A Bad Hare Day - A Fable
How Paul McConnell Challenged Nancy
Pelosi for the Democratic Nomination
Once upon a time – you know the story – there was a Hare
and a Tortoise.
The Hare was a pretty thing named Nancy, with big brown
eyes that seldom blinked and a carefully firm smile. Nancy was a
Nancy was also a Whip, which doesn’t sound very nice but
is a Very Good Thing when you are trying to make your way in politics.
Nancy was the First Lady Whip, a Much Better Thing to be than the First
Lady, with or without a whip.
It turned out that Nancy was not only good at whipping
her fellow Representatives into shape – nicely, of course – but she was
also skilled at scurrying around, gathering baskets of money for her
Party. Nancy was not only a Whip; she was also a Fundraiser.
And therefore, Nancy was a Very Good Person to have in
Congress. For her Party, that is.
But Nancy lived in a democracy, which meant that every
two years, in order to remain in Congress, in order to continue whipping
and gathering, she must Run a Race. Not only Run a Race, but Win One.
No problem, she said, her big brown eyes wide, her white
teeth gleaming. No problem. I am the Incumbent. I have a
Nancy leaned back in her chair in Washington, sizing up
the growing pile of Campaign Contributions; weighing the value of her
Colleagues’ Votes, and closing her ears to her Constituents’ Complaints.
But three thousand miles away, the race had already
begun. Five little creatures set out on the long, long journey to the
finish line. Two of them – a Frog named Jay and a Spider named Ira –
dawdled along the wayside, saving their energy for the final days of the
race. Mike the German Shepherd and Johnny Jackal tussled energetically,
trying to wear each other out in the early stages. And a young Tortoise
named Paul moved
slowly away from the starting line, singing to himself as went.
At first, no one listened to his songs. But that didn’t
bother Paul. He sang a pretty ditty about a place called
The Presidio and a melancholy dirge called “Hunters
Point.” When the sun came out, he danced to the
Transportation Tango; if it rained, he hummed the
Health Care Hum.
As Paul the Tortoise traveled toward the first
checkpoint, he grinned and waved at the spectators. They grinned and
waved back at him. Before long, the people on the sidelines began to
sing along, swaying to the rhythm of Paul’s steady pace.
Meanwhile, across the country in Washington, Nancy
leaned back in her chair, weighing her Campaign Contributions and
counting her Colleagues’ Votes. The race had many months to go. There
was no need to hurry.
Paul the Tortoise continued to follow the course,
greeting everyone he passed and asking them about their lives and
dreams. He handed out campaign stickers to cyclists, hometown
photographs to people in the Castro. Seniors loved his silver kazoos.
And the people of the Bayview welcomed his concern for their health.