Stefan Sharkansky is an arrogant prick.
Now, I don’t say that because I think it somehow raises the level of political discourse, or out of an attempt to refute his arguments, or even as a gesture meant to personally offend him. I say it, because it makes me feel good.
And, because it is true.
Take for example his prickishly arrogant attack on Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D-27) for an email she sent to constituents. In his typically measured, analytical style, Stefan opines:
I don’t say it lightly that her reasons for opposing a revote would have to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen come out of the office of any elected official. If Rep. Darneille is not an imbecile herself, then she would have to believe that her constituents are all imbeciles if she thinks this e-mail is not going to cause severe and permanent damage to her reputation in the district.
This in response to Rep. Darneille writing about the recent death of her father.
Wow. What a prick!
And it’s not just Stefan’s stunning lack of empathy that bothers me, it’s his arrogantly prickish dismissal of Rep. Darneille’s reasonable and well-thought-out opposition to a “re-vote.” While she backs up her rationale with personal anecdotes, her logic is sound:
It will be impossible to recreate the confluence of situations that existed on November 2nd. A re-vote could, in fact, never exist… it would be a new vote. The premise that “every vote should be counted and every vote should count” will never exist again.
That is exactly the point I made a couple weeks ago. We’re talking about an entirely new election… new year, new campaign, new voters, new issues… and as has been pointed out to me, possibly… new candidates.
Annulling the election will merely vacate the governor’s office, putting Lt. Gov. Brad Owen in charge until a special election is held, possibly not until next November, or even, November of 2006. At that time, Owen might choose to run for governor, as might any number of major and third party candidates. In the meanwhile, tens of thousands of voters will be added and stricken from the rolls. There will be absolutely nothing “re” about this vote.
But does Stefan bother to address these issues or refute Rep. Darneille’s own arguments? Nah… he just calls her an imbecile, and arrogantly threatens electoral retribution. You know why? Because… he’s a prick!
Yes, Stefan’s the kind of arrogant prick who’s not above a shamelessly racist smear (” King County Executive Ron Sims, the Robert Mugabe of Washington politics“)… or of repeatedly referring to our governor as “Christine Fraudoire” without ever once alleging a single act of fraud on the part of her or her campaign.
This is a guy who gloats about getting a protester arrested after provoking him into smashing his $10.00 disposable camera.
Stefan is a mean-spirited, intellectually dishonest, rhetorical-schoolyard bully… kind of like a short, ugly Tim Eyman. Only smart. And that is what is most unforgivable, for unlike Tim, every statistic he distorts, every lie he tells, every reputation he disparages… Stefan knows exactly what he is doing.
He is, in short… a prick.
Now some of you may find the tone and content of this essay a bit shocking, for I have recently made an effort to shift some of the focus of this blog from partisan invective to a more thoughtful — if equally partisan — discussion of the issues. I can be pretty damn devious, and I certainly could choose to engage the other side in their fanciful number crunching and vicious slander… but when I look in the mirror, I don’t want to see Stefan Sharkansky staring back out at me.
The truth is, the sort of personal name-calling I choose to match Stefan with today, achieves absolutely nothing except riling up those who already agree with you. I want to change minds, not pander to them.
But hell if I’m going to shy away from calling a prick, “a prick” — and when you arrogantly ridicule an elected official for talking about her dead father — that’s exactly what you are.
So call me arrogant, if that’s what you want. Or call me a prick, or even a horse’s ass.
Just don’t call me a Stefan.