"I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
That's the most benign of quotes in a lexicon of craziness. I spared you those of the "He dead...what do it matter?" vein. In any event, Nat is asking hizzoner what the f**k is up with his federal and DC taxes. Nat is the King of 1099s, and thus I am always under the leer of the stern, Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show eye of the IRS, Maryland and the District tax centurions.
Check out the details listed in the story by "Loose Lips," political wonk for the Washington City paper. N.B. LL=Mike Debonis; there have been more LLs since the 90s than there have been comic book Green Lanterns (from Hal Jordan to the brother, John Stewart). Marion's been prosecuted for tax evasion, yet not even been tapped with a wage garnish? Professes no assets tho seems to find time and money to zoom to Jamaica with his "troubled" son Christopher (troubled is the nicest word I can use) whilst campaign staffers await their checks? This is serious stuff, and clearly no conspiracy by Mr. Charlie. And of course, he's been re-elected to the DC Council over and over and over.
His take? He deserves reelection. He like many of his generation are utterly unrepentent for the old school "l'etat et moi...apres moi, le deluge" brand of black politics, of Sharpe James and Coleman Young, and Congressmen like Gus Savage, Bill Jefferson in La., of "Du" Burns in Baltimore, indeed to great extent of Harold Washington and Wilson Goode. One step forward, six back. And yet there are an awful lot of bammas and ghettofab folk who pine for the good ole days. Why?
Or...put it this way--has anything really changed? What's the difference between Coleman Young and Kwame Kilpatrick (da hip hop mayor)? Don't our new crop of goo-goo (Good Government, term from the Progressive Era) light-skin-ded mayors like Adrian Fenty, or Corey Booker, have a cadre of disciples, cronies? Pet developers and business contacts? Are the women any better--Sharon Pratt Kelly in DC after one of Marion's downfalls? Sheila Dixon in Baltimore, under indictment? And of course, there's Roland Burris...
These aren't rhetorical questions. I want to know. There's a school We seem to be shifting, rather than demolishing old paradigms and establishing new ones. That's Paul Krugman's basic problem with Barack & Co. boiled down, I suppose.
My view on Barry isn't subject to any more questions, however. He needs to be removed from the DC Council, from all public life. Put in a figurative museum. There, safe behind the velvet ropes and glass, he can be either worshiped or despised. But on display nonetheless, whence he can do no more harm...