Sunday, October 02, 2005

Tilting At Steel Mills

This morning's Pittsburgh Moist-Towelette looks at the current status of the Republican Party in the City of Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, little has changed in the last seventy years. But they're taking a stab at a comeback:

Republicans last held elected office in the city during the Great Depression. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-1 in the city. Nonetheless, GOP mayoral nominee Joseph Weinroth and would-be councilmen Sam Berninger, Bob Hillen and Alan Perry are the biggest city ticket the party has offered in decades.
The Republican mayoral candidate in each election typically runs the most Quixotic campaign of all. The party's best chance to build a base lies in the City Council districts. Pick whatever district has the highest Republican registration, and put all of your efforts into making it your own. Do it one district at a time, and expect many years of work; you're not going to make up for seven decades of futility overnight.

And don't count on divine intervention, either:

William Cordero, of Brookline, has been a Republican stalwart and occasional candidate since the early 1950s. He can't remember a time when Republicans ran for four city offices.

Still, he's pessimistic. "I don't think that Jesus Christ could win on the Republican ticket in the city," he said.

That expression sounds tacky no matter what context it is used in, but in this case it's funny because it's true. And if the Devil ran as a Democrat against God, you'd soon see Satan holding court in the mayor's office.

As nice as it would be to see a Republican comeback in the city, I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. But if the party does it district by district, we may eventually see balance back in local big city politics.

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