After the week we had, it was nice to have a nice, boring weekend, where it was too hot to do much but chores around the house, the usual errands, a little shopping and the neighborhood block party. I brought Mark Bittman’s corn salad, which I recommend if you have a little mint growing in the yard, and who doesn’t? I hope your neighbors like it. I sat quietly (heat; 90 degrees) and looked around, trying to imagine who’s voting for Trump.
That’s what the events of last week did to me.
Later, we chatted with one of our closer-in neighbors, who told us a lively story about the time in 2004 she was cited for putting up a Kerry sign more than 30 days before the election. A neighbor — a neighbor who had an enormous sign in his own yard reading I SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH AND OUR TROOPS — complained. The police explained that his wasn’t political. She had an identical sign made reading I SUPPORT SENATOR KERRY AND OUR TROOPS, and then the ACLU was called. The sign ordinance was challenged and pitched, as they all are. Why do dunderheaded city councils allow these things to go through? If the first amendment protects any kind of speech, it’s political speech. This happened in Fort Wayne, too. City councils aren’t always the most forward-thinking governmental bodies.
Which reminds me, I was watching a Facebook thread about the local rules about putting out trash and garbage, and whether it’s OK for others to go through it, in search of treasure. The discussion was divided between the pro-picker community and those who found the idea simply reprehensible, and didn’t see why they should have to alter their behavior one little bit — such as, putting out trash close to the predictable pickup time — to keep bums and scrappers out of it. One argued forcefully for an ordinance banning the practice. I don’t need to tell you that in other forums, he’s a loud voice for Getting Government Out of Our Lives.
This is what the events of last week did to me.
And now a new week awaits. More heat ahead, slightly less oppressive, but not much. I may have to double down on swimming workouts until it passes. Here’s what was waiting for me on Friday:
The duck paddled around all the lanes as the lap swimmers did their thing. She was eating the bugs in the gutter. That’s Tim, the old coach/lifeguard. When he’s gone and I’m old, I’ll remember he taught me how to do the butterfly.
I don’t know how he’s voting. When he remarked on the sparse numbers at the workout Friday, I said maybe everyone was crouched, fearful, in their homes, after listening to Der Fuhrer the night before. No one smiled.
I guess they were feeing the strain, too.
So much to link to and comment on, really too much. Events are moving so quickly, why try to keep up. But I thought this piece summed things up nicely:
We noted four years ago the dysfunction of the Republican Party, arguing that its obstructionism, anti-intellectualism, and attacks on American institutions were making responsible governance impossible. The rise of Trump completes the script, confirming our thesis in explicit fashion.
Consider, as a sign of the party’s decadence, how quickly Bob Corker, a card-carrying member of the Republican Party elite — the center-right chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — caved in to this horribly miscast party standard-bearer. Trump’s campaign has been filled with statements whose ignorance and bombast have appalled the establishment. Then a ballyhooed foreign policy speech in late April was widely panned by experts across the foreign policy spectrum. (“A very odd mishmash”; “strident rhetoric [that] masked a lack of depth.”) Corker’s response? He praised “the broadness, the vision” of the speech.
Sigh. Bring on the Dems, and let’s see how their show goes.