Friday, June 17, 2016

We Are the Punchline

One long national nightmare is over. Actually, it was over according to media math about ten days ago when Hillary Rodham Clinton captured the primary in Puerto Rico enabling her to reach the magic number of delegates to secure the nomination of her and, at the moment, my political party, the Democratic Party.

What’s in a name I might ask since the number of reports of irregularities at caucuses and primaries would fill a small book (and give me some crayons and I can improve it I’m sure) but that’s so much water (and the juice of sour grapes) down the plinth. In terms of sour grapes, the next national nightmare awaits us all in November.

I’d like to be unhappier about my party’s choice than I am and I am typing this with my pouty face firmly in place and my potty mouth at the ready. Then I look across the aisle to the candidate the other major party is running (barring Divine Intervention). 

I sincerely sympathize with Senator Bob Dole, in his time “Mr. Republican,” who, when asked for whom he would vote in November, offered “I can’t very well vote for George Washington.” Suspect for some in his party, Martha is looking pretty good right now.

Speaking of George, Martha and the whole Let’s Go to Philly for the Weekend and See What Shakes Out crowd, after two hundred and forty years of travail and travel, I suppose some settling of our nation’s contents was to be expected though I am not happy about settling for the Lesser of Two Weevils when casting about for the next occupant of the White House.

I don’t quite share the opinion of Henry Louis Mencken, The Sage of Baltimore, though I do nod ruefully (and in full agreement) when I read a column he offered about ninety-six years ago in the pages of The Baltimore Sun, for whom he wrote nearly all his life.

The larger the mob, the harder the test," he noted. "In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

"The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men," he surmised. "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
-bill kenny 

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