Politics & Prejudices
What will happen to Detroit?
In 2013, Detroit can’t rely on business as usual
Published: January 2, 2013
Then, hopefully, whatever happens, we can begin to think not about the legacy of a dead past, but of building a future. That might mean a city-county merger, down the line.
That might mean a Detroit that looks totally different than it does and governed differently from now. What it can't mean is JoAnn Watson and a bunch of white racists refighting old wars.
Or we are all doomed.
In need of a face lift:
Democrats and, especially, union members, have been apoplectic with rage at Gov. Rick Snyder, especially since the lame-duck session of the Legislature, in which he changed his tune and went along with efforts to slam right-to-work through in less than a day.
Many of them don't like the fact that the GOP also shoved through a new emergency manager law, even though voters had just repealed the old one. Nor do they like a lot of other things he and the GOP-controlled Legislature have done, from throwing starving children off welfare to laws hurting women.
Polls now show that virtually any Democrat would defeat Rick Snyder for re-election in November 2014.
But guess what: Unless something changes, that won't happen. I've been watching elections in these parts for a long time. The dynamics of the next election look like this:
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer will likely be the Democratic nominee. She is intelligent, charismatic and experienced, but Republicans will have far more money, and fewer Democrats tend to vote in off-year elections.
The ham-handed Democratic establishment, a group of men still fighting the battles they've been losing for decades, will insist she be the spokesperson for a bunch of dwindling and somewhat discredited special interest groups.
Whitmer is likely to also suffer — unfairly — by comparison to the state's only female governor, the famously ineffectual Jennifer Granholm, especially since Granholm was always described at attractive and charismatic, and Whitmer is even more so.
Odds are that unless whoever the Democrats nominate can find a way to break out of the mold, Snyder, like his controversial predecessor John Engler, will be re-elected.
Probably easily. By the way, know how many Michigan governors have been denied a second term since the present state constitution went into effect a half-century ago?
The answer is ... zero.
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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