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Chuck Moss

Chuck Moss


January 22, 2016

You knew it was coming. Governor Rick Snyder would be Katrina’ed over the Flint water crisis. “Heck of a job, Governor,” hooted the ever-reliable liberal Detroit Free Press on Jan 10th, evoking the meme of President G.W. Bush. “Callous insensitive” repeats the good old Freep, making sure the party line narrative not only remains intact but is deployed against Michigan’s Republican Governor.

“Katrina’ed” is a good term. It means “exploiting a catastrophe to unfairly blame political opponents for a disaster caused by the accuser’s party.” It can even mean the construction of a complete phony alternate reality. In the case of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans…

Hey, let’s play a little game called “Guess that Party!” First off, below sea-level New Orleans had been warned for decades about the danger of hurricanes and flooding. Nothing was done while the city was run for decades by Guess that Party! Democrats. During the crisis Guess that Party!—Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin’s incompetence was the proximate cause for the city’s inability to maintain basic order. Responsibility for taking superintending control over the city lay with dithering Louisiana Governor Guess that Party!—Democrat Kathleen Blanco.

But the media, by that time virtually an adjunct to the Democrats, used the crisis to trash the recently re-elected G.W. Bush, and incidentally, deflect accountability from their ideological soulmates. Thus the entire blame was hurled at Bush, the Feds, and FEMA. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t factual, it wasn’t even reality. But you see, that didn’t matter anymore! The story line, now called the Narrative, was paramount, and the narrative was, as always, Democrat good, Republican wicked.

Now to Flint. The genesis of the crisis lay when the Flint leadership decided to build an alternative water system to compete with Detroit’s. Flint’s Council is officially non-partisan, but Flint has been for decades a fiefdom of… Guess that Party!—the United Auto Autoworkers and the Democrats. Mayor Walling was heavily supported by… Guess that Party!—The Democrats. They voted in March 2013, 7-1 to stop buying water from Detroit Water and Sewer. The State-Appointed Emergency Manager Darnell Early, appointed by Snyder, but– Guess that Party!—a long time Democrat–approved.

On April 17, Flint was notified by Detroit Water and Sewer, run by Guess that Party!—the Democrat Detroit city government that Detroit would cut off Flint as of April 2014. Now the new pipeline wouldn’t be ready until 2017, so you see the problem: a multi-year gap in service. The solution was to tap Flint River water, and treat it. April 25, 2014, Mayor Walling Guess that Party!—proudly turned off Detroit water. The mistake was immediately apparent as complaints poured in. In August 2014, the city issued a boil-water advisory. In October, General Motors cut loose from the system.

That’s the water connection. A side story has been the crisis exacerbated by Flint’s…what’s the phrase? “Aging infrastructure.” In 1970 Flint’s population was over 193,000. 2015 Census shows 102,320. Flint has lost half its population over the last 40 years. Once a wealthy, industrial powerhouse, Flint is now half-empty, poor, de-populated, de-industrialized, run-down and regularly ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in America. The infrastructure mirrors the town. Over the decades, money that could and should have gone into routine maintenance and upgrading went…where? During those decades, Flint was run by–Guess that Party!—UAW Democrats. Another note: now there’s news breaking about cases of Legionnaires Disease in Flint. One leading condition for breeding Legionnaires is under-maintained water systems.

So why didn’t the governor just take it all over immediately? First off, because it’s not that easy legally. Secondly, because when the governor has stepped in during cases of egregious financial emergency, the local response has always been to scream bloody murder about stealing people’s right to self-government, and often charges of outright racism, led by… Guess that Party! Democrats–and stoutly supported by the Democrat media. So can you blame the governor for going slow on taking over more functions of a Democratic, African American political stronghold?

And wow! We have celebrities! Far left filmmaker and malevolent gasbag Michael Moore would put the governor on trial. Of course he would. And he has a lot to deflect, having milked Flint, exploiting the town with his deceptive Roger and Me film. It put Moore on the map and the Curse of Cain on the town, destroying any hope of outside investment for at least 15 years. There are heartfelt accusations from Cher! And big name politicos and presidential candidates, all of them die-hard members of… Guess that Party!

So, what’cha got here is a crisis made by policy decided by Democrats, implemented by Democrats, in a city run for decades by Democrats, whose fall is a slow-motion tragedy. It’s problems and challenges have been long known, so where has everybody been for the last 40 years? Why now, only now, does the Democrat party and its allied media shriek, clutch pearls in horror, and seek to pin the whole thing on the Republican governor?

Could it be because they want to forever tarnish Rick Snyder and his administration by pulling a routine partisan Katrina’ing? Could it be to deflect accountability away from the decades of mismanagement that caused the crisis, led by Guess that Party? Partisan soldiers on the D Side already have their answers and their narrative. It’s folks in the middle that need to look at all the facts, and not just drink the Kool-Aid being pushed by operatives of Guess that Party! Especially not if they’ve made it with Flint water.

Chuck Moss teaches Political Science at Oakland University and serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.

January 21, 2016 · Filed under Chuck Moss

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lynn Ochberg // Jan 22, 2016 at 7:49 am

    This submission is beneath decent. The Dome editors have covered themselves under a blanket of shame with publication of this non factual, hate filled, racist pretense of a piece of journalism.

  • 2 Harris // Jan 22, 2016 at 8:23 am

    And Moss served in the Legislature for Guess the Party!®

    This is less than helpful. A fair case about the media could be made that Snyder is getting walloped because of the sort of late-minute, counter common good dealings in the Legislature from Guess the Party!® The Governor did not have a lot of cushion on this one, not least because the tax breaks that were handed out came at the expense of municipalities and schools. And as John Austin has pointed out, those same units impacted by tax cuts now have a higher hurdle for actually appealing the to the voters. Thanks to Guess the Party!®

  • 3 Anagnorisis // Jan 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Et tu, Prince. The Medici and the Republic will posture for hegemony with mutual blame as shibboleths. And what of the pawns – uh, people, of Florence – uh, Flint?

  • 4 Jean Kozek // Jan 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

    MI voters opposed the Emergency Manager Act. Republicans rewrote the law and again imposed it on MI citizens.

    Emergency Managers have not been selected based on experience or knowledge of running a city or even a school district. It appears they are chosen as political favors.

    Early had no experience or education in city government. Since he answered only to the governor, he did not consult people knowledgeable about how city water must be treated. Authoritarian types believe that having the power translates into a “I can do whatever I please” mindset.

    Since the Republican majority in the legislative branch and the Republican governor are solely responsible for hiring Earley (sp?), it means that state government is responsible for the health and infrastructure catastrophe heaped on a large number of Flint residents. It means that revenue to address this disaster will be paid with state tax dollars and not Flint city tax dollars.

    I wonder if the new pipeline being constructed from Lake Huron played a role in this decision. Whose money is paying for this pipeline and Who was expected to benefit from its costs? Was the idea that in the future Flint could get cheaper water from this pipeline a ruse to cover up the costs and purpose of this pipeline?

    When the Republican majority got the power, it steadily undid democracy in our state. This party rigged the game. It wants the power without criticism or oversight or responsiblity for decisions that harm the state and its citizens.

  • 5 Shelli // Jan 22, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, Chuck. This is callous. And you teach political science at OU?

  • 6 Art Myatt // Jan 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Chuck Moss says, “The story line, now called the Narrative, was paramount, and the narrative was, as always, Democrat good, Republican wicked.” Apparently, Chuck’s counter-narrative is, “No, no … Democrat wicked.” Both narratives are far too simple.

    Both Democrats and Republicans typically are far more interested in cutting deals, keeping order and advancing their personal careers than in understanding the needs of the people they supposedly serve and then serving those needs. Put it this way – if politicians in either party were truly interested in the welfare of their constituencies, they would work for the median household income of that constituency. That would be a clear indication of putting the welfare of the constituents at least equal to their own personal needs. How often does it happen?

  • 7 Terence Davis // Jan 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Chuck Moss has always been a political jerk. Why publish this twisted statement.

  • 8 Elizabeth Howe // Jan 30, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    He teaches political science at a university? Are you sure it isn’t fiction writing?

  • 9 Maria // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:21 am

    For shame, Professor Moss. I feel sorry for your students.



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