Category Archives: Trump 2016

My [Buddy] just won’t cut me any slack

From: “Your Buddy”
To:
Cc:
Sent: Mon, 23 May 2016 10:23:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.

Jeez, Harry:

“what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system.” That isn’t even a half-assed attempted rationalization. The lives of more than 50,000 American military persons squandered in Vietnam, but the honchos “didn’t have contempt for the system”? Fuck the system. The venture was a disaster.

[Your Buddy

My Buddy thinks I’m prissy about language because I usually xxx out Fxxx or turn it into an “ef” or “effing.” I began cleaning up my act in fifth grade after I copied my Dad and spewed out lots of &#%@xx#()xx$%&. He told me no one would pay attention to me if I always cut loose and then added that swearing was a good way to get people’s attention if it was doled out in miserly portions. I think my Buddy’s “fuck” up there meets that test. Please excuse me if it exceeds your tolerance.

Here’s my reply to him:

[Buddy],

I think you have a point and a pretty good one. Lots of wars are started by folks who are simply following the conventional path which leads them to go to war. Barbara Tuchman made that point about World War 1 in her book Guns of August that JFK was reading at the outset of the Cuban Missile Crises. And yet despite bringing that powder keg to a sane solution he kept sending advisers to Vietnam. We had to stop the dominoes you know.

We will never know what Kennedy would have done. We only know that Johnson let himself be drawn down the primrose path to disaster for the 57,000 troops who died. My Grandfather felt the same way about Woodrow Wilson.

So, the question I should ask myself is will Donald Trump spare us another Vietnam? His ego gives me no comfort on that point even if Hillary has copied the Neo Cons to triangulate her way to the center.

Obama has done a pretty good job of trying to extricate us from the Bush Wars and he gets no credit for it. In fact, it may be true that Syria and Iraq and the US might all have been better off if Obama had been a little less passive.

I don’t have any love for Hillary and her pandering to the conventional so that she could keep her options open for future political advancement. On the other hand I am in awe of her success. Of course, that success is due in large part to the Republican Party and its self fulfilling prophecy that she could become President. Had they ignored her she would have likely faded into obscurity.

To me the most remarkable irony was the Limbaugh gambit in 2008 of telling the nation to vote for Barack Obama. [NOTE: in my email I originally told my Buddy that Rush was calling Obama a “fantastic candidate:” Not quite] Limbaugh was parroted by all sorts of Limbaugh wannabes. At the time I saw their endorsement as a crass way to saddle Democrats with a black candidate who according to convention would get slaughtered in the Presidential Race. Too bad for the Limbaughites that Bush had soured the public on his wars and was blamed with the mortgage mess and that the public actually took to heart all the supportive words for Obama from the Republican pundits. Combined with the desire of American voters to get over the Civil Rights Era in a single election America found itself with President Obama.

The GOP’s next job was to backpedal and discover that Obama was the most “ultra” liberal President of all time (not if you ask my son who thinks he’s a neocon) and a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer and a desecrator of the Constitution and generally the most incompetent President of all time. Hell from the moment he took office he was to blame for the damned oil leak in the Gulf, his State of the Union speech was interrupted by a Republican Congressman shouting that he was a liar and Mitch McConnell telling America from Day one that the Republican’s first job was to see that Obama wasn’t reelected. I meet otherwise perfectly rational people who believe all this garbage.

And now I’m supposed to fall in line with these nimrods behind Donald Trump? Hell Putin supports him too. What a class act cheering section.

No, I’ll stick with a conventional candidate and hope that the Norwegians don’t saddle her with one of their damned Nobel Peace Prizes so that she feels the need to kick sand over it like a cat hiding its doodie in a litter box.

Harry

Trumped

The email that preceded the email in the last post and my reply to it:

My Reply:

[Buddy],

My impression certainly could have been wrong. What I remember with more confidence was that you would not be voting for Hillary. Of course that could mean a write-in or a vote for a third party candidate or not casting a vote at all. But my recollection was that the way you put it meant that if Hillary was the Democrat’s candidate she wouldn’t get your vote and I may have presumed you would cast it for Trump if that was the candidate.

What can I say. Sometimes I’m presumptuous.

Whether you liked what Kennedy et al did re: Vietnam at least they didn’t have contempt for the system. Sure they gamed the system. That’s almost inevitable in politics. Trump is both contemptuous of the system and is gaming it spectacularly.

Today I heard him telling some audience that Hill doesn’t just want gun control she wants to remove the Second Amendment. That’s coming from someone who stands in the past are the spitting image of Hill’s gun control stands.

I don’t mind politicians changing their minds. I don’t like them speaking with forked tongues.

Earth will continue to orbit the sun if he wins. It didn’t stop doing so when that meteor impact killed the dinosaurs. But as a believer in the old notion that the US is a beacon lighting the path for other nations I’m not looking forward to having a man I regard as an arrogant, lying, horse’s-ass sitting in the White House.

If that’s what today’s voters consider speaking “truth-to-power” then shame on both the Republican and Democratic parties for setting such a low bar.

Harry

The email I was responding to:

—————————————–
From: [My Buddy]
To:
Cc:
Sent: Sun, 22 May 2016 17:04:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Andrew Sullivan thinks Donald Trump may defeat Hillary Clinton.

Harry:

I don’t remember telling anyone that I plan to vote for Trump. I have told several persons that I might vote for Trump.

What the hell, Harry. We were in Vietnam with Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Would Trump be worse?

I agree with Sullivan, that Trump could win.

[Your Buddy]

“Herd up”

From my Buddy:

See http://www.startribune.com/wake-up-and-see-the-trump-card-he-can-win/380327951/, which includes this interesting language:
For all the talk of Republicans who won’t vote for Trump, it’s quite likely that more than 90 percent will herd up.

And:

The identification with political parties is a psychological attachment that often forms in childhood. We are not handcuffed to our party but the tie is tight and has become more so.
A Stanford research team studied the reaction of Republicans and Democrats to the prospect that their child might marry someone from the other political party. In 1960 — no problem. Only 5 percent (or less) reported being upset by the idea. Our new hyperpartisan world has introduced a very different reaction by 2010. Nearly a third of Democrats were irked and almost half of Republicans were unhappy.

“herd up”? We are ostensibly farther out of the jungle since 1960, but we are increasingly tribal?

It was funny when I was a kid in the 60″s watching Candid Camera. Its not so funny now:

Unto the fifth generation – Not!

My children are as allergic to today’s GOP as though it was a toxic substance. If it had not become the party of God and the vulgarian, double talker, Donald Trump, they might have become fifth generation Republicans.

Using the best examples from my family’s history I’d like to talk about the preceding four generations.

The Grand Old Party began its life a few years before my Great Grandfather entered New York harbor from Ireland in 1860 one month after Lincoln’s election and two months before his inauguration. “What’s the news?” called a passenger on his ship as they passed an outward bound vessel. “South Carolina has seceded from the Union,” was the reply. Thomas Robb was twelve years old. It would be four years of war plus seven years of Reconstruction before he could cast his first vote as a naturalized citizen.

Thomas was the son of a protestant land manager who had threats made against his life by Irish Nationalists. The men who left that threat attached to a prize bull they killed were largely Catholics in Ireland and Democrats in America. It’s not surprising then that Thomas would vote Republican.

If he had any doubts about his party’s virtues one incident sealed his thinking. Continue reading

Today’s Dogpile

Its been almost a month since the School Board voted 4 – 3 not to enter into negotiations with the Tischer Creek Building Corporation. If I had had my way the community discussion would have been over with last Tuesday at our School Board meeting. Instead it continues after the slam dunk the board majority engineered 4 days after taking public feedback at Lincoln Middle School to stop the conversation before it really began. In this we are not unlike the Egyptians who yesterday protested the nation’s latest elected dictator accusing him of, well, dictatorial rule.

I just linked to NRP for that story but another NPR story was more interesting to me. It is about the connection between spending money and successful schools. It goes back to Massachusetts under one of my favorite Republicans of that era, William Weld. Weld was one of many moderate or liberal Republicans purged by the Limbaughites of the current GOP who only kept the zipped lip moderates who let Donald Trump loose with their sheep-like, Bourgeois complacency. They used to have their own champions and Weld was one of the last of them. Anyway, according to the story, Weld’s education reforms did wonders for Massachusetts’ poor kids. Today’s Minnesota Republicans are more hold the line on public school funding.

The Duluth School Board took it on the chin again today in the Trib. Another front page story about Woodland Hills considering a Charter School demonstrates that a badly discredited ISD 709 fighting the Edison Charters was the best publicity Charter Schools could have hoped for. Woodland Hills is a remarkable school for troubled kids. Bill Westholm and my wife, Claudia, were both on its Board of Directors back when I was first on the Duluth School Board. Local kids end up in its day treatment schooling and juvenile courts all across Minnesota send troubled kids to WH for 9 month stays. Like yesterday’s story about the Arch Diocese contemplating a high school this is one more indication that an all too insular ISD 709 is not meeting expectations. DFT President Burnham may lose another dozen teachers if the Charter goes through.

But it was the Editorial Page that really stung. Its top op ed piece came from an Edison parent who echoed so many 1950’s musicals wishing that the public school systems in Duluth could get along instead of fighting like Bernstein’s Sharks and Jets. Or from Roger’s and Hammerstein, if I can paraphrase, Oh the Charters and the Indies should be friends. In Oklahoma its Farmers and Cowboys but you get my point.

Another Op Ed talked about “little Sally” a student that the teacher’s unions and school boards had all but forgotten about in their war to control the schools.

“See, there’s the problem. This shouldn’t have been about the School Board. It was about Sally. It wasn’t even about what the School Board thinks is best for the children. That’s up to the parents, guardians or protective service. In that order.”

The author went on to praise vouchers but I don’t have it in me to take that up in this post. My Buddy and I have argued over vouchers for a decade or more.

But again its the letters that just won’t stop. This time one heaped shame on some of my colleagues.

Heck the School board censured me a little over a year ago and I didn’t catch nearly as much hell. Not that I’m crowing. My Mom always told me it takes two to have a fight.