The ‘Movers and Shakers’ Who Aren’t

I sometimes write about Janesville’s politics, because the more one sees how confused they are, the more one feels obliged to contend for a better way in our own politics.

Just Friday, the Gazette‘s editorialist took a stand (subscription req’d) against the false hopes that a big-talking developer and smarmy politician are spreading about the return of GM to Janesville.

The editorial is more than welcome – the developer-politicain duo are a carnival act, a spectacle for gawkers.

Sadly, though, here’s how the editorial ends: “If this idea materializes, we’d be surprised, and so would many other movers and shakers in this community.”

Oh, brother. So the editorialist thinks that an appeal to the authority of many other ‘movers and shakers’ confirms the case against these gentlemen’s hollow promises?

Here’s where the editorialist is lost: (1) the case against false promises stands on its own, (2) an appeal to the supposed authority of others is unconvincing without a sound case, (3) few people are so arrogant as to declare themselves among ‘many other movers and shakers,’ and (4) few people infelicitously use the term ‘movers and shakers’ in any event.

If all Janesville’s self-claimed important people were half what they thought they were, they wouldn’t live in a city filled with bad deals, lies, false promises, white-collar welfare, and alienated residents.

The best one can say is that those movers and shakers are moving in the wrong direction, and shaking for fear that someone will say as much.

Make the good case, on the merits, and defy all opposition thereafter in defense of it.

The rest impresses no one.