A momentary lull in the gentle shower that is my Thanksgiving. Alan, who has to work in a few hours, is spackling downstairs. I’ve made a sweet potato pie and make-ahead mashed potatoes for my friends’ feast in about three hours. I worked a little, now I’m writing a little.
Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, was spending Thanksgiving eve at the Dubliner, a popular Irish bar in Washington D.C. Pretty sure I went there with my friend Adrianne when we had a girls’ weekend in D.C. It’s where Barack Obama would be photographed drinking a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. And on Thanksgiving eve, it’s an unofficial all-class reunion for Gonzaga grads.
So there’s O’Malley, and in walks another ‘Zag, Ken Cuccinelli, current acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Then this happened – a “shame-invoking tirade” by O’Malley, aimed at Cuccinelli. The DHS secretary turned on his heel and left. O’Malley later explained:
When he saw Cuccinelli, he unloaded his frustration at the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents and detention of immigrants in chain-link enclosures at the southern U.S. border.
“We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages — certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga,” O’Malley texted.
In another text, he called Cuccinelli “the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president.”
I haven’t checked the usual suspects on Twitter yet, but I imagine the hand-wringing has started already. Where is civility, etc. When did we become so alienated from one another? And so on.
Three years ago, I might have…not agreed, but acknowledged the point. You’re not going to convert Ken Cuccinelli by yelling at him in a bar. Although I notice something, now that it’s happened a few times: The Trump people never stand their ground and argue. They do what Cuccinelli did. They run.
Don’t make too much of that. It’s easier to attack than to defend your position. And sometimes the opening salvo comes from management, like when Sarah Sanders was asked to leave that restaurant a while back. But it’s noticeable, just the same. Bars are made for arguing, and a crowded Irish pub would be an ideal place to do so with a fellow ‘Zag alum. Why didn’t he stay and defend the policy he is, after all, carrying out voluntarily?
Guys, I’m gonna go with “because it’s indefensible, and they know it.” And I’m also going to call O’Malley one of the good guys. When the history of this era is written, he’ll be able to say, “I objected to one person in a position to do something,” which is more than most of us will ever get the chance to do. Why should these people be comfortable in public, if the public despises them? If he wants a pat on the back, Cuccinelli could go to Mar-a-Lago with the boss. Make small talk with Barron in his tuxedo. Or he could go to Trump country; I’m sure they’d love him in Alabama. But if he wants to hang in his college town, with his college crowd, there will be music to face.
Terrible people who expect to be treated like decent people remind me of Kelsey Grammer. My friend Lance Mannion has written a couple times about the irony of Grammer, an actor whose entire career would be impossible, if not for the liberalism he claims to despise:
Grammer doesn’t live as if he believes in his own political views. It’s not just that he travels in circles where gay people and their spouses aren’t just tolerated but welcomed without a second thought. He clearly isn’t homophobic himself. And it doesn’t stop there.
Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher. I don’t know if he goes to church and I don’t care, but it’s pretty hard to imagine him in the front pew at St Patrick’s, although it isn’t hard to imagine him leading the choir at the nearest Baptist mega-church—but that’s Frasier I’m seeing bouncing around in a purple robe and singing it joyfully. Grammer himself? Religion doesn’t seem to be something he’s given much thought lately, an odd thing for a Republican these days.
Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.
And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?
Yes, it’s too much to ask. Lance wrote that in 2010. At the time I agreed with him 100 percent. Now I think maybe Grammer should move to Wasilla. Why should he enjoy the blandishments of Broadway, of Hollywood, of the artistic life he so enjoys, if he doesn’t recognize how they got there?
So anyway. Enough whining. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here’s an inspiring story about a double amputee making his way back from a devastating injury. It’s not depressing at all.
Let’s finish with some pictures. Food pix, but today is a food holiday, so there. First, the aforementioned pie. I wish I hadn’t tested it with the knife; if I’d trusted my gut, that surface would be perfect:
And just for the hell of it, today’s breakfast, because I’m experimenting with Portrait mode on the iPhone:
Yum yum eat ’em up. Back on the weekend.