Nothing major. I don't do anything truly dickish, like pick bar fights, or laugh at people with physical deformities, or stand on the left side of the Metro escalator or anything like that. Just things like pushing the close button on an elevator, even though I know someone's coming. Or speeding up to prevent someone from passing me in traffic. Frankly, I think this is somewhat therapeutic, and a good thing, in that by occasionally getting these petulant urges out of my system, I'm far less likely to act like a major dick down the road.
So it's a shame that Mayor Fenty has aides to handle elevators for him, and drivers to do his driving for him, because he's obviously not getting these dickish urges out of his system, and as a result, he is now acting like a major dick.
Now, do I care whether or not Jack Evans or Vincent Gray get to use their suite at Nationals Park? No, of course not. But everyone can relate to the idea of someone taking something of theirs and not giving it back. Maybe it was an older brother. Or the school bully. Or a mugger. Regardless of who it was, I think we've all been there and understand the frustration involved. (Unless, of course, you, the person reading this, was the older brother or school bully or mugger, in which case...well, try your best to empathize, I guess.)
What makes this situation bizarre--okay, more bizarre, given that we're even talking about the mayor of the nation's capital hoarding baseball tickets--is that instead of taking the direct approach ("This is between me and the council. They know why I'm not releasing the tickets.") or refusing to talk about it ("No comment."), Fenty is talking about it, he's just denying there's even a problem.
His ineffective, ungraceful attempts at dodging accountability are amazing to watch. It's like nothing I've ever seen before from a politician. Even Bush freely acknowledged that people disagreed with him. Sure, he also freely acknowledged that he didn't give a shit. But at no point did he claim that Democrats were totally on board with his agenda, and act puzzled that people seemed to think otherwise.
There really appears to be something seriously wrong with Fenty. I'd strongly suspect some sort of head injury, but we'd be able to detect it on that dome of his. Maybe when he was on one of his recent trips to Dubai or China, they Manchurian Candidated his ass, and the signs of mental conditioning are starting to show. Maybe he's just starting to crack under the pressure of being a big city mayor. Who knows? But clearly, there's some sort of major disconnect between him and reality.
Fenty: "To be honest with you, most of the things going on in the city have nothing to do with Nats tickets."
Reality: Well, yeah, no shit, Mr. Mayor. No one's claiming otherwise. And, hey, way to talk down to us. But just like people can walk and chew gum or pat their head and rub their stomach at the same time, people are capable of wondering about issues like crime and education, and why you're being a prick.
Fenty: "I really have no idea. I really don't. I don't know what the details are."
Reality: Let's pretend he's telling the truth. He's not, but let's pretend. Is this response at all comforting? How does he not know what the details are? This thing has been going on for over a week. At no point, has he gotten curious? At no point, has he been surprised to find out his office is holding baseball tickets hostage? Has a rogue faction of City Hall employees taken over, and threatened Fenty if he talks? Should we call in Jack Bauer? If so, just blink twice, Mr. Mayor!
Fenty: "I'm not a real good ticket guy."
Reality: What does that even mean? There's no such thing as a "good ticket guy." One has a ticket(s). At that point, one either gives his ticket(s) to the ticket taker at an event, or distributes them to others so they can do so. There's no real skill or science involved.
Unless...okay, I think I might have this figured out. Mayor Fenty...did you lose the tickets? Did you put them down someplace and now can't find them? Did you leave them in your pants pocket and forget to take them out before you did your laundry? Dude, if that's the case, just say so! It's no big deal! The Nats will replace them! They might charge you a small processing fee, but hey, that's no big deal. Just take it out of the small fortune the Lerners have donated to your re-election campaign.
Fenty: "The council is consummate professionals [sic]. They're a team as good as any in the country. My administration couldn't be more focused on what the citizens need right now. To be honest with you, almost no one in the government is focused on tickets. But we understand that the media has to ask these questions, and we respect you for doing so."
Realty: Technically, I suppose Fenty is correct. There are thousands of people working in the D.C. government. The vast majority of them aren't focused on the tickets, because it's not like they're ever going to see the inside of either of the government's suites. The problem is, the thirteen people who make up the city council clearly do care about them. And you can still be consummate professionals and want your property.
Also, while I do have to give Steve Chenevey and Gurvir Dhindsa props for not letting Fenty off the hook on this no matter how hard he tried to wiggle, I would have liked to see a little more of a reaction at Fenty's condescending remark about how he knows the media "has to ask about this," as if it's a salacious TMZ report and not a legitimate news story vis-à-vis the evidently fucked-up relationship between the mayor's office and the city council.
Fenty: "Ask me something substantive."
Reality: Bottom line: When a politician starts dictating to the media what it can ask him and expect to get a straight answer, no matter how much he may smile and laugh and put on the charm offensive while doing so, it's time to kick his ass to the curb.
Unfortunately, the only people realistically in a position to challenge him next year, members of the city council, just got schooled in Fenty-style politics. If he's willing to go to war over something so incredibly minor as a pissing contest over baseball tickets (or, possibly, the rejection of his nominees to the Public Employee Relations Board), who knows what sort of horrible retaliation he might come up with if he was challenged for the Democratic nomination by a member of the council. The unfortunate councilman would probably come home from work one day and find a big wall being erected, cutting off his ward from the rest of the city.
So basically, it's starting to look like Boss Fenty is mayor until he decides otherwise.
Or until the Redskins move back into the city, and Fenty tries pulling this shit again. He does that, the council is going to go medieval on his ass. Because it doesn't matter who you are or how much power you think you wield, you don't fuck around with people's Redskins tickets.