What proponent of one side of a political issue going on a ballot would turn down an opportunity to literally parade his views before over 10,000 people just days before the election?
Not a guy who cares a lot about winning is I suppose the first and easiest answer.
Few beyond the minuscule local blogosphere could tell you much about Measure D, the utility tax renewal on Pasadena’s Feb. 5 ballot. Funding available for advertising the No point of view is tiny. Free press coverage, not to mention people lining sidewalks looking at and listening to you, is priceless.
And yet the chief opponent of D, blogger and Citizens for Responsible Government chair Wayne Lusvardi, has “decided to decline participation in the Doo Dah Parade as the recipient of the Thorny Rose award,” as Janette Williams’ news story and Todd Ruiz’s Under the Dome blog are reporting today.
Sure, the award annually makes light of the biggest pain in the rear in town, and some of its recipients have perceived it as an insult.
But the savvy folks who have had forced upon them this particular Crown City of thorns have also in the end realized that to decline is not only to be a pill — it’s to show a complete lack of a sense of humor, something no successful political animal can afford to do — not in this country, at least.
Americans despise pomposity, of which there is no clearer sign than a failure to be able to make fun of oneself.
Yes, my betting line the other day in this space was sure crooked when I said that the smart money was on Wayne’s anti-D ally and fellow Thorny Rose short-lister Martin Truitt. But Martin, who then suggested that others would perform the TR’s duties better than he could, would surely have taken the prize in stride had he been awarded it. And I would think that his political counsel to Wayne would be to do the same — clearly to no avail.
Some interesting moments in Wayne’s statement of decline: Acknowledging that it was a mistake to write an erroneous original ballot argument struck down by a court as, in his words, “over the top,” he says, “I don’t want CRG to be discredited again like that in the eyes of the public.”
“The Doo Dah Parade is way past its hey day of the counter cultural movements of the 1970′s.” Um, then why do so many people turn up for it in Old Pasadena every year?
“I would rather make my own cultural statement on that morning by not participating in the parade and attending religious services.” Doo Dah doesn’t start until 11:30. Join me, Wayne, at the 9 o’clock and there’ll be plenty of time to get there after church!
“I realize I run the risk of being duped a ‘spoiled sport’ but I hope the media and the community will at least respect my decision.” I would think that “dubbed” was the word being grasped for here, along with “spoilsport” : “a person who behaves in such a way as to ruin the pleasure of others.”