Return of the Shit-Stirrer

After months of silence, Bill James belly-flops back into the caca
Mecklenburg County

He’d been quiet for a disconcertingly long time. But Tuesday night, with the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners engaged in an ugly ouster of Pat Cotham as its chair, with George Dunlap blurting out closed-session personnel information, with racial grievances real and perceived piling up behind the dais, he belly-flopped straight into the muck, happy as a pig in slop.

Welcome back, Bill James.

Cotham sealed her doom when she orchestrated the firing of Harry Jones and treated him like a plumber caught stealing on his way out the door. Jones had to go, no doubt. But this was still a man who’d served the county for 22 years. He didn’t need to be treated like that.

These are solely political considerations, you might say. Well, yeah. Cotham holds an at-large seat on the board. She has to serve all of Mecklenburg County’s citizens, and in this case and others, she didn’t. So the board, treating Cotham with far more respect than she afforded Jones, removed her as chair. Pretty simple, really. She’s still on the board.

But to Bill James and plenty of the folks who keep voting for him, this was a coup d’état, another city sacked by the invading hordes.

Board Democrats “have decided to stab pat Cotham in the back,” James tweeted during the meeting last night.

A little later: “Dunlap upset that no blacks are candidates for manager. And this is the REAL reason for the knife fight.” Then: “Dunlap breaks closed session and objects to ‘no black candidates’ for manager. Expect more skulduggery from the new junta.”

Knife fight. Skulduggery. Junta. Nothing racially coded there. And how dare Dunlap object to the absence of black candidates for county manager! What is he, racist?

None of this excuses the ongoing clownishness of Dunlap and Vilma Leake, who provide James with a handy foil to justify his own electability (and he theirs). But let’s not kid ourselves that they’re unprecedented disgraces to this board.

Narrow-minded, spotlight-hogging loudmouths who take advantage of voting demographics and racial tension to raise their public profiles? Where might they have learned that tactic, I wonder?