This has been from the beginning a site in which my family (extended and nuclear - and, man, are the nuclear ones atomic!) can phish my head. The pond needs restocking, and today is as good as any to do it.
Saw my Pop last Friday, with the usual delight (this is the man who taught me how to read, after all, and to love words....), but we do a little dance around his tender feelings for a world gone by, one that started to recede decades ago and keeps sunsetting.
In his own insular way I think he is a good barometer of self-described Independent opinion - plague on all houses and why are you bothering me with taxes and all this other shit? (I heard a lot of this kind of dialogue in the meds line at the Kaiser Pharmacy last year, before the election.) Lefty partisans want to make me feel guilty, and I don't want to do that. Wingnuts are intemperate, but O'Reilly can touch a nerve - and they're all unbalanced anyway, right? Stop, you're making me uncomfortable!
The subject of politicians' thick/thin skins came up. We didn't get very specific, but I couldn't help but remember all the guys who bailed from Congress (both Houses) with the ascendancy of the Newts and the Hammers. Dad wants to think, like Broder, that if everyone is just once again reasonable, it will all work out. And so, for his education, I direct him to Franklin Foer's report in TNR (now open to all) on the College Republicans' Shark Training Camp. Hammerhead 101, Pop - they are serious, they have a marvelous track record (check the alumni list), and the scruffy Libs just don't do it that way - see the last paragraph.
So, today, DeLay descends many notches - there will be legions, well trained, to fill the gap. Fuck, it's going to take decades to flush these weasels out. Throw 'em in jail, and there are battalions of home-schooled kids, so bright-eyed they could be Village-of-the Damned spawn waiting in line for thinktanks and internships or a niche in the Corner.....
I must be fair to Pop - he doesn't read The Corner for guidance, he doesn't want to be partisan, he has the most accepting social values, but, god, I think we share a frustration - from opposite ends, perhaps - with a supine Democratic party that can't make a persuasive moderate case to him and that won't be vigorous enough to me. I'm a fucking LIBERAL, and I don't think Dad and I are unbridgeably apart. I'll leave that to him in Comments.
I am just hoping that we are reaching an illumination, and that we can survive what we are forced to see.