Wednesday, November 08, 2017

End of the Rizzocrats

I'm not an expert on the deep history of Philadelphia politics, but I know a bit. It's a one party town - everybody (ok, like 85%) is a Democrat - but if you've ever lived in a one party place (Rhode Island is another example) you know that it isn't what most people think it is. That everyone is a Democrat doesn't mean everyone is a liberal, it just means that the range of political views that normally sorts out across two parties exists within one party. When anyone is "too liberal" someone prominent switches parties and runs against them as a Republican and even occasionally wins, though that path is looking less and less possible these days. Of course the local newspapers, run by suburbanites who don't think the city is capable of governing itself, are often eager to support a GOP candidate, because they are Very Serious.

Larry Krasner will be our new DA. A lot of the old guard tried to push the Republican (was a Democrat) who ran against him. She was Very Serious and had the support of our local newspapers because she was very into Civil Forfeiture (that isn't what they said, but that was her claim to fame). Stealing things from poor people who have not been convicted of crimes is Very Serious. A lot of the old guard "Democrats" including the racist lawnorder Rizzocrats got behind her. She is bad. She lost.

Our last DA is in prison. A lot of people (including me!) had high hopes for him. He didn't promise the moon, to his credit, but he did promise to be better than the last DA, who was racist and horrible. At least he was African-American in a 44% African-American city where that population (as everywhere) doesn't exactly get the friendly treatment from our criminal justice system. He did nothing good and managed to be corrupt enough to go to prison! That's hard to do!

Krasner should be a real reformer. He basically ran on the crazy idea that justice isn't just about locking people up for as long as you can. He'll face a rebellion from people currently in the DA's office (hopefully they all quit) and from the cops. It will be interesting.