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CSotD: Here We Go!

Marshall Ramsey captures the moment, and I suppose I should have headlined today’s posting “And Away We Go!” to match his caption, but I remember a standup on Short Attention Span Theater talking about working at an amusement park and how maddening it was after just a few days to hear people say “Here we go!” every three or four minutes as he released their ride.

That was several years ago and it made me self-conscious but I still find the phrase irresistible as the roller coast starts away from the station.

And, oddly enough, une femme d’un certain âge and I were recently agreeing that, while Ralph Kramden was a gift to the ages, nothing else Jackie Gleason did was particularly funny and that Joe the Bartender wore thin after about the second time. (Okay, she hated it the first time.)

Which would be an irrelevant aside if our taste were universal, but obviously there were hordes of people who thought Gleason truly was “The Great One” and we will certainly see, over the next few months, how differing tastes and viewpoints play into what should be a straightforward presentation of evidence.

 

Or no evidence at all, as Gary Varvel contends, as the “Witch Hunt!” side begins framing their argument.

 

Adam Zyglis takes the opposite tack, contending that altering legislated foreign policy in order to demand assistance with an upcoming election is not simply “evidence” but one small piece on a tottering tower.

Zyglis sees this as Pelosi finally giving in to the need for impeachment, and he’s certainly not alone in it, though I heard someone on CNN last night point out that Pelosi didn’t become Speaker by happenstance and that she knows where the votes are.

 

Paul Fell points out how much this matters and perhaps that’s a sign of how much we’ve shifted from a time when “Profiles in Courage” was admired and have settled, instead and by contrast, into “Save Your Own Ass” mode.

I remember the fury with which far-rightwingers defended Nixon and insisted — even in the face of tapes in which he plotted payoffs and coverups — that he’d done nothing wrong.

But I also remember the deep sorrow with which Republican members of the House cast their committee votes to impeach, and, even more to the point, the deep sorrow with which even Democrats took that grave step.

It seems like a very long time ago.

 

I got a chuckle out of Nick Anderson‘s contention that Trump brought this on himself, but I wish I were convinced that the bear’s fury would be overwhelming.

 

On the other hand, while I supported Pelosi’s caution up to this point, I can’t go along with Jimmy Margulies‘s contention that Trump has been hoping for the move and perhaps had set it as a trap.

 

If he did, he may have overestimated the willingness of moderate conservatives to go along. Nate Beeler generally lines up on the right, but, in so doing, he does not snap to attention and click his heels.

Evidence still matters to fair-minded conservatives, and we’re about to see who is fair-minded.

 

But Rob Rogers points out another issue, which is that there have been so many accusations, so many presentations of evidence, that it may be too much.

It’s an apt and interesting tie-in to an issue in the NFL, where officials were calling so many penalties in the first two games that there was an uprising, not just among fans but among players and coaches.

It was not that the penalties were “wrong” in the sense that they hadn’t occurred, but that under orders to keep the game more safe, officials were calling minor violations that simply slowed things down and held players to an unreasonable standard.

 

Adam Zyglis may be right about the massive burdens that built up on the camel’s back before Pelosi finally cried enough, and Clay Bennett’s depiction of Trump as a criminal may be within reason, but, aside from the difficulty of persuading hardcore rightwing GOP Senators to examine the evidence honestly, there is the difficulty of selling the public.

Forty percent don’t see Trump as a conman, despite his having been forced to compensate victims of the Trump University fraud. They don’t see him as a liar, despite the many and obvious and absurd lies he has told.

They believed that Mexico was going to pay to build a wall, and they weep and cheer for our men and women in the service, but have no problem with the fact that their heroes are being cheated to fund the wall Mexico said from the start it would never pay for.

And on, and on, and on.

 


Patrick Chappatte suggests that the tide is turning, but, while he is correct in that Trump is being put on the defensive, we’re a long way from having the shouts of “Lock her up” change genders and target.

 

Bill Day may be on the right track: Portraying the calls for impeachment not as coming from Democrats but from the nation itself, from the eagle.

In the days of Watergate, there was already some quarreling over who owned the flag, but it had not yet become a fetish of the rightwing. The next time you see a conservative wearing the flag as clothing, remember that, when Abbie Hoffman wore a flag shirt on TV, they blurred it out as disrespectful.

I guess you had to be there, but there’s this hope: I remember when compulsive liars bragged they had been at Woodstock, and then the political winds shifted and they began to lie and claim to have served in Vietnam.

If we wrap impeachment in the flag, and work to include, rather than insult, the conservatives of this country, we could see a turnaround.

 

Meanwhile, when Trump promised transcripts of his phone call yesterday, I whipped up this gag and was chagrined to find that only my fellow Old Farts understood it.

Well, if the under-60 crowd never heard of Rose Mary Woods, it hardly matters.

Here’s the lady they need to know about:

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
September/25/2019
@ 7:20 am

On behalf of my fellow Canadians…

… WHO WANTS POPCORN?

#2 d clay
September/25/2019
@ 9:47 am

Fair minded ‘Conservatives’.

You should dedicate a small part of the next column listing all of them.

#3 Mike Peterson
September/25/2019
@ 10:27 am

My next column will be tomorrow. We won’t know by then.

#4 Kathleen Elizabeth Donnelly
September/25/2019
@ 11:29 am

Jackie Gleason of course had his limitations. But he was in a 2-character movie with Laurence Olivier (1983) – Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson – which had great charm and feeling. Gleason was very believable as the long-time lover of Olivier’s now deceased wife. The movie is composed of dialogues conducted in the cemetery where the wife is buried.
Made by HBO; sadly, the movie is available only in VHS format.

#5 Hank Gillette
September/28/2019
@ 7:07 pm

It’s a sad statement for our country that Trump may not be impeachable because he has committed so many impeachable acts.

I am old enough to remember when Barry Goldwater and other Senate Republicans forced Richard Nixon to resign because of a single undeniable case of obstruction of justice.

#6 Brad Walker
September/28/2019
@ 9:12 pm

Frank Rich believes it’s smart of Pelosi to limit the inquiry to just the Ukraine call; the tighter the focus, the faster the process.

OTOH, Cenk Uygur (of The Young Turks) is upset Pelosi isn’t going after everything she can. If Trump beats the Ukraine rap, that’s it, game over.

Rich seems to side with Mark Twain, who famously said, “Put all your eggs in one basket — and watch that basket.” He said that in regards to investment; unfortunately, he lost a bundle on his investments.

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