In my last column, I mentioned three people I admire (Ron DeSantis, Denzel Washington and Thomas Sowell). Today, I turn to three people I disdain.
There are a few things in life that I am not good at; one of the worst is admitting when I’ve been wrong about something.
In my defense, that is mainly because I’ve not had much practice at being wrong. After more than a half-century spent being almost constantly right about everything, it’s disorienting when it turns out I was mistaken.
I can still remember the day in 2nd grade when I found out that I’d been singing the line from “God Bless America” wrong. It’s the one that goes, “stand beside me, and guide me/ through the night with the light from above.”
I had been singing, “through the night, with the light, from a bulb.” Which, I would argue, makes perfect sense. (See? I’m not good at this.)
I also remember that until about age 12, I thought girls were really gross. Then I saw a young Sophia Loren at the height of her powers, climbing out of the Mediterranean in a clingy shirt in a tv re-run of Boy on a Dolphin. So mea maxima culpa on that one.
Also, I was in college before I found out that there is only one “r” in “sherbet.” Everyone I knew called it “sher-bert.” So thanks a lot, friends and relatives in Marseilles, Illinois in the 1970s.
To mention a more current example, next month I will have been married for 32 years, and during that time my wife and I have had 367 arguments, and I’m like 364 and 2, with one tie. (I still say the socialist relative I threw out of my house until he apologized is going to come crawling back some day with a mea culpa, so that one is technically yet to be determined.)
I’m practically the Rocky Marciano of martial fights, is what I’m saying. And sure, my wife would probably disagree with that stat. But as you might gather from my marital fight record, she’s wrong a lot.
For example, in the first decision we each made in our marriage, I decided to marry her, and she decided to marry me. So right there, I’m up on her 2-to-zip.
Anyway, the last time I was wrong was in 2012, when I – and these words are getting caught in my throat somehow, even though I’m typing them – enthusiastically voted for Mitt Romney.
I know, I know. He wasn’t nearly conservative enough for my taste, or likely for yours.
But almost nobody is. Reagan and Milton Friedman are dead. Margaret Thatcher and Friedrich Hayek are dead, and they weren’t US citizens. And Thomas Sowell and Victor Davis Hanson won’t run.
So I thought that of the choices we had, Mitt would be a good one. McCain had been pathetically eager to roll over in 2008, and after four disastrous years of Obama, I thought the time was right for someone like Romney. Public opinion polling – and countless yammering focus groups — had suggested that people really, really wanted centrist competence more than combative partisanship.
We’d get that with Mitt, and even if he was a semi-invertebrate RINO, he couldn’t help but be two standard deviations better than Barry O and his toxic combination of arrogance, incompetence, and disdain for America.
Here’s where I went wrong. I thought that Romney had run MA as a mushy moderate, barely right of center governor because he’d had to. The reality is that there are (tragically) a lot of purple or light-blue states in the country, and if we’re going to have any elected GOP congressmen or senators or governors in those states, they’re going to have to be lukewarm moderates.
Susan Collins is a good example. Maine is a blue-ish state, and with a 50/50 senate split, I’m more than happy to have her in the senate, rather than running a rock-ribbed conservative who would lose, and thus give us one more Dem senator.
But Romney has since shown himself to be a particularly contemptible sort of Republican, because he’s fundamentally dishonest. He didn’t govern as a RINO squish in MA because he had to to get elected. Now he’s a Senator from Utah, for crying out loud! He could be an actual conservative like he pretended to be – in fact, he’d be rewarded for it! But he’s not that guy.
He only pretended to be.
Maybe the worst part is that he’s not even too genteel to have the stomach for a political fight. That’s been the fallacy that a lot of moderates have pushed: Bush 41 and 42 and McCain and Romney and dozens of other GOP office-holders were gentlemen, unwilling to get down in the mud and trade punches with the Dem sleaze merchants who always take the low road.
But they were lying about that, because since then, most of them have shown little compunction about attacking Trump, or other conservatives. I still think well of W as a person, but you could not get him to slam Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, and he could barely manage to criticize Gore or Kerry, even when he was running against them!
But somehow he was willing to throw mud at Trump, going so far as to say that he wouldn’t vote for him, even against creeps like Cankles McPantsuit or Joey Gaffes. As I’ve said before, Trump had some big flaws, and in the abstract, I can respect someone who was too offended by them to support him.
But the Bushes and the Romneys lambasted Trump for his lies, while staying mute about Barack “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” Obama.
They were terribly offended that Trump spoke in crudely sexual terms about women, but they never expressed any public thoughts about Bill Clinton groping every female within arm’s length and raping Juanita Broderick, or Joe Biden digitally penetrating at least one female supporter.
Romney watched Bill Clinton turn the Oval Office into a combination brothel and illicit campaign fundraising boiler room. He watched Obama use the IRS to oppress and silence his domestic political opponents, while paying off mullahs in Iran and standing by while jihadi thugs attacked a US consulate and murdered our ambassador. He stood mute while Joe Biden said that he – Romney – wanted to enslave black Americans!
He didn’t get mad. He didn’t get offended. And he never suggested impeaching Clinton or Obama, and – spoiler alert — he’ll never EVER suggest impeaching Biden.
But he’s taking a brave stand now. Because Trump has a big mouth and said some stupid things, Marshmallow Mitt has drawn his line in the sand, and is supporting the baying mob of leftist hypocrites who are ramming through second baseless impeachment of a GOP president.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask of politicians that they be consistent. If you’re a rough-elbows brawler type, then sure, brawl with those on your side of the aisle who you think are wrong, just like you brawl with the opposition. And if you’re a conciliatory diplomat, then be diplomatic with your own side and the opposition.
But Romney – and many other RINOs – are the worst of both worlds: spineless and obsequious with the leftists, yet willing to turn on and attack conservatives at every opportunity.
I can’t help but think of the words of John — not McCain, but the Revelator — who said in disgust, “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I will spew you out of my mouth.”
That’s what Mitt Romney is to me. He seems like a decent and loving family man, and his business and executive accomplishments are untainted by any hint of scandal or unethical achieved some impressive accomplishments in his life, but he’s a human political spit take.
Someone in the Utah GOP – please, I’m begging you! – primary that guy!
Bruce Springsteen is a very talented songwriter and musician, and I’ve gotten a great deal of enjoyment out of his music over the years. His music made up part of the soundtrack to my young adulthood, and the album Nebraska is one of my top 10 favorites of all time.
And yet he is a colossal, hypocritical d-bag. I thought his Jeep commercial during the Super Bowl was simultaneously great and nauseating.
Removed from its context – i.e. without Springsteen’s (and the Democrat party for whom he is a spokes-celebrity’s) long-standing record of sleazy smears and immoral Machiavellian tactics – it is well done, and even stirring. The stark, wintry scenery evokes a nostalgia within me for my Illinois childhood. The script, calling for unity, and laced with Biblical imagery and allusion, resonates.
(By the way, did you notice how the usual legion of hateful leftist Christophobes™ were somehow able to not be triggered by all of that nasty religious stuff? Why, it’s almost like they’ve sold their soul to Saul Alinsky, and can’t be trusted to react honestly to literally anything!)
But of course the ad DOES come with all of that context… which ruins it completely. It’s more than galling to see a malicious rhetorical bomb-thrower like Springsteen wax eloquent on how we all need to unified, and respect each other.
His ersatz good will is as phony as his cowboy boots and hat. And for that matter, the idea that a disdainful leftist like him would be caught dead driving around in a jeep and lighting a candle in a church in the middle of flyover country.
I like to imagine the army of CO readers, as they watched that video, having the natural reaction.
Hey, Mr. Boss. They’re not saying, “Bruuuuuuuce, Bruuuuuuce!”
They’re booing you.
Finally, we have Virginia Heffernen.
She’s the small-minded lefty columnist and New Yorker who wrote an ultra-creepy column about a terrible thing her Trump-supporting neighbors did to her.
Did they egg her house? Spray-paint a Confederate flag on her garage door? Force a maga hat down onto the innocent head of her crying toddler?
No. They shoveled her snowy driveway for her.
I’m sure you’ve all read the story by now. She compares neighbors who performed an unrequested favor for her to the anti-Semitic terrorist group Hezbollah, anti-Semitic loon Louis Farrakhan, and… wait for it… the Nazis!
Yes. The Nazis. Because if there is one thing they were known for, it was their vaunted “shovel-krieg.” (Which I believe is German for “lightning-fast snow-removal war.”) I know Anne Frank’s family was constantly complaining about how if it snowed even an inch or two, the pesky National Socialists had their driveway cleaned off before you could say, “Arbeit Macht Ice-Frei.”
I know: bad taste. Also, too soon. But I’m not the one comparing thoughtful neighbors to Nazis!
Unfortunately, this hate-twisted lady is all-too typical of a leftist mindset you can see from Biden on down. Their talking points are all “unity this” and “civility that,” but they despise half the country, and repay kindness with contempt.
The only appropriate response is to defeat them in elections, and pray that they get well soon.
In the meantime, we should rent a small fleet of trucks, transport many tons of snow to Heffernen’s house, and then dump that snow all over her driveway, house and yard.
And over her, if she happens to be outside.
Avenatti/ Virginia ”Get off my driveway” Heffernen 2024!