Monday, December 17, 2012

Fab five fable fell flat

The forces of falsehood were foiled in the 2012 Guam General Election for the Legislature (and the presidency, too, but who's counting?). Hopefully the dust has settled enough that the undeniable truth will be able to shine through: the phony Fab Five flim-flam flopped.

In my most recent post, I demonstrated that really no politician who served in the Guam Legislature was singled out for punishment (at least not discernably). The 2010 election predicted te relative standings of most incumbents. A few rose relative to the pack, but most stayed very close to their historical positions. If the Fab Five narrative had a reasonable amount of traction, that shouldn't have been the case.

I have been generally supportive of the military build-up. My reason is fairly simple and straight-forward: it represents one of the few options under current global/regional economics that could restore Guam to full employment within the next few years.

Back around Governor Eddie Calvo's 2nd State of the Island address, Mr. John Jackson accused five senators of mystically calling up inexplicable paranormal/metaphysical forces to pause/derail the military build-up. Part of the reason that the accusations rung hollow is that John Jackson had actually said that perhaps the build-up "pause" would be better for Guam, just before he left the Guam Joint Program Office in July 2011.

Another fact that puts his narrative in doubt are the consistent praise that Governor Calvo lavished upon Senator Judi Guthertz for her consistent leadership on the military build-up. She was a prominent member of the so-called Fab Five. And most of the Fab Five have consistent positions on the military build-up which are very close to Governor Calvo's own stance, which he called the Guam build-up as he ran for Governor in 2010.

Once Mr. Jackson put forth his dishonest narrative, it was circulated, recirculated and recirculated by a few prominent Republicans (not politicians). Needless to say, it started getting stale really quick. It is often very difficult to tell to what extent a story has actual traction in the community because there are a few echo-chambers where stories will reverberate from the chattering of a few.

Before I looked closely at the election results, I briefly fell for the statistical illusion that the Fab Five were punished by the voters. Upon closer inspection, I found that a simple historical model with a few extras explain almost all of the differences in the relative standings of various senators. The only difficulty lay in slotting newcomers to the legislative race. Several of the new entrants made very strong showings in the polls, which slid many of the senators down a few slots in the rankings.

The point remains: the Fab Five flim-flam fell flat.

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