Greenwich is a tale of two revolutions. One “old” and one new. The old revolution dates back to November 2017 when the famous pussy hat liberals got some 50 liberals voted onto the Greenwich RTM. A Greenwich blogger, Christopher Fountain warned about what they would bring. First, they falsely advertised themselves as “non-partisan” and that they would be more about national politics than local issues. In the time since then, it can be said that he was right. That said, new members of the Greenwich RTC would benefit from a comparison and contrast between the old revolution and the new one.
So, the main thesis here is that analyzing the pussy hat liberals provides important historical parallels about which the new members of the Greenwich RTC spend some time reflecting. Put simply, please don’t make the same mistakes they made.
Despite the heady days of November 2017, the victorious pussy hat liberals failed to see reality. The only legislative body in the United States that is bigger than the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting (RTM)is the U.S. House of Representatives. At some 230 members, even a bloc of 50 supposedly like-minded liberals are hitting a political wall. First, they were all new to politics while the other members of the RTM had more experience. Second, and this is a hard point to accept, the RTM, if you think of it as a farm team, has failed to produce to any major league politicians. For such a large body, one would expect more. A third issue is that the RTM has mutated into a body that tries to sell itself as non-partisan. While that sentiment may well run through the RTM, partisanship of any kind suffers in such an environment. There is a case to be made that it damaged the pussy hat liberal bloc as well.
The Midnight Ride of the Pussy Hat Liberals
To set up the comparison and contrast between the RTM and the RTC, it should be noted that the main driving force for the pussy hat liberals started in January 2017 right after President Trump’s inauguration. This marked the emergence of “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. By March 2017, Connecticut saw an explosion of groups formed around the state, all driven by a seething hatred for President Trump. Resist, resist, resist. That is what we are going to do!. By one count they were some 90 different organizations in Connecticut at the end of March 2017. In a year many faded away, with only the true believers remaining. In Greenwich, there is the group calling themselves Indivisible which still remains.
It is not hard to imagine the kinds of meetings that took place. There would have been vigorous debates, lots of complaining and opining about how to fight the evil Trump. Eventually, the idea of running enmass to be on the RTM would have taken hold of the group. But this poses a curious question. Once elected, what are you going to do? Declare Greenwich a Trump-Free Zone? Pass local ordinances to punish anyone who mentions his name?
The only place where they were able to get any political traction was with bags and straws. That’s right, bags and straws. The least significant and most picayune issues were their legislative victories. An ordinance to limit the use of grocery bags, including tacking on a fee for each bag, and an attempt to ban straws (which ultimately failed). Since then, the pussy hat liberals have been absorbed and digested by the RTM like a bad meal. But they are still there. See Part 2.