Column: Where’s the real irony?

As Chairman of the SA Senate Rules Committee, or the “Irony Committee” as Graham N. Murphy so eloquently put it in his column (“Presenting the Irony Committee,” Sept. 22, p. 5), I feel that it is only appropriate for me to point out some of the ironies in Murphy’s argument.

Is it not ironic that Murphy accuses SA President Kris Hart of focusing too narrowly on attracting corporate sponsors and reaching out to the community, when it was those two qualities that The Hatchet pointed out as Hart’s strong points in its “2003 Election Endorsements” (Feb. 24, 2003)? Perhaps even more ironic is the fact that Murphy now writes for The Hatchet, accusing others of not seeing the broader picture, when The Hatchet found itself unable to endorse Murphy for SA President largely because of his “narrow platform … aimed almost exclusively at the progressive community.” I guess Murphy had a hard time seeing the larger picture way back in February; I’m certainly glad he’s grown so wise in the last seven months.

It isn’t just wisdom that Murphy has gained, though. His column also proved that he has gained the “tenacity to stand up to a sometimes-adversarial” Senate. Unfortunately, at the time that I write, the Senate has not yet met, but do not worry because Murphy is there to knock us down even before he has any idea what our plans and goals are or how we intend to accomplish them in the upcoming year. I mean, why should he, or any of us for that matter, have any faith in the democratic process? Murphy would like students to believe that the SA President and Senate are crowned rather than voted into office, but our constituents elected all of us, including the infamous J.P. Blackford, to our positions. I am sure if democracy had worked out as well for Murphy as it did for the rest of us, he would not be attacking the system. That sounds like irony to me.

Perhaps the ultimate irony, however, is that with his column, Murphy is engaging in exactly what has plagued and destroyed the SA in the past: the politics of personal destruction and sheer pettiness. President Hart has worked full-time, along with several colleagues, to put together one of the most aggressive student governments in years. When Murphy stood in front of the student body seven months ago he claimed he could clean up the SA, but students did not believe him. I contend that they did not believe him because they understood something Kris Hart knows and Murphy does not – in order to clean up the system, one most focus on positive goals and progress in providing more resources and services to the GW community to gain its trust and unity. In the past it was all mud-slinging, and it was exactly this mud-slinging and pettiness that Murphy pledged to help the SA clean up if he was elected. I guess since he was not, he sees nothing wrong with being the one slinging the mud and throwing around the personal attacks that he claims are the root of the SA’s problems. Irony? You tell me.

And as far as the “Irony Committee” is concerned, when we manage to pull ourselves away from subverting the rules and acting unethically, we like to focus our time on such matters as preparing to select freshman senators, holding three SA information sessions for freshmen in various residence halls and Mount Vernon and attending Town Hall meetings such as the one featuring University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg last Wednesday. I would have discussed these concerns with Murphy myself, but I have not seen him at any of these public events. I guess I will just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he did not know about them. As for the people who did attend, they all read our advertisements in The Hatchet, just like the rest of the District of Columbia. Now there is irony for you.

-The writer, a junior majoring in political science and history, is chairman of the SA Senate Rules Committee.

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