Monday, March 2, 2009

Piercing the Indianapolis Elite Power Structure; Why Character Assassination Equals Success

Last month my blog reached six months old. Over that time, I've tried to call the political scene like I see it, honestly and without reservation. I knew that doing so would challenge the elite power structure that has run this city.

What has surprised me though is a complete unwillingness of those who support that elite power structure to engage in any debate on the merits of the issues raised. Instead, I have found myself and my fellow bloggers who have raises similiar, attacked personally. We've been called "unstable," "obsessed," "bat shit crazy," among other slurs. They've even had an anti-Ogden on Politics blog started.

As far as the attempts at smearing my character, I have but one response: "Bring it on."

One of the best things about getting older is the wisdom it brings. In politics, that wisdom translates into an understanding of how the political game is played. One of the things you learn over time in politics is that when people on the other side start attacking your character instead of addressing the merits of the argument that is made, it is because they know they can't win on the merits. In this case, rather than engage on the merits, they immediately resorted to attempting to discredit those bloggers who dared speak the truth about what is going on in Indianapolis politics.

The failure to engage the arguments and instead resort to name-calling is a sign of intellectual weakness. The decades old elite power structure which has dominated politicians on both sides of the aisle is crumbling. While it won't immediately be evident within the Democratic Party, which is shielded by a increasingly large majority base vote, for the Republican Party to at all be viable on a countywide basis in Marion County it has to reject the elite power structure it has historically supported in favor of a more populist approach. Mayor Greg Ballard was elected in 2007, promising to do that. He then immediately sold out the populists who helped him get elected in favor of elitists within his party, elitists who haven't won an election since 1995 and have zero chance of winning in 2011.

Despite winning the transition, the days of the elite power structure dominating Marion County GOP politics is near the end. The fact that they can offer nothing more than insults and character assassination when faced with alternative arguments about the direction of the city is evidence of intellectual bankruptcy.


timb said...

Well-said. The oligarchy which runs this town is frightening. Personally, Paul, we may disagree on the issues, but you are dead right that the arguments in this city over governance are limited to the 49 yard lines on both sides. You have a ton of cronyism and de facto corruption, but no real sewer fix and a crumbling infrastructure.

You keep up the good work.

Paul K. Ogden said...

My God, Burns is agreeing with me on a political issue. Hell must have frozen over.

timb said...

It was weird for me too. Whereas I'm working to make the future happen and you think the ghost of Ronald Regan will bring the future, we both still would like that future to be representative and democratic (small d). With the cronyism in this town, that future continues to be delayed.

Diana Vice said...

Brandeis was right. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." Keep shining the light of day on the cronyism and it will soon be dismantled.

Sean Shepard said...

I read Rex Early's book a couple of months back and as I was reading it I kept stumbling across familiar last names. And sure enough, you find out a lot of the people in power now are the sons and nephews of the people that were in power at some point in the past.

Rex is surprisingly blunt in his description of some of the insider dealings and the profiting that takes place in government. said...

". . . when people on the other side start attacking your character instead of addressing the merits of the argument that is made, it is because they know they can't win on the merits."

Truer words never spoken.
Or blogged.

Shamefully, sometimes the attacks come from your side.

-- Kenn