Monday, August 27, 2018

Redemption or the Swamp: Your Choice

Once upon a time, Ziggy and I were John McCain fans. We were amazed when the GOP nominated him in 2008. Of course that amazement turned to out-and-out despair when the wheels came off his running mate. We wondered how she could have passed vetting and why they didn't put an end to her wackiness before it completely derailed his campaign. And, in the end, much of his credibility. To be sure, he rallied in the Senate, but the damage was done. And it was the canary in our current coal mine.

That said, he was a honorable man, a man of deep convictions and strength of character. He served his country without hesitation from entry into a service academy to the halls of Congress. When he was released from Hanoi, he never stepped away from his core commitment to public service. I think President Obama expressed it best in this tweet:
John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed. We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to endure it forever remains that way.

Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt.
Of course, 45 was equally elegant:

Apparently our feckless leader nixed a more eloquent statement from the White House. But that's okay. Whatever. We won't even talk about his press conference refusal to acknowledge the Senator's passing nor the refusal to keep flags at half-staff until the funeral which is consistent with US traditions regarding half-staff, until the outrage reached a fevered pitch and our gracious president relented on both accounts. 

So here's the takeaway from this latest tempest in a teapot: there is none. There is nothing this exchange has told We, the People what we didn't already know. So here's a Muppet News Flash to all you GOP supporters and devotees of your commander-in-chief: your guy just dissed a genuine war hero, the kind you all say you admire for courage under fire, and you all think it's okay because....well....because.....oh, you fill in the blank. I have no idea why some of you continue to support this joke. No matter this guy may or may not accomplished, he will be remembered as a classless troglodyte who, with the help of his ignorant cadre, did more to damage the planet than any single person in history. But that's okay. You like it because he says it like it is: lie after lie after lie. 

On an even more uplifting note, I went to a preview of OPERATION FINALE, the movie about the removal of Adolph Eichmann from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Israel. Much of the movie is pretty close to fact. The part about Eichmann refusing to sign the document allowing them to take him to Israel really didn't happen that way; he signed with little pressure. From everything I just read, they held Eichmann for 10 days in the safe house and they got him out pretty easily on an El Al plane. I remember watching parts of the trial on television. I was 9, but it was riveting even for me. I knew I was watching history being made. 

Which brings me to my last questionable note for the night: Some guy walked into video game contest in Florida and shot up the place, killing two and then put the gun to his own head. He was white, but his name is David Katz. Let's see how long until this sets off its own open-season for antisemitism. Dog whistle stuff. Oh, wait; those tweets and posts are already out there. Just google David Katz Jew. Scroll past the Jewish press news...and you'll see it. Just make sure you have a barf bag handy. 

We are not that far away from the Final Solution for the Jews of Europe, and we are not that far away from blatant antisemitism in this country. All the news this week just points out that it may not be on the surface, but it ain't that far below it, either. 

Yes, the midterms are coming. They will illuminate much of our current political conundrum. In fact, there will be one of two outcomes: 

  1. either we have changed direction and are on the road to redemption, or
  2. we have driven deeper into the swamp.

Take your pick; right now, it's a toss-up.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Pay attention to your local elections...these are not junior high offices,
The people you vote in are the first line of governance.
They are the your voice in your town, your county, and your state house. 


  1. With the exception of the support he gets from the Orthodox Jewish population (something I cannot understand at all), 45's support is based on one of two things: more money for his wealthy buddies and for those not in the 1% - and pretty much at the bottom of the other 99% - sheer unadulterated racism.


  3. Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great work.