So as I said to start, the only thing that rationally explains his appointment is the emboldened power of political aristocracy (and, by extension, money) that is sweeping the country. By aristocracy, I mean all of the factors of aristocracy implied in its dictionary definition's focus on priviledge. That means not just familial lineage - but also money, inside connections and academic/economic advantage...
Yes, politics is always a battle between meritocratic idealism (ie. good ideas, grassroots work, etc.) and aristocracy (ie. money, insiderism, aristocracy, privilege, etc.). Yes political aristocracy has always existed, even in meritocratic eras. And yes, there are desirable merits to various facets of aristocracy (for example, we should want well-educated people in government). But there have only been a few infamous historical moments where aristocracy has totally, completely and publicly supplanted the desirable non-aristocratic factors of meritocracy to the point where no one's even trying to hide it anymore. One of those infamous moments was the Gilded Age, when billionaires publicly tried to buy U.S. Senate seats. Sadly, the other infamous moment is right now.
The breatlessness of Sirota's outrage is really quiet stunning. He's taken a man whom he knows nothing about (beyond 150 words in a bio) and turned him into closet Monarchist with Napoleonic designs on power.
The fact that a guy who went to Northwestern, spent 5 years in DC, was on a national radio program weekly and then helicoptered into Montana's political scene 6 years ago before moving to Denver could write this is beyond ironic. A commeter at Pols also noted that Sirota worked on the Ned Lamont for Senate campaign. You remember Ned - he was the extremely wealthy heir to a J.P. Morgan fortune, who was born in D.C., attended Phillips Exeter, Harvard and Yale School of Management. Who's only political or policy experience came from his two terms on the Greenich Connecticut City Council. He ran against incumbent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in 2006 and Sirota worked on his campaign from September through the election.
Just to recap:
City Council Member for one of the wealthiest cities in the nation? Solid credentials.
Superintendent of a major urban school district? You may as well be named Louis and have Roman Numerals after your name.
Sirota follows that up with a Carnac The Magnificent routine today,
One of two disconcerting realities is at work here: 1) Bennet's positions are known by the Establishment forces that got him the Senate job, and those positions aren't threatening to that Establishment (read: they are corporate conservative) or 2) Bennet himself doesn't yet have positions on the major issues.
Do you think Sirota pictured Bill Ritter extorting these Grand Concessions for Capitalism whilst Ritter twisted his handle-bar mustache and wore a monacle?
Sirota has, as far as we know, never met Michael Bennet nor has he ever worked with Michael Bennet. He is not privy to any inside details of his appointment. He has merely his own assumptions and subsequent hyperbolic accusations. In his own mind he has cooked up some bizarre scenario whereby a man who actively sought to take on the monumetal and thankless task of reforming a broken urban school district is actually some sort of Capitalist Manchurian nominee. Either that or Bennet just doesn't have a clue about any issues. Take your pick!
With his hysterics this week Sirota has solidified his position as the lead Cantor in the liberal blogospheres Drame Club Caucus. Frankly, I think that after this he owes Michael Bennet and Governor Ritter an apology. His absolutely baseless accusations and childish hysterics have crossed the line from constructive to simply outlandish.
Cross-posted at Colorado Pols