Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bill James: We all say stupid things

When Observer cartoonist Kevin Siers draws a particularly scathing cartoon of Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James, the Republican James doesn't hold a grudge. In fact, he usually gets a laugh out of it and asks for a copy.

It's that outlook on politics that allows James to support Democrat Harold Cogdell in his fight to be chairman of the board despite a recent dustup between the two of them. John Grooms over at Creative Loafing calls Cogdell's attempt to dethrone Jennifer Roberts "shameless" and reminds readers that Cogdell lashed out at James recently but now seeks his support.

In August, Cogdell called James "an embarrassment to Mecklenburg County," and said: "It continues to mystify me that you are repeatedly provided the privilege of serving Mecklenburg County in elected office. Especially considering you so rarely offer any value to any productive public discourse or dialogue, but rather seek every opportunity to incite polarization and divisiveness.”

Cogdell now seeks James' vote for chairman, and James is happy to provide it. Observer reporter Fred Kelly and I separately asked James about that. "It is a fact that human beings often react inappropriately with excess passion or language on occasion," James responded. "In politics you can’t hold grudges or dwell on slights. If you do, it damages you and your ability to get things done. I don’t know anyone in politics that hasn’t said something or done something that they later thought could have been said better (myself included)."

The man has a point there. And it's an attitude that could win Cogdell the gavel.

-- Taylor Batten


CharlotteIn2012 said...

The Observer is acting as if they are a sane and fair voice and making comments on what these politicians say?


kantstanzya said...

Bill James has a thicker skin than most after some of the things fellow commissioners and the Observer have said about him. Admitedly he has on occassion been less than diplomatic about how he says things. But the main thing he is villified for is his conservatism, his failure to fall lockstep in with the tax and spend mentality of Mecklenburg County and his unabashed willingness to "tell it like it is". All this is conveniently twisted into "inciting polarization and divisiveness". This is especially true about the standard, tired liberal standby of labeling James and others who don't share their orthodoxy as racists.

Those of us in James' district realize that people like Cogdell and the Observer are "mystified that (he is) repeatedly provided the privaledge of serving Mecklenburg County." But after recent events I imagine his margin of victory in the next election will be greater than ever.

If James really irritates the Dems and Observer that much I have a suggestion. His SE Mecklenburg district is allowed to leave Mecklenburg County and be annexed by Union County. If we can do this we will promise to take Bill James with us.


razorsedge said...

I'm an independent who tends to avoid the conservatives on a national level. However, the dems on the board of county commissioners make me absolutely sick, and I would love to say far more nasty things to them than does Bill James. Especially Jennifer and her pal, Ole Harry. I'm usually glad Bill speaks his mind, except when it is of a personal nature. Otherwise, the more conservative members would get no attention and no press and the Observer would continue its love fest with the dems without missing a beat.
By the way, how is the CRVA's search for a new CEO coming? (It is applicable here since the county helps fund them.)

razorsedge said...

Oh, and Kantstanzy,
Southeast Meck cannot leave the county unless you take us in the northern Meck suburbs with you!

Adolf said...

We all say stupid things, but Bill James does so every time he opens his mouth!

CharlotteIn2012 said...

@6.37 And we can take it you are vying for the written prize in that arena?

PRickThames said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
george said...

Is this the guy who commented gays are just a bunch of sexual predators? Got no qualms with that generalization. He doesn't need to fear there aren't plenty of meeting places in Char-Meck if any, so smart gays not leashed to kin keep on goin except for an occasional park tryst in some place like Hickory or Rock Hill. You can make it Bill!