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I love it when I'm first to comment on my own post. Since writing this I've been kind of annoyed that the MSM has not dug a little into this meme. Never have I seen anyone try to quantify how much money was spent on bike lanes and dog parks. Never have they discussed where the money comes from. No polling on the popularity of these items has ever been done. They just keep repeating that Fenty lost because of bike lanes and dog parts. Sigh.

This whole "Fenty love Bike Lanes and White Folks; Gray Hates Bike Lanes and White Folks" meme is starting to look more and more ridiculous.

Was there a certain element of race-baiting and class warfare in Gray's *campaign*? Of course. That's how he (at least his proxies) distinguished himself from Fenty.

But the reason Fenty and Williams pursued these policies is that they're the right policies--and the one's that should lead to reelection.

Fenty didn't lose the 2010 primary because he promoted bike lanes--he lost because he blew off the election year "retail politics" that make this town run.

It's pretty obvious the city is going to pursue largely the same policies that we have in the past, because those are really the only viable policies to pursue. There may be a minor backlash from east of the river, but the city is a majority middle-class city now, and growing more so every day.

The backlash Gray would see from backsliding would make Fenty's loss look like a landslide victory.

They just keep repeating that Fenty lost because of bike lanes and dog parts. Sigh.

Why should the Metro desk escape the studied cluelessness that informs the rest of the Post's reporting? Can't wait for the stories that run in the coming few years focusing on how Gray shocked expectations by governing in the same vein as Fenty/Williams.

Of course, his legion of informed middle-class supporters from around the city could have told you that was going to happen. I'm sure the Post's suburban subscribers will be amazed and astounded, though.

And by "around the city" of course I mean "in the suburbs."

I'd argue that Fenty lost because of his perceived arrogance and complete lack of social skills with everyday people - not his policies or accomplishments.

It's a strange thing when someone gets elected by simply running as "not the other guy".

I'll say it again. Running for office is an inherently arrogant act. If you remain humble while simultaneously claiming you're the most qualified person in the city to make the big decisions, there is probably some hypocrisy there. Fenty got busted for being too honest. "I should make these decisions and you should not" doesn't sell well, even if it is what running for office means.

I thought I did see a reference (maybe GGW?) referring to an article that found that the Fenty Administration had spent just about equally across all the wards in the city.

True - some got bike lanes. But other wards got other things.

Here it is: This was posted in the comments section of a recent GGW post. It's a bit of dialog from Marc Fisher's blog referring to a Post study on how equitably Fenty distributed largess.

===== SNIP ==============
While we're on random subjects, I came across this Marc Fisher Q&A in Metro this morning:
Like you, I hope Mayor Gray can serve to bring together different parts of the city. However, as a bike rider who frequents some of the new, upscale restaurants Mayor Fenty was responsible for bringing to D.C., I would like to point out that our tax money is essential for paying for much of what Mayor Gray hopes to accomplish. Run us out of the city and its problems will increase, not diminish.

– January 03, 2011 10:58 AM Permalink
Well, sure, that relatively tiny bunch of D.C. residents who pay the vast majority of the taxes in the city may feel that they deserve some extra attention from the District government, but the people at the low end of the income scale feel that they have been spurned and neglected over the past 12 years and that they should be given a larger share of city resources.

The Post's Nikita Stewart did a fascinating and revealing piece last fall looking at the perception in virtually every neighborhood in the city that their Ward and their community was getting the short end of the stick. She did the numbers and found that the Fenty admin was pumping out spending to every ward in remarkably equal numbers. But the Fenty team did a miserable job of getting that message across, and so, most of the city continues to believe that it was shorted during his term. That's where the marketing aspect of any mayoralty becomes essential--you have to not only deliver the goods but hammer home to people that you've done so.


Suburban car commuters are awful and they do need to be ignored. The contest between livability and drive-ability is a zero sum game. And by 'livability' I am referring to my desire to cross 16th Street NW, at an uncontrolled intersection, and living to tell the tale.

WashCycle: I agree with you that the desire to enter politics can always be traced back to a congenital defect in a person.

With respect, this is about a lot more than DC.

I'm all for bike lanes, but the price of making DC a shining city on a hill has been a process of gentrification that has driven long-term residents out of the city. Bike lanes are not at fault, per se, but we can't put on transportation wonk blinders and not realize what has happened. Surely bike lanes and good transit for the people who have left DC and gone to places like PG County are as important as the political wrangling between Gray and his young, urban professional constituents in NW.

Guez: The city is changing for all sorts of ways, and people move as a result.

I question the assumption that the highest public good is achieved by keeping people where they are. The lack of geographic mobility is not only a result of poverty,but a cause of poverty, as it inhibits people from moving to where their skills would be better employed.

But I can't argue with Guez when he says

Surely bike lanes and good transit for the people who have left DC and gone to places like PG County are as important as the political wrangling between Gray and his young, urban professional constituents in NW.

WABA and others are trying to awake that slumbering giant. Hopefully there will be some tangible sign soon.

you dont kjnow what a meme is. read *the Electric meme.*

marc fisher is an ass:

"The idea that bike lanes and streetcars could be a racial issue would seem farfetched..."

hisarrogance is on spectacular display...let me guess: he thinks bicycles are just transporation instrucments, not instrucments of social justice...and that language just represents the world as an empty medium of communication.
marc fisher is definitely an arrogant, banal ass.

"A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena."

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