Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

“By Dawn’s Early Light”

Coast Guard Station, Genesee River

If you live in the U. S., or if you follow American politics at all, regardless of where you live, you gotta admit that this has been a banner week for our version of Theater of the Absurd.  I mean, the guys who do political comedy for a living must be in heaven.

First, Sarah Palin decides to rewrite American history by saying that Paul Revere went on his famous ride in 1775 to “warn the British” and to let them know that we weren’t giving up our guns.  Or something to that effect.  If you watched this exchange on the news, then you know that it’s not all that easy to interpret.  Just a bunch of words thrown together incoherently.  Kind of makes you wonder if she even knows who Paul Revere was and why he became famous.  She claims that she does know, and that what she said was right.  Supposedly, she even has some loyal followers doing a “rewrite” on Wikipedia.  Now, that’s scary.

Revere, of course, had no intention of warning the British about anything and, at that point in time, there was no such thing as “2nd amendment rights”.  Revere’s role was very specific: he was to ride to Lexington and warn Sam Adams and John Hancock that the British were on their way to arrest them.  The other post rider (Israel Bissell) rode a good deal further than Revere and warned anyone he could (especially local militia) that war was imminent.  In many respects, his “ride” was far more important than Revere’s.  But in this case, fame belongs to the guy who’s name is easiest to rhyme with (just ask Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

I’m fairly certain that Sarah knows none of this.  Probably never heard of Longfellow, either.  But she does have a really big bus with a picture of the constitution on it, as well as a life-size version of her signature.

Then of course there’s congressman Anthony Weiner (D, NY).  I used to really admire this guy.  I thought he was smart and I liked that he tended to be a bit outspoken.  But to prove that I’m in no way partisan in my political rants, I now see him as just another asshole with power.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, congressman Weiner got caught tweeting pictures of his “junk” to a woman he’d never met.  That, naturally, was just the tip of the proverbial iceburg.  Not to mention the fact that he lied about it for almost a week.  Then he goes on TV yesterday and admits to just about everything, including the lies.  But, he says, he’s not going to resign.

Wanna bet?  He has to.  More crap will certainly come out and all of his former friends and supporters will disappear faster than you can say “Twitter”.

My question, though, is how does someone get to be that dumb? As an adjective, “stupid” is way too much of an understatement.  It’s not like no one else has ever been caught with their pants down (literally).  Did Weiner forget about Chris Lee and his politically fatal tweet?  Wait a minute – that was only a shirt.  No matter, he resigned the same day.  Apparently, just a little bit brighter than Weiner.  Not a lot.  Just a little.

So what’s next?  Will Nancy Pelosi go skinny-dipping in the Reflecting Pool?  Will Mitch McConnell actually crack a smile and maybe (gasp) tell a dirty joke?  Or maybe Barack Obama will start smoking again, light one up in bed, and burn down the White House.

Yeah, I know.  That’s crazy talk.  But then so is the stuff that’s already transpired.

Have I mentioned that we’re all doomed?


7 Responses to ““By Dawn’s Early Light””

  1. ken bello

    Funny you should ask “…how does someone get to be that dumb?”. Just yesterday i asked Mickey the exact same question! Do these guys think that they are so powerful as to be immune to any kind of irresponsible behavior? Heck, even Superman had to deal with Kryptonite. Now comes the confession and expression of sorrow for putting his loving family and supporters through this terrible ordeal, resignation, fade from public life, tell-all book, movie-of-the-week and talk show on the Fox network (in that order). Maybe they’re not so dumb after all!

    • Paul Maxim

      No question, I think, that it’s the power that makes these guys feel invulnerable. How else can it be explained?

      Sarah is kind of a special case, but the behavior of all these elected guys makes a powerful argument for term limits.

  2. christopher maxim

    If you want to be depressed a little further…..7 of my 17 Employees have no idea what JFK stood for or who he was. One of my guys believes beyond a doubt that “Planet X” is going to take us all out in 2012, and from what I understand some religous nut just made it up. The same Employee has stated to me numerous times that Christainity is only two hundred years old, and he is also quite sure the Bin Laden killing is yet another conspiracy. But on the bright side of things if you have any common sense at all you get promoted quite quick here. Thank God for Clark County kids

    • Paul Maxim

      Well, the JFK people aren’t alone. One of the networks did a little survey (in NYC, I think) and discovered that a fair number of people didn’t really know who Paul Revere was. Not even the fictional version. One guy thought he had something to do with World War II.

  3. Earl

    On this subject: My parents were of the age they taught if you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing at all…….

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks for the link, Carl. It does tend to put things in a more “sober” perspective.


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