Buzz Bissinger: I have a dream, and I hope it becomes a reality

Posted: April 27, 2011

I HAVE A DREAM.

I have a dream that the political crap that has been funneled down the collective throat of those of us still crazy enough to live in Philadelphia will suddenly cease.

I have a dream that all the tired political faces who have been here for too long and say the same old junk out of the same old script will simply disappear.

Dwight Evans. Robert Archie. Bob Brady. Frank Rizzo Jr. Alan Butkovitz. Milton Street. Jim Kenney. Marge Tartaglione. All the rest of the penny-ante feudal lords and their vassals.

Go to hell.

I have a dream that tomorrow we will wake up to new faces, new youth elected without committeeman politics and ward politics and consigliere politics.

I have a dream in which the first move will not be on the basis of looking good politically, but on the basis of what is right.

I have a dream that School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie, given his unjustifiable action in getting even remotely involved in any discussion over which charter company should run Martin Luther King High School, should not simply be forced to resign, but resign publicly in which the scarlet letter of shame is branded on his forehead.

I have a dream that the School Reform Commission, instead of bending over to protect Chairman Archie, will realize his blatant conflict of interest and oust him if he does not resign.

This after voting 3-0 in favor of Mosaica Turnaround Partners to run Martin Luther King. This after Archie took the oh-so-high-road BS of recusing himself from the vote because the competing charter company, Foundations Inc., was once represented by Duane Morris LLP, where he is a partner. This after Archie then held a private meeting with state Rep. Dwight Evans and a company official from Mosaica because Evans has close ties to Foundations and was disappointed with the selection

This after Mosaica withdrew shortly after the private meeting. This after Archie, in Philadelphia Spin 101, is blaming the media for not accurately reporting what happened at the meeting and will undoubtedly do his best to turn the meeting into a blither of confusion.

I have a dream that Evans, who I once thought was the most promising politician in the city but has now become a walking cesspool of self-interest, explains the real purpose of his private meeting with Archie, the Mosaica representative and Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery.

I have a dream that Evans does so with lie-detector bands wrapped around his feet and ankles and waist and chest and brain. If he says it was just a Rodney King-esque meeting of "can't we all just get along," and it turns out to be a lie - and my own personal speculation is that the lie detector will explode - he, too, should resign and just go away and be the feckless has-been he has become.

I have a dream that Mayor Nutter, when he holds a news conference to express outrage over something, will actually EXPRESS OUTRAGE OVER SOMETHING instead of that so utterly annoying Kermit the Frog monotone.

I have a dream that the mayor, instead of calling for a worthless investigation with no teeth over the Martin Luther King debacle, will instead say today that the appearance of conflict is so terrible, which it is, that Robert Archie must resign.

I have a dream that the mayor will take the maximum $10,600 Dwight Evans gave him out of his state representative PAC for re-election and send it back in the same fish wrap it probably came in. I have a dream that School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who despite the myriad problems of the Philadelphia schools is a tough cookie I admire, will stand up publicly and vow to quit unless Archie resigns so decisions made in the best interests of students are preserved and not destroyed.

I have a dream, and like all dreams, they are called dreams because they virtually never come true.

But I still have not given up hope, and we as citizens cannot give up hope. We must rise. We must express our own constant outrage. We must scream, and we must fight. We must no longer tolerate public officials using our city, because it is our city, as their own private Disneylands.

I have a dream.

Buzz Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, the author of the best-seller "Friday Night Lights" and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Contact him at buzz.bissinger@gmail.com

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