Tom Clyde: Visions of bold action
The Democratic Rabbit Rodeo is just about over, and in the most unpredictable finish ever, they seem to have settled on Joe Biden. For this week, anyway.
Bernie Sanders is still in it, and Elizabeth Bloomberg and Michael Warren have dropped out, so it’s really down to the two oldest white guys. Bernie has a solid bloc of support, but it seems to have found the high water mark as of Super Tuesday. In a remake of the classic “Grumpy Old Men” movie, he and Joe will bicker through the convention and a decision will get made.
Meanwhile, the Republicans in Congress will be doing everything they can to prove that Biden was complicit in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nothing is settled.
Given their ages, it may be an issue of who is still upright at the end. I’m not that old and am pretty sure I couldn’t maintain that level of constant stress through November. Watching Bernie from the comfort of my couch with a plate of nachos at hand wears me right out.
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The Super Tuesday reversal of Biden’s fortunes was astounding. He was finishing down with the candidates we’d never heard of in the early primaries. Then he got the endorsement of Congressman James Clyburn in South Carolina, and things turned around. By Tuesday, everything was coming up roses.
Commentators likened the turnaround to the Biblical story of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead. Spoiler alert—it didn’t stick; Lazarus is dead. Amy Klobuchar gave a great speech, throwing her support to Biden. It went on a little longer than appropriate for somebody saying they were giving up for a better candidate, but it was a great speech. Then Biden spoke and throughout America, people were wondering if they could get their ballots back and vote for Amy.
After Biden killed the buzz, Beto O’Rourke got up and lit the place on fire, and we all went to bed wondering if nominating a 77-year old man who seems a tad forgetful was a sure way to solve the nation’s problems.
But “normal” is back, and when you come down to it, “normal” is a lot to ask for these days.
The billionaires didn’t fare so well. Tom Steyer spent about $250 million and the only thing anybody knows about him is that he has odd taste in ties. Bloomberg spent twice that much, and American Samoa (and Summit County). He got a total of 175 votes there, which was a resounding victory over second place finisher Tulsi Gabbard, with 103. It works out to something close to $2,850,000 per vote. I’m not sure what the Samoan real estate market is like, but I think he might have been able to buy all of Samoa for about that.
Apparently, buying an election isn’t quite as easy at it appears. So off we go.
Locally, Park City has been having visions again. That happens about every ten years, but they quickly get over it. It’s a worthwhile exercise to sit down and cogitate about the future now and then. They got everybody together and solved everything.
Well, almost everybody; almost everything.
Summit County, Hideout, MIDA and Wasatch County were sort of conspicuously absent from a discussion in which they have a lot more to do with Park City’s future than Park City does. The pressing problems discussed are the same things we were hallucinating over 40 years ago—housing, jobs, growth, tourists, and traffic. Some of the problems have grown a little better and we made others a lot worse over that time. That first traffic light at Empire and Park was supposed to solve the traffic issues forever.
This time around, the people engaged in the process were pretty clear that there had been enough talk about the issues. They wanted action, whether or not it’s progress. The city has pledged to do something “bold and aggressive.” When pressed, it’s not at all clear what they are going to take action on, how bold it will be, or how aggressive. But dadgummit, they’re gonna do it. I don’t know what to expect. It sounds like something is going to get broken. I could drive into town one morning and find steel tank traps blocking S.R. 248 in a bold action to reduce traffic. No cars entering the city limits. It’s not clear how the 15,000 people a day who commute into town would get to work. They’ll figure that out later. Pretty sure they won’t all fit on the same bus.
It the past is any test, the City will boldly hire another consultant, then aggressively put the report on the shelf next to the report generated 10 years ago on the same issues. Some of the issues simply don’t have solutions.
Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for something bold. We’ll know it when we see it.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.
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With ski season over, Tom Kelly signs off for now. “Like a ride up a chairlift,” he writes, “I hope that you’ve enjoyed your conversation with me this season.”