Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Susana la tejana
A friend called me from California this morning to alert me to a rather glowing profile of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R-NotQuiteBatshit) in the New York Times. I don't usually read the Times, not since the Judith Miller business back in the olden days when American institutions were in the process of collapse, so I was curious about what the Times would have to say about "Susana la tejana." [Note: the label comes from a Denish/Colon campaign ad in 2010 which claimed that Martinez was "bought and paid for" by a Texas billionaire Bob Perry. She was also born in El Paso, which, though right across the border from New Mexico, is still in Texas.]
The tack they took, that she was "undoing" former Governor Bill Richardson's (D-Corporate-crony) policies by selling off the state plane is just silly. Many, many New Mexicans were angry or disappointed with Richardson, but not because of the plane, and not necessarily because of his immigration policies.
They were disappointed or angry with him because of his Neo-Liberal economic policies which put the burden of the financial collapse on the Lower Orders and specifically refused to increase taxes on the High and the Mighty even a little bit.
Those were the kinds of policies that made New Mexicans upset with him (among others, of course), and his hand-picked replacement, Diane Denish, was simply impossible. She was corrupt, she was dumb, and she was not inclined at all to take on the Powers That Be and serve the People in any way. So what's the point of electing her instead of Susana Martinez who at least appeared to be competent? And you knew pretty much where she stood which was slightly to the right of Denish. That is, so far as you could tell where Denish stood, assuming of course that she knew.
One knew what one was getting with Martinez. One also knew that one would get pretty much the same -- at least on the larger scale -- from Denish. Toss a coin, you might as well. Tweedledee or Tweedledum. New Mexicans chose Tweedledee.
She's been bad, of course, but so would the other one have been. This is a major problem with the electoral process that I and many others point to. The choice you're offered is always between a very narrow range; they are all basically attuned to the same thing, which is probably not what you, the citizen, wants or needs.
So what do you do?
I can't vote in New Mexico yet, but if I had been able to in 2010, I doubt I would have voted for either of them, because neither of them has the least interest in my well-being or that of any other citizen.
As for Susana la tejana in office, she's done OK. She knows she can't get many of her radical policies through the legislature, so she focuses on pressing the flesh during disasters and on marginal issues like driver's licenses for undocumented residents.
She makes a decent enough case for herself, and as long as she is blocked by the legislature, she can't do too much damage. Well, we can hope.
But overturning Richardson's policies? Wouldn't that be something?
I won't hold my breath.
[More on the 2010 campaign: http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/2010/09/northern-negative-campaign-on-susana.html]