aware of that dynamic, and not go negative in the wrong way right out of the gate.

I think the key here is a soft negative that highlights the fact that this guy just isn't gubernatorial (what a great word!) material.

Jmac said...

Both of you guys are dead-on. There's a litany of missteps in Perdue's education policies, but this particular decision is just about trying to look like a leader ... consequences and ramifications be damned.

Apparently in today's world - and, unfortunately, to much of the current GOP establishment - making silly and poor policy decisions is 'good leadership.'

Publius said...

And that's my concern is that Cathy and Mark both want to come out of the gate swinging. Attacking Perdue on a personal level won't work, for the same reason that attacking W on a personal level doesn't (or didn't, maybe things are changing).

The message on Perdue should be that sure, he's a nice guy, but he just isn't quite ready for primetime. Talk about joyriding around in state helicopters (without having the correct license), cancelling school, being kind of shifty on the flag, etc.

Basically, he's a nice guy, but when it comes to running the state, he's just a big ol' kid, and it's time to let the grownups lead the state again.

Just my two cents.

Publius said...

It also bears asking why three of us (who presumbly don't have have any experience consulting on a major statewide race) can see that so clearly, yet the fat wallet consultants on the two races can't see it at all.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we're wrong...... nah, no way!

But I think there is a lot to be said for being somewhat disengaged from the political sausage factory. It offers a little clarity on these issues.

As I told several people this weekend, the decision was wrong on so many levels it was hard to decide which one would have the greatest impact.


Publius said...

Nah, we're not wrong, we're local!

The view from inside the beltway is quite a bit different, and full of misconceptions about the politics down here.