Come Heller high water …
- I wish Hillary Clinton would zip her lip or just go away. She often says the exact wrong thing at the worst possible moment. During her campaign it was calling Trump supporters “deplorables.” It wasn’t entirely inaccurate. Some of them are deplorable human beings. What else would you call white supremacists, racists, homophobics and people like Steve Bannon? The line, from a put-down standpoint, was memorable but it also gave Trump a gift just six weeks before the election, and he used it – as he should have – to further energize his base. Way to go, Hills. Bright move.
Last week, she was at it again. She said, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for. That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.” I heard it and groaned. She was referring to Republican Party tactics like stealing a Supreme Court spot, swift-boating John Kerry and the attacks on Dr. Ford and women in general during the Kavanaugh testimony. She wasn’t wrong. The Republican Party for decades now has played the game with brass knuckles while Democrats have strapped giant pillows to their fists. Democrats do, indeed, need to locate their spine and fight back using the same sort of scorched earth tactics. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that. In fact, there’s a lot of good to be had in saying that because I think many Democrats view their party and its tactics as too soft and bland. The party is badly in need of fire and fight.
But you can still fight back without being uncivil. Everyone likes to think they’re civil, whether they are or not. So by putting the onus on civility vs. aggressiveness, all she’s done is hand Republicans – just a few weeks from the election – what in football terms would be called “bulletin board fodder.”
- A new poll says college textbook prices have jumped so sharply in recent years that 41 percent of students skip meals to pay for them. That’s beyond outrageous. But stuff like this has been going on for a long time. Years ago I taught a few journalism classes at a community college. Back then the textbook company would move a chapter or add a few paragraphs and call it a new book, forcing students to buy it, as if journalism had changed in the preceding year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the next big financial crisis will be students defaulting on college loans. Why are we allowing this? I can’t imagine how awful it would be to graduate owing the equivalent of a home mortgage.
- Scientists say a space elevator will soon be possible. Can you imagine? And you think it’s uncomfortable when no one speaks during a five-floor ride.
- A United Nations report this week says we have 12 years to do something about greenhouse gases before the start of extreme drought, food shortages and flooding. I’m glad they put a deadline on it of sorts. Maybe that will finally jar us into action. But the pessimist in me says, “But probably not.” Humans aren’t smart.
- The way things are going, the Great Lakes are going to be the new Florida. I’m not ready for alligators, swamps, pythons, and bugs the size of drones.
- “The older I get, the more I understand that so many people we know are fighting personal battles they rarely show. They persevere through life’s challenges and are greater heroes than those we cheer on in stadiums.” – “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.
Image credit: Donkey Hotey