Somewhere, maybe in Hershey, maybe in Philly, the 4.5 people who run the Pennsylvania Republican Party should gather for a sit-down and seriously get their shit together. I say this with the greatest gust of conviction about trying to fix a problem that not only shows how pathetic they were in championing Mr. Hair for governor, but also in plummeting the sixth largest state in the country -- a state vital to transportation of most goods to the Eastern seaboard -- into a leadership and governmental torpor.
Not sure what "torpor" is? It means a state of uselessness yawning all the way into a canyon-esque abyss of ineptitude.
Evidence of this torpor? Don't say Tom Corbett's poll numbers from Terry Madonna's Franklin & Marshall survey. Those are all too predictable, given that this political mega-hack who abused the Attorney General's office and power for political gain was never a statesman, never a policy man, never even an idealogical zealot a la Scott Walker or that other doofus in Florida. He was just the guy installed in the party pipeline years ago so that one day, in the even/odd courtesy way in which Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans alternate the governor's mansion in Harrisburg, Corbett would be the Hair In Waiting. If there was ever a case to be made for not allowing states Attorneys General to run for governor, Corbett is the poster child. There is absolutely no way that a person with political ambition should be given the keys to grand juries and prosecutorial investigations. It is downright frightening.
Now, to the shock of no one, including the 4.5 people who run the PAGOP, Corbett has fallen on his face, only for some reason, none of the 4.5 people who run the state GOP has the 1) clout 2) balls 3) ability 4) vision 5) morals or 6) brains to get Corbett the hell out of the way, although our friends at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg are starting to find "rumblings" from "sources" that GOP leaders at least understand they are screwed, and that Corbett's re-election is a fool's errand.
I don't know what kind of real input average, everyday, voting Pennsylvanians have about their elected officials. The state was gerrymandered into a red-state Congressional map despite overwhelming Democratic voter registration advantage, leaving much of its capital cronyism to the GOP, if only to offset the Democratic bases in Philly, Pittsburgh and the Northeast. So, even if the GOP loses to Allyson Schwartz or Rob McCord after their Democratic primary battle of the titans, the GOP will still have enough pie to shove in their faces for years to come.
However, in the broader scheme of things, with Pennsylvania trending far more moderate than its carved-up GOP Congressional overload can demonstrate, I am hoping that the coming gubernatorial election season does not merely get reported as whether or not the Keystone State will get a Democratic governor again. What the citizens of PA need is an examination of state politics that outlines how only a handful of people are actually in a position to determine what gets done in that state -- a state that does not allow ballot initiatives for citizens to address entrenched systems.
Where Ed Rendell wanted to sell the PA Turnpike to the highest Middle East bidder, Corbett wants to gift PA land to all those good fellas from Oklahoma and Texas. I am still trying to figure out why Ed Rendell so blithely agreed back in 2009 and 2010 that Corbett was likely going to be the next governor. It's like, even the Dems and GOP have deals to not upset each other's numbers' running.
Whatever Bob Asher, Robert Gleason, Christine Toretti, Roy Zimmerman et al thought they were going to get in installing Corbett as their G.W. Bush, they failed. Their efforts to give away state lands to the frackers; to bully school districts into vouchers and charter school ruses; to siphon funding from higher education; to sell off assets like the liquor stores and lottery ... they had an agenda. But the GOP in PA better own their greatest failure, which was to run Corbett assuming it didn't matter how horrible he promised to be. If they don't, they are going to be committing an even bigger failure: Not getting Corbett off the ticket in 2014.
Is a former political and sports columnist who worked great cities like Albany NY, Seattle, Baltimore and Harrisburg PA. She lives New York.