Friday, August 10, 2012

Oz in the Rearview

While I was humming and drumming here on the Old Coast this past Tuesday evening, the good people of Missouri, though I guess technically I mean the good Republican people of Missouri apparently were able to decide exactly which one was the skinniest kid at fat camp, in selecting Todd Akin as their party's candidate for the Senate seat currently held by Claire McCaskill.

I'm so old, I fear the ghost of Barry M. Goldwater, wherever he is, must be smiling. We are a nation of contrasts. East Coast is old money, antiquated infrastructure and large cities hugging the coastline. Out west? Well, they didn't call it "The Wild West" because they liked oregano with their mountain oysters, Pilgrim.

And those who are pieces of bread in the deli sandwich we call the USA often don't seem to know what to make of the Central/Midwest/Middle American part of the country where the food comes from and where almost, since the continent was settled beyond the Appalachians, truly frightening politics, usually from left of center has been relentless.

I make no bones about my beliefs and I won't insult your intelligence or your choices by attempting to inflict my opinion of the Tea Party on you. It's not worth it. My heart beats on the left side of my body and my thinking more often than not reflects that perspective. Subject to your questions, that concludes my briefing.

But I have questions of my own and all of them have to do with The Heartland that has become a very tough place to be in the governance game if you don't have a double digit membership card number in the Flat Earth Birthers Conspiracy Abortion Is Murder Bring Back the Cross of Gold Global Warming Club.

And, by the way, it doesn't hurt if you also agree the moon landing was staged in my cousin's garage in Sandusky and the Lindbergh baby is probably in his basement. I am, of course, hyperventilating rhetorically (= kidding). He doesn't have a basement.

Over the weekend, sitting on my son's bookshelf was a book of his I haven't read, since a lot of his used to be mine and the title pleaded with me to take it home and read it, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" It's probably available for your Kindle or your Nook (so close to dirty and yet so far), I have no idea. If people go to all the trouble to clear cut down forests and pollute rivers by bleaching and emulsifying the wood it seems to me the least I can do is read the gosh darn book. But you can read it here.   

Thomas Frank, the author, is crazy but he's also really good at looking at situations and going "huh?" until you do, too. His One Market Under God was brilliant and here's the thing about this book, subtitled "How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," it was written close to a decade ago and reads like it was just revised this morning.

Maybe we should start a Book at Bedtime Club though I'm usually knackered by that point in the evening and would be a poorer conversationalist only when I slip into unconsciousness. Getting zero dollars from the book or its publisher, you need to read this book before the Passion Play known as Election 2012  gets too much farther along. Keep the dog in the basket, my pretty, we're in for nasty weather. Hold on to the kids.  

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