Monday, June 14, 2021

Political Calculus

In Georgia it is an unspoken law that elected judges retire before the end of their term so that a replacement can be appointed. Because of the power of incumbency this ensures a political alignment between retiree and appointee by way of a like minded appointer. This works incredibly well because of the nature of judges and lawyers who appear before them. Since qualified candidates will be lawyers anyone challenging a sitting judge who loses may suffer consequences going forward. Losing is a career limiting move and explains why sitting judges are rarely challenged. In practice, judges in Georgia are appointed, not elected.

Perhaps that is the logic behind the machinations and PR frenzy at city hall. There is indeed a disturbance in dwarfdom with one dwarf joining the ongoing exodus, an exit requiring forfeiture of the much treasured, protected seat, allowing top dwarf the opportunity to name the replacement. The exiting dwarf has proclaimed a replacement: a dwarf-in-waiting that has openly proclaimed a strong preference for Sandy Springs over Dunwoody. The real problem is this attitude fits right in with a knot of dwarf who are increasingly detached from considerations benefiting residents preferring businesses for whatever favors that might bring. Perhaps this is why so many, including a long time dwarf have decided to leave: who would want to live in what Dunwoody has become?

The questions at hand include whether the appointment-for-life phenomena applies to dwarfs and just which dwarf will be selected. The power of incumbency has already been demonstrated as limited as sitting dwarfs have been unseated and the power of a dwarf over a contender is more limited than that of a judge. In any event, the use of appointment-for-life, or even the desire to do so, is a frontal assault on democracy. Nonetheless the appointment is a tantalizing tool to oligarchy. The appointment could go to the dwarf who loves Sandy Springs with a lame, transparently contrived explanation about parents loving all their children. Or statesmanship could emerge, cicada-like, from a prolonged hibernation with the appointment of a former dwarf who no longer holds the seat. How is this statesmanship? A former dwarf knows has been to the circus. If the explanation is that district 1 deserves representation how can that possibly derive from a dwarf-in-training who will not be up to speed by the time of the election? It is at that time that the electorate, the people suffer or thrive under their representation can choose. The can, if they prefer, choose a fresh set of eyes, untainted by a give-the-new-dwarf-a-chance sentimentality, no matter how weak the she's-just-learning excuse. Appointment of a dwarf who has been there, one who has been selected, even though later excused by the electorate is far superior to someone who has never faced examination by the constituents of District 1.

That's why attention should be paid to this appointment. Perhaps the exiting dwarf was just an opportunist (what price your devotion?) or maybe it is a signal, from a connected insider, that it is time to get the hell out of Dunwoody.