Charlottesville’s Dysfunctional City Government and the Four-Card Monty of the Left

by James C. Sherlock

In Canada, three-card riding is illegal. It is banned by name in Canadian law because the brand has no chance of winning. In fact, whoever wins can be presumed to be an accomplice.

Four-card riding dominates public debate in America. Like its street game counterpart, only accomplices win.

For the left, the cards are race, gender, climate, and weapons.

They have made accusations of systemic and individual racism the cornerstones of their strategy. They have made misogyny more complicated than before, producing even more potential victims and oppressors. Climate is dogma – everyone will die soon unless we destroy the economy. Or maybe die anyway. But time is running out. The Second Amendment is objectively bad.

Victims are everywhere. They are needed not only for electoral victories, but as objects of oppression to end debate. Progressives are destroying America with the results of their policies, so discussions of those results and those who discuss them are banished from the public square.

It is the policy prescriptions that matter. The negative consequences of these policies are never brought up, except, of course, by racists, misogynists, climate deniers and lunatics.

If we need a seminar in people on the left going to their thin deck of cards whatever the topic of public discussion is, we can read the brilliant Jock Yellott article about the dysfunctional municipal government of Charlottesville using the desert that is City Hall as the center of its allegory.

Then take a look at the utterly predictable comment from the left – “it’s guns”. Or go to the comments on just about any post on this blog.

Mr. Yellott reports on the complete dysfunction into which the government of Charlottesville has sunk.

Charlottesville has had six city managers in five years. Each has pledged to overthrow the policy of the reprobate that preceded it. Several fired the chief of police to mark their territory and hired a new one. A leader that the next city manager has fired.

Fun to be a Charlottesville employee. Whether it’s the chief of police – actually a temporary position – or just a mid-level official.

Mr. Yellott chose not to report underperformance schools. Read this page and cry if you care about the future of the children of this town.

We read less and less about the Charlottesville government because of the collapse of investigative reporting there. We will rarely read about it in a year or so with the disappearance of the local newspaper. At least on the daily summaries of the news found on the internet. Insert the falling tree into the analogy of the forest.

The words of the left 100% render the dysfunction revealed by Mr. Yellott about guns, because that is all they have in this case. The analogy of the hammer and the nail.

If the city government wasn’t dominated by a racial minority, it would be playing the systemic racism card. If there were no women in this government, that would be the problem. If climate change is a contributing factor, they missed it.

There are no other cards in their deck.

The rest of us don’t want guns in the halls of government. But we offer a real solution. Screening of visitors and employees on entry and exit. The General Assembly has understood this. This is the solution you see when you go to visit your delegate or senator in the state capitol. Next case.

The left cannot bring themselves to discuss a general societal breakdown that is amplified in Charlottesville because the woke-led city government gives it permission and even encouragement of racial grievances.

They can’t write about the competition among city politicians to see who can best lead Charlottesville’s government in an ongoing race to the bottom.

The negative results of progressive policies must be put on one of their cards. In the case of Mr. Yellott’s article, they blamed gunsthen congratulated each other on the brilliance of this analysis.

Police. Mr. Yellott mentioned the Charlottesville Police Force, a key part of that city’s criminal justice system.

The other component, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, is led by the Honorable Joseph D. Platania, a proud member of Virginia Progressive Attorneys for Justice. Sure.

He joins the others who “Support and advocate for sensible criminal justice reforms to make their communities safer and the Commonwealth justice system more fair and just. We’ll see how the safer part works in Charlottesville below.

The left describes the police themselves as the problem. The force needs better leadership, they say. Better training. Better understanding of the upbringing, social pressures, wants and needs of the criminal. restorative justice. Of the fundamental injustice of demanding bail.

Progressives believe it, and they are welcome in America to propose it as policy.

But as a result, the Charlottesville police have jobs that are both dangerous and reviled. This force has only one-third of its final authorized strength. Try to imagine why. But the left, having virtually criminalized policing, can’t discuss it unless it celebrates it.

Nor can they talk about results of subpolice. A narrative thing. The crime in the streets has little consequences in Charlotteville.

Kudos for the murders. The rest needs work. If there were cops to work there. And a prosecuting Commonwealth prosecutor.

Drug addicts and the mentally ill roam the streets of Charlottesville, especially its signature, unguarded Downtown Mall. A generous and well-meaning donor built a homeless shelter in an abandoned church a block from the mall. The city has approved zoning here. Residents are pushed out after breakfast. Thanks.

Take the chief of police. Really, someone’s taking the job of chief of police in Charlottesville. Good salary, short tenure. Ask for a good severance package.

From a story in daily progress September 1, 2021 titled “Charlottesville Fires Police Chief RaShall Brackney

After months of infighting, Charlottesville has fired RaShall Brackney, chief of the Charlottesville Police Department.

Brackney, who was hired by the city in June 2018, will be on paid administrative release until Nov. 30.

Deputy Chief Constable James Mooney, who was due to retire on Wednesday, will remain in his post in an apparent reversal of decisions.

An outlier? Well no.

In a council-manager form of government, the chief of police reports directly to the city manager. Across the state, city councils take on varying levels of “advisory” roles in appointments.

Poisoned policy. In Charlottesville, as in many cities in Virginia, city council elections characteristic promises to sweep appointed incumbents out of office.

City officials take notice and try to stay one step ahead of the guillotine when the most aggrieved candidates win. The first to go is usually the chief of police. City managers, like the Jacobins, don’t survive anyway.

Charlottesville has had six city managers in five years.

A recent chronology Charlottesville Police Chief Appointments:

2016
April 18: City Manager Maurice Jones announced Lexington Police Chief Al Thomas as his choice to lead the Charlottesville Police Department, and the Charlottesville City Council (2016-2017) endorsed Thomas, who is the the city’s first black police chief.
May 23: Police Chief Al Thomas has started the new job.
2017
December 18: Serving less than two years, Police Chief Al Thomas has resigned. The city issued a statement on Monday afternoon indicating that Thomas would retire, effective immediately. At last Charlottesville City Council’s regular meeting (2016-2017), City Manager Maurice Jones’ announced choice of Deputy Chief Gary Pleasants as interim chief until an interim could be appointed, sparked complaints. Council speakers blasted the decision. “I think that’s unacceptable,” Councilwoman-elect Nikuyah Walker said. “There is no trust here.”

No, Mrs. Walker, there isn’t.

2018
May 15: City Manager Maurice Jones has recommended RaShall M. Brackney to replace Al Thomas as Charlottesville Police Chief. Jones said Brackney was the first choice out of 169 applicants.
May 16: Mayor Nikuyah Walker has expressed concerns about the police chief selection process. In the video, Walker said there was a disconnect between the city manager, the city council and other Charlottesville leaders. “We were left out of the process,” she said, referring to the search for a police chief. “The Council has not been able to participate in all stages of this process.
May 21: At its regular Monday meeting, the Charlottesville City Council (2018-2019) formally considered Dr. Brackney’s nomination. Council approved a resolution blessing City Manager Maurice Jones’ decision to hire him.
June 18: Dr. RaShall M. Brackney sworn in.

See above for Chief Brackney’s fate.

At the end of the lineprogressives have guns, race, gender and climate as answers, whatever the question.

Charlottesville’s governance issues were reduced by those citizens commenting on Mr. Yellott’s article to a Second Amendment question.

My career as a journalist has been marked by the defense of the poor in the areas of education and health care. Off topic.

By demonstrating that the chaos in the Charlottesville government is not about guns, I risk being called a racist, a term so commonly used that it becomes part of the background noise and expects everything. public curator, whatever the problem. Or maybe a weirdo in denial. Accusations of misogyny and climate denial are just a story.

I do not care. The braying of donkeys.

The progressives only have four cards, and they play them. In an endless loop. Folding is clearly not an option.

Friends never bend.

And, as Mr. Yellott wrote, quoting John Adams, democracy commits suicide.

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