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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TKO

Well, Kennedy is not long for this world. Another Kennedy. The only one not to die by violence. If he doesn't die by violence. Well, there is the violence against himself. And God. But given the circumstances, that's harsh. More harshness from Forgotten Prophets. It's what we do, O Generation of Vipers.

Kennedy is one of the few political figures whom I loathe, utterly. It not really rational. I mean, the case to be made against him, re the unspeakably pernicious influence he has had on this nation -- it's damning. But we can leave the damning to God. And I'm just not in the mood to over-analyze the matter. Too much of that, recently. And anyway, look at the quality of people who've been visiting these pages. I build them cathedrals, and they complain about the grouting. It's enough to collapse my star.

It's really inappropriate for me to do it, but I'm going to splice in here the hate paragraph I wrote about TK a couple of years ago. Most likely it will be the only eulogy I give him. In the context of the Alito confirmation hearings, I said this:

There's the dignity of office, that these bloviating incoherent windbags have manipulated themselves into. It’s the way a well-made suit makes a flabby man look strong. If these emperors had no clothes, it’d look like a heat-wave in the waxworks -- semi-melted mannequins losing all similitude of human shape while somehow gaining mass. Did you see the empty seat up there, that Kennedy was sitting in? Teddy-the-Hutt. I'm sure he sold his soul, but he didn’t get Dorian Gray’s deal -- he wears his character in his face, every Boodles gimlet rising like a carbuncle on that enormous blotchy pumpkin he uses for a head. Some people have dignity because their tailor gave it to them.

Not a lot of substance there. None, really. Just ad hominem. He's a fat drunkard. He is a fat drunkard, but that's not an honorable point to make. Bush is stupid. Cheney is evil. Rush is fat, and a drug addict. But as I said, it's not rational, my loathing. In part, it's the reputation for decadence. Not really my business, but we are after all allowed to have opinions, even if we should apologize for them. Mostly it's that he is such an enemy of political common sense. In other words, a far left politico. I wouldn't need to loath that, except for his power and influence. I think far-left politicos are just deluded. It's only when they're in position to do harm that emotion might kick in. The nut shouting in the park is one thing. On the Senate floor it's something else.

But I have dealt with substance. Something from June of '06:

Teddy Kennedy. To call him a swollen Herod all set to explode into maggots is an insult to Idumean despots. “It’s no wonder that the American people are frustrated with the Republican Congress.” So he starts. Indeed. It is the Republicans who so distress those American people. Not cynical self-seeking bloated hypocrite politicians. Republicans and only Republicans. Yes, Mary Jo Kopechne, there is a Satan, and he is Republican.

“Americans deserve progress, but instead are bombarded with politics driven by fear and division.” How true -- how very true. Kennedy has put his piebald thumb squarely on the issue. If only the Republicans could be a force for moderation and unity, like the Kennedy Party -- at which there are hardly any rapes at all. But instead those Republican bastards I mean badguys all bombard (like the warmongers they are -- boo! Boo on the Republican warmongers!!!) Americans, who all must disagree with those Republicans even though more than half voted for Bush who didn’t really win but stole the election. Bombard, because that’s what republicans do, instead of engage in reasoned discourse like Kennedy does all the time. Oh, pardon me -- I’m slobbering for some reason. Did one of my brain vessels burst? Perhaps I’ve been drinking all night at a party. Better go for a ride in the crisp night air. Hey, babe, let’s hit the road. I’ll drive. No, sugar, no worries -- don’t be afraid. It’s me, Loverboy. What? -- you're afraid to go for a drive with me? Have you been listening to those Republicans? Stupid bitch -- I could kill you for that. Now git in the fuckin' car, you stupid whore, and don't give me any more back talk. I'm Teddy Kennedy! Kennedy!!!! Get it? My brother was president!!! Who the hell do you think you are? Nothing, that's what. I'm a Kennedy! I could get away with murder.

“They deserve action on the challenges we face as a nation -- an endless and costly war in Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices and soaring health-care costs.” What sane American person could argue with this? Certainly there is an endless and costly war in Iraq. These three years are literally endless. Oh, the eternity of this Iraqi War that stretches before us unto the fading of the utmost stars, just as it trails into the boundless past beyond all comprehension. Truly, we waged it with Nebuchadnezzar and Hammurabi and Sargon and Chedorlaomor and Nimrod himself.

And the cost! I’m sure I’m not the first to announce to every nation, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay no price at all, bear no manner of burden, flee from all hardship, abandon every friend, appease every foe, because all we care about is our own selfish and petty comfort even at the cost of liberty. Oh, and gas prices are high, because of Republicans. And, um, health-care costs too. Somebody ought to make hamburgers illegal. Because only senior politicians of the Senate should be allowed to be fat.

“Rather than dealing with real priorities, the Republican leadership is focused on writing discrimination into the Constitution.” For sure. It must have been Republicans who wrote the Constitution in the first place -- I mean, what with slavery and all. Thank heaven the Democrats destroyed that institution, and fought an endless and costly Civil War -- just like the one in Iraq, only that's also like Vietnam -- to do it. I’m sure that’s how I read it in something the DNC emailed me.

An amendment to the Constitution, defining marriage? Seems like a really stupid idea, to me. For real. No sarcasm. It was just a political ploy by Republicans -- a bone to their sorely neglected base -- the less thoughtful elements of that base. How about an amendment defining life? That would fix the abortion problem. How about an amendment prohibiting unfairness? That would fix all sorts of problems.

But these are policy issues, rather than principle issues, and they would have the effect of the Volstead Act, or the Ninth Amendment, or the First Amendment -- repealed, ignored, or interpreted beyond recognition. I mean, why would rules be followed? There’s something about having things written out that ensures they’ll be obeyed? After all, everyone knows what, say, marriage is -- it’s not like a mystery or something. But the fact that we know what it is doesn’t mean it can’t be made to be something else -- like any law, or amendment, or item of common sense.

So the politicians will continue to shoot their wet and sticky spitwads, maybe throwing erasers, maybe dipping pigtails into inkwells. Theirs is after all such a deliberative body. And we, the American people, will continue to sit cross legged, hunched forward, intently studying their example that we may profit by it. I’m not sure if the proper image is of the Pied Piper or of Esau … wouldn’t it be grand if those two could gay-marry and miraculously have a magical child to be a messiah who would lead us into a fairyland of happiness where wars are not endless and gas prices are low? But maybe that’s wishful thinking do you suppose? And anyway maybe there’s room in Kennedy’s backseat for us -- I mean in his car. I’m sure he could take us to another world. It’s what he’s trying to do.


My. That was so emotional.

But now, this week, in the context of Kennedy's brain tumor, a malignant glioma, it may be appropriate -- my judgment is poor in such issues -- but it is in bad taste. No apologies. Because if you remove the vitriol, there is still very much of what I consider to be truth. Emotion in political discussion is gratuitous. But it is, largely, unavoidable.

Current news is the tumor. I am reminded of when I heard that LBJ had died. I was in my pubescence, and had been living in a rather harsh household. When I heard the news, I said, "Good. One less Democrat." My father, from whom I must suppose I had learned such modes of thought and expression, reprimanded me, sternly. It seemed unfair to me.

My point? My father, in that instance, was right. We would like our adversaries to be removed from influence. Placed where they can do no harm. Better, if Kennedy had retired. Such illness as he has is a slow execution. There's always the threat that what he is replaced by will be even worse, if such a thing is possible -- but we know of course that it is. We must hope that better is more likely, though, and in any case we cannot be immobilized by a dread of potentialities.

So, good, Kennedy seems to be leaving the picture, albeit slowly. The end of this horrific era is nigh. We have whatever feeling we have about his health. It's just a crying shame. The Senate as a body took time to bow heads in prayer. The same Senate that has supported the ban on prayer in schools. A shame. But everybody dies. If good and brave men can die in wars defending their principles, I hardly think we need feel a surfeit of grief over the loss of a politician who has been inimical to those principles.

Harsh, I know.

Too bad, isn't it. I am incapable of learning.


J

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jack -- thanks for the post! And your writings are appreciated. I just read on one of your posts a kind comment from a woman in Indiana, did I not? Anyway, I don't know if you were able to read my hub's piece on Santa Claus that was similar in feel to yours (I should check back at your post, eh?), but here's one on Henry Hyde that you might enjoy. Maybe the two of you could get together to publish a politically-incorrect weekly?

RIP-ing Henry “Nothing to” Hyde

I really enjoy your blog! :)

Jeanette

Jack H said...

But not ENOUGH, my dear. How could ANYONE possibly appreciate me ENOUGH!?!

Me me me me me! Memememememeeeeeeeeee!!!!

JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but for every appreciative comment left, there are scores left unsaid?!?

Jeanette

P.S. I thought you'd like/agree with the H.H. piece. From your comment, maybe not so much? My husband doesn't have the energy to drive home, much less respond. But he will surely answer eventually. Sigh. Life is tireing or is it tiring (which one is correct?). Hhhmmm, Potato, potatoe? (I'm still laughing at that silly bird!)

Jack H said...

There's no arguing with emotion. We feel the way we feel. What another can overlook or forgive is insufferable to me. And so on. So it's not that I disagree with your husband. How can I disagree with a feeling? It's that my view is different. That's why we call them opinions, and not facts.

Meeeeeeeeeeee!!!

chuck e. boy said...

Bravo. You said it; I only thought it.

Who was it said, "Exists there another more execrable parody of a statesman in the Senate than Ted Kennedy?"

Yes, he is passing and we can mourn the potential that was corrupted, but unfortunately, the damage he inflicted seems irreversable.