Monday, March 1, 2010

The Boy Mayor, The Bush Foot Soldier And A Street Sign: Less Intrigue Than Meets The Eye?

Why would the Boy Mayor name a prominent Pittsburgh street after a key cog in the Bush Jr. administration's torture-and-surveillance operation? Probably not for the reason most would expect.

A reflexive thought might be that because Luke doesn't possess a single Democratic instinct, he desired to honor an unreformed, uninformed, decency-deprived Bush foot soldier. That's possible -- Luke, like some other local "Democrats," might pass the Republican litmus test -- but admiration for Gen. Hayden seems unlikely to be the reason for the unsightly spectacle (right) of Gen. Michael V. Hayden Blvd. adjacent to InsolvenCity's holiest of holies, Heinz Field. The commemoration was accomplished without much local notice; more than a year passed before a local professor noticed and objected. (Council conducted a public hearing this morning.)

Another angle, a good bet as the one Luke's handlers will advance, is that Hayden is being honored for his service to the nation, regardless of whether he pushed the Constitution through a woodchipper. Unless, however, there's a Paul O'Neill Parkway commemorating a Pittsburgh resident who managed to complete his Cabinet service without torturing anyone or spying on Americans, that reasoning doesn't hold waterboarding. (And, unlike Gen. Hayden, Mr. O'Neill appears not to be cashing in on his government service by selling his government-provided security insights to business and government purchasers, foreign and domestic.)

So why did Luke do it? The best available explanation: This was just a favor among North Catholic High School's numerous, extremely loyal alumni. As is so often the case with Luke, the most likely explanation is nothing fancy -- just simple, low-grade, street-level backscratching.

In other words, nothing as complicated as Constitutional law:

Based on that performance, Pittsburgh residents should probably be grateful Luke merely put Gen. Hayden's name on a street sign, and not on the door to the city solicitor's office.

No comments: