Not in recent memory has the political gamesmanship credit grabbing and shade throwing been so blatant.
Each new day offers up news reports and social media posts and tweets to validate the old saying, “Success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan.”
SOUND THE TRUMPETS
A rant on this subject could easily begin and end with President Trump on (insert issue of choice here.) That said, the immodesty of Gavin Newsom, California’s part-time Lt. Governor and full-time 2018 gubernatorial candidate, closely rivals that of The Donald.
For example, recent news coverage justifiably touts the efficiency of San Francisco’s preventive healthcare program, which uses regular checkups to catch complications before they escalate and help divert patients from costly emergency room visits. The program, which the Sacramento Bee (3-16-17) describes as “the backbone of the healthcare for the city’s undocumented population and its poorest residents,” is admired as a model for the state, if not the nation.
But is Newsom, as the former mayor of San Francisco, solely responsible for and the father of this success? Reading his quotes in the Bee article, you’d get the impression this is his baby, literally. Newsom humblebrags that the program is “a point of passion for me; a point of pride for me …” No doubt, he expects the results to serve as a foundation of his political platform for the governor’s race.
All that credit grabbing might backfire, though. There’s a reason for the very name of the prestigious Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the centerpiece of the healthcare system. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $75 million to help build the new complex! Moreover, the former mayor would be wise not to discount the involvement of the many other private donors, dedicated public officials and thousands of medical professionals who have also contributed materially to the accomplishments he flouts.
Newsom’s total credit grab is as misappropriated in this case as it is for other San Francisco politicos to pretend their sly plan to paint downtown walls with pee-resistant paint is helping to clean up the city’s homelessness problem.
Voters are wising up. There’s a huge difference between claiming credit and deserving credit. The learning curve is shortening, thanks to daily lessons by the president and other opportunistic federal, state and local politicians.
Credit is the currency of those politicians whose insatiable appetite for approval is immodest as it is transparent. But beware, these incessant pissing contests over who deserves credit or blame could easily backfire and leave perpetrators visibly shamed.