My grandmother would be mortified

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, February 6, 2020

“Sincerity—if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” — George Burns

In the first week of February that features nothing less than the Iowa Caucuses, a state of the Union Address by an impeached president and the forgone conclusion of his acquittal by the Senate, a political junkie should be in heaven.

But this one isn’t. This one, at least, rather finds himself merely thankful that his dear old grandmother is not here to see and hear any of it.

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She would be, in a word, mortified. Bless her heart, she was, after all, mortified a lot and by a lot less.

Having lived and raised a family through the teeth of Mr. Hoover’s Great Depression, my paternal grandmother didn’t have a whole lot nice to say about Republicans, so, being the closest thing to a saint I have ever been lucky enough to know, she simply didn’t say anything at all. Besides, in those days, there were no politics nor politicians in the South that were not Democratic, so to the degree she thought much about politics at all, she thought about the subject in Democratic terms.

I, on the other hand, have generally found Democrats to be a pretty consistently self-defeating bunch. Some of this column’s more devoted readers may recall that several times over the years, I have referred to Democrats as the party of lemmings, perpetually in search of a cliff.

And, if one puts stock in polling (I don’t, but that’s another subject), he would be led to believe that they may have found that cliff yet again in the form of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Democrats in Iowa tend to be more “progressive” (an apparently more palatable term than “liberal,” which is actually what they are) than their counterparts in some other parts of the country, and if the pre-caucus polls there were accurate, they were poised to give their first-in-the-nation nod to Sanders to be their party nominee for president, despite the fact that he is not really a Democrat. Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist, who merely caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate and decides to run as one every now and again as the notion strikes him.

And he can’t win.

Just ask President McGovern.

The Democratic Party, whose members consistently say in overwhelming numbers that the most important criterion they have in selecting a presidential nominee is the ability to defeat Donald Trump, looked, as this is written, to be on the verge of handing a big boost to the campaign of someone who cannot beat Donald Duck.

This just in to the newsroom: Americans do not elect socialist presidents, and should the Democrats end up actually nominating Sanders, then they will have once again successfully snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, re-electing Trump in the process.

That’s because despite the fact, as all the Democratic apologists in the media are quick to point out, that Trump has not increased his popularity, has not expanded his base from the same 44-45 percent of the electorate that he parlayed by the skin of his teeth into an electoral college win three years ago, but neither has his level of public support decreased.

Trump’s people are Trump’s people — yesterday, today and tomorrow — and it is through their unwavering fealty that the Republican Party has effectively become the Trump party.

If you are a Republican, cross Trump at your peril.

That is why 50-odd United States senators are going to give Trump a pass — a political “Get out of jail free” card — on two articles of impeachment, at least one of which the vast majority of them are pretty sure he merits. They might not think Trump’s transgressions are worthy of impeachment and subsequent removal from office, but they are not harboring doubts about his having committed them.

Not unlike the cult to which it is often likened, Trump’s following is not wide, but it is deep, and 2016 serves as proof positive that when the Democrats put up a controversial and polarizing figure to run against him, it can also be just enough to win.

On a week that is as politically pregnant a one to come down the pike in quite a while, look as one might, there is nary a profile in courage to be found.

Nor is there much about which a fellow just might feel good.

You know, this country of ours was a far better one when more folks were suitably mortified.

Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.