Friday, January 21, 2011

Garber rips the Darkside!

As someone who often found himself on the wrong side of many of Phil Garber's OT editorials, I was glad to see Phil finally get it right in his scathing criticism of Darksider's Chris Westrick, Tom Lotitio, and David X. Johnson for their childish, Romper Room like critiques of Harlin Parker's assessment of Howard Popper's lack of accomplishment as a Township Committeeman. Here is Phil's take:
Nothing wrong with criticism

Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 3:00 am

Don’t poke too hard at some of the latest letter-writing supporters of Howard Popper; you’re finger might just penetrate their thin skin.

Popper’s tenure on the Washington Township Committee has ended and two weeks ago, the all-Republican committee thanked the Republican Popper for his service.

That’s fine. Whether one agrees with Popper’s politics or not, he devoted a great deal of time to the office with little in the way of payback.

But as with all lovefests, the goodbye Howard one was tinged with equal praise for the Republican committee as a whole.

Again, that’s fine. It was the Republican Party’s party and they have every right to pat themselves and their colleagues on the backs.

So then comes that somewhat rare creature in local politics in the person of Democrat Harlan Parker. Parker is not one of the gang by virtue of his politics.

So there was no surprise that he wrote a lengthy letter to the editor two weeks ago contradicting the praise for Popper. Parker offered a series of specifics to back up his claim that Popper failed in virtually all of his campaign promises.

And that is fine, too.

But things went wacky when Popper’s supporters reacted to Parker’s letter and started sending letters in support of their friend. Each letter made it sound as if Parker had personally attacked Popper for everything from the way he combs his hair to his taste in music.

One writer even brought up President Obama’s call for less vitriol in public discussions at the recent funeral in Arizona. This writer has it all wrong. Obama was not calling for an end to honest criticism, just a change in the tone.

Parker served up no personal attacks. He did criticize Popper for his actions on the committee. And he couched his criticisms in professional terms, not in the slimy way that the Republican letter-writers claim.

It would actually seem that if anyone is inappropriate it is the criticisms lodged by the letter-writers.

What I found most comical is how none of Popper's defenders could offer as much as a single concrete accomplishment throughout his three year tenure on the Township Committee. As a former committeeman who produced the only three consecutive municipal budgets with declining tax increases in the history of our township, I find Howard's lack of tangible accomplishments quite sad.

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