There’s too much to say, and not enough pixels in which to say it. But the Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web has never yet quailed before a challenge. He’s not about to end his streak today.
1. “Rooting for Laundry.”
First, a little Jerry Seinfeld:
As a (lapsed) baseball fan from the days before the major leagues did away with the infamous “reserve clause,” I understand exactly what Jerry’s talking about. Today, rare is the player that remains with one team for a whole career. I can name a few Yankees who did so, but that’s about it. (What’s that you say? Cal Ripken Jr? Well, okay. But name a few others.)
Now let’s talk politics.
The two major “teams” have exchanged a number of “players” in my memory. Arlen Specter. Jim Jeffords. Ronald Reagan. Mike Bloomberg. John Lindsay. There have been others, but those should do for a sample. It calls into question what allegiance to a political party really “means.” Is it only a “team membership,” or something a bit more significant?
I’ve written before about the great inversion of platforms that took place after the ascent of William Jennings Bryan to the head of the Democrat Party in 1896. It’s a more meaningful set of developments than most are aware. It revealed the essence of political partisanship: the primacy of power.
In short, with few exceptions, the politician does not choose his party label out of sincere fidelity to the associated platform and its ideals; he selects his label according to what he thinks he can get that way. And being a politician, what he seeks is almost always the greatest possible political elevation: that is, power over others.
Of the five politicians I cited above, only one demonstrated a sincere attachment to any conviction. The moral “should” be “obvious.”
2. What is the meaning of this?
CNN had on Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen to talk about the midterms, and she did not mince her words. She explains, “I’m a loyal Democrat, but I am not happy. I just think that we are, you know, we did not listen to voters in this election, and I think we’re going to have a bad night… When voters tell you over and over and over again that they care most about the economy, listen to them! Stop talking about democracy being at stake… Voters have told us what they wanted to hear, and I don’t think Democrats have really delivered.”
Take a moment over that paragraph, Gentle Reader. I challenge you to pick out the most important bit. If you don’t choose this one:
…you’ve paid insufficient attention and must stay after school for the remedial session.
The woman quoted is a Democrat strategist. What does that mean? Exactly and only this: she’s paid to position Democrats to win elections. Which Democrats? Any of them, without regard for their characters or their convictions, if any. Moreover, such strategists often suggest to their employers where they should run, without regard for where they live. (Cf. the old word carpetbagger.)
Whatever Miss Rosen told her employers, they certainly haven’t given the voters what they want. They might not even have told the voters what they wanted to hear. It’s only natural that Miss Rosen is ticked off by this. The poor performance of her employers puts her livelihood in jeopardy. After all, when an expensively recruited team “under-performs,” the “front office” usually doesn’t fire the “players!”
Is further elucidation required?
3. “The marionette has malfunctioned!”
With just 2 days left before the midterms, Biden once again goes off script and says something that the White House will surely try to walk back. The other day while visiting deep blue California, Biden stated that he would be closing coal plants across America, which the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to walk back by claiming that his remarks were “twisted,” even though that’s exactly what he said. And now, while visiting deep blue New York, Biden emphatically declared to the crowd, “No more drilling. There is no more drilling. I haven’t formed any new, new drilling.” As someone in the crowd speaks back to him, presumably some kind of climate activist, Biden explains, “That was before I was president, we’re trying to work on that, get that done.”
We’re in the middle of an energy shortfall that’s likely to kill thousands of poor Americans. That’s what happens when the price of a genuine necessity skyrockets: the poorest and neediest die. It happened during the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. What makes you think it won’t happen today? The vanities of the Left notwithstanding, Congress can’t legislate an end to winter.
But the Marionette-in-Chief isn’t responding to the directives of his handlers. His strings must have gotten tangled. How will the nation’s first black lesbian immigrant White House Press Secretary handle this one? What will she say when the Marionette tries to blame deaths from the cold on Donald Trump or the MAGA movement?
I hope you’ve got plenty of popcorn, Gentle Reader. This movie is running long.
I live in a picture-perfect region — the Hudson Valley, memorialized by painters and poets; a patchwork of autumn reds and yellows, majestic hillsides, storied waterfalls, and little homesteads dotted picturesquely on the slopes of sleepy hamlets.
Towns in our area look like Norman Rockwell paintings: there is Main Street, Millerton, with its white 19th century church steeple, its famous Irving Farm cafe with the excellent curated coffee beans, its charming antiques mall, its popular pizzeria.
When you drive to Millerton, it looks like you are driving into the heart of archetypal America; everything that Woody Guthrie songs memorialize, everything of which American soldiers dreamt when they were far away — everything decent and pure, is to be found in Hudson Valley towns.
It sure looks that way, anyway.
But these days, I am obliged to maintain a fervent inner monologue, just so I can pleasantly go about my business in the local hardware store, in the local florist, in the post office.
Because an emotional massacre has taken place in these little towns. And now we are expected to act as if — this never happened at all.
But psychically, emotionally, there is blood flowing in the streets; and bodies are stacked up, invisible, in front of the candy stores, the high end wine stores, the pretty memorials to the World War Two dead; outside the farmers’ market on Saturdays, outside the tapas bars.
So my quiet internal mantra, is: I forgive you.
Awww! How sweet! Ersatz Christianity! Presented for the benefit of us rubes who insist that there must be justice before forgiveness. I’m afraid we’re not yet sufficiently enlightened for Miss Wolf’s “internal mantra.”
A rather impressive action movie of a few years back, Man on Fire, features this exchange between “retired” assassin Paul Creasy, played by Denzel Washington, and an elderly onlooker:
Elderly Man: In the church, they say to forgive.
Creasy: Forgiveness is between them and God. It’s my job to arrange the meeting.
That’s how I feel about it.
Granted, there’s a spread of opinions among us. Some want indictments and trials. Others are holding out for public hangings. Which group will ultimately get its way isn’t yet clear. But “internal mantras” must be set aside until justice has been done. Else, why would future aspiring tyrants and abusers of the public not do as the current ones have done? Conscience?
That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I’ve been alerted to an ultimately high priority item by the C.S.O., so urgent that it pre-empts preparations for the Second Coming: today, Joy the Newf must be washed, dried, and meticulously detangled. Pray for me…and for our Republic, assuming you have any bandwidth left.
PS: Concerning the Second Coming, Beth has been complaining that she “hasn’t a thing to wear,” so I suppose it will have to be rescheduled. And I’ve nearly got the lasagna ready! Hmph!