The Wrong General

This is and the following post are both early morning Perkins’ specials – I don’t have access to a spell check on my wife’s laptop so I uploaded this before it got a decent editing. That took place a little later in the morning after I got home and no longer had to contend with a key board the size of the Ordean site with my clumsy JCI sized fingers.

I bumped into Gary Glass the other day and he ruefully complained that Doug McGuire’s recent letter to the editor described him as my “lieutenant.” I hadn’t noticed that because I was too buy contemplating Mr. McGuire’s depiction of me as a warrior. After several abusive letters and columns Doug’s tome finally got me to sit back for couple hours to compose a reply. Gary requested that I clear the air about which of us is the superior officer and which the subordinate. Sorry, but it was hard enough limiting myself to 300 words.

Our critics evidently aren’t sure which of us is the general and which the subordinate officer because they keep reassigning the role of puppet master. Its much less confusing when pointing out the leader of the Red Plan. I dasn’t send it in just yet because of secret negotiations going on out of the public’s view. They’ve ground on for well over a month and imposed an annoying gag on me thus impoverishing this blog. I think its fair to say that my reply, if its published by the Trib, will peel the bark off all the trees in Mr. McGuire’s forest.

I say “if” because one of our confederates recently lamented that the letter of his that the Trib published had been the first of six he had sent in to make it to print. Given the editorial prejudices of Forum Communications we Red Plan critics are grateful when any of our opinions show up. None of them showed up to tout non incumbent candidates before the Primary. Maybe, in the same way no one bothers to attend school board meetings to criticize the Red Plan any more, its because Trib readers consider it a waste of time to air their gripes about the Red Plan.

There’s actually a much better metaphor for the relationship Gary and I have. Its the 1958 celluloid melodrama The Defiant Ones staring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. The plot is uncanny? Two convicts, one black and one white, are chained together when they escape from a chain gang in the racist 1950’s South. Despite their mutual racial animosity they’ve got to work together to escape the vengeful and embarrassed prison authorities.

Gary and I, birds of very different feathers, are simply chained together with the common goal of cutting out an infection in our Duluth School District.

A real warrior would get out his pitchfork to fight the monster to the death. That’s not my style. If the monster put himself up for election and won I’d happily go back to my home and resume reading history books. Sadly, that’s not happened.

For two years the injustice of the Red Plan’s imposition has inexorably pushed me from one day to the next. Every day has brought a new plea from an unhappy citizen for me not to give up the fight. As I round the corner to age sixty I’d rather be a biographer like Robert Caro than his principal subject LBJ.

Too bad for our side. We needed a Dr. Dixon not a Harry Welty to be our General. In the short term charisma often trumps fussy fact checking. But, as someone once said, “facts are stubborn things” and so am I.

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