Clowns to the left of Adam Kinzinger, jokers to the right
Absolutely brilliant, Matt. Not just a piece of superb writing, but a work of art. Hilarious in all the right places and stingingly satirical in others, this is a heartfelt word from man of obvious integrity.
My sagging cheeks (facial) are getting a perpetual workout smiling as I read your work. Thank you, I hope by New Year I will look young again from toned cheeks.
Talk is cheap. Flights of rhetorical grace ring hollow unless they are coupled with "...and that's why I believe we should do A about B, C about D, E about F", etc. I don't claim to know the details of Kinzinger's voting record that was 90% with Trump (although I'll be looking it up), but I'm not expecting to be impressed. I'm tired of the right's tropes about country, patriotism, liberty, freedom, being "great again", etc. because they're only talking to white Christians. No others need apply. No policies ever seem to ensue from these oh-so-deeply-held beliefs that address the problems of ALL people. It's just grievance or nostalgia for a past that was godawful for everyone who wasn't a white male. I have no sympathy left for any of it. I'm going to stick to your posts about bluebirds and fishing.
I thought I might find your articles interesting and perhaps insightful, but I only found them to be partisan.
This is a good political post, but I hope a rare one since I come here for other things—almost anything, actually. Politics has become oppressive. By the way, confirmation bias and all, I agree with everything you said, except your suggestion that Biden is a kindly old fart who is out of his depth. He’s not. His lies, old and new, make him as venal as the rest of them, and he gets no free pass for his senescence. I get to say that because I’m older than he is.
I’ve been freeloading off the unpaid version of your newsletter but this motivated me to stop doing that and subscribe to the full version. Excellent work.
Yeah, tiring. That pretty much sums up this commenter's experience, being stuck in the middle as I am...no party, no tribe, no allegiance pledged to anything other than what the image on the side of that barn depicts, minus that idiotic and oh-so-clever blot that defiles it, of course.
But hey, it's a free country, right? At least for a while yet.
The din of the bi-directional fusillades of ugliness, hateful, vitriolic rhetoric and lies wears a bit heavy after a while. And it has been a while. Natural inclination when caught in such a prolonged crossfire is sometimes to put the head down, maybe do the 3-monkeys-bit, and effe 'em all.
But with clowns on all sides, as I believe a writer at The Bulwark put it a while back: a clown with a flamethrower still has a flamethrower. And plenty of these fools have got 'em, just waiting for an opportunity to pull the trigger. And not just rhetorically. So, head-down is just an invitation to get burned up by flames coming from either direction.
Kinzinger was about as heads-up, stand-up as they come on on his side on the whole 1-6 Republican Crazy thing. And he's toast anyway. And the so called moderates on the other side are catching hell from their own for being, of all things, moderate. So, what is one to do?
Twain once said "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."
The climate here in the middle pretty much sucks with all that unfriendly fire whirring by form right and left, but I've found it the best place to find good company, regardless of at which longitudinal increment of the middle it's found. So, I guess I'll hang for a while yet.
Not just safety in numbers, but in the quality of those numbers as well.
Great piece Matt, and my thoughts exactly.
Unfortunately, I was pretty illusioned until about 2015. I've put a lot of energy into figuring out what the hell happened, and turns out, it wasn't all that complicated. Shame on me for being fooled so easily. Also, I would have never guessed you had a Southern Baptist background!
Beautifully put. Thank you!
Well said! May semi-perfect people live long and prosper! Like you and me…
I'm sorry Kinzinger was gerrymandered out of his district, but speaking of heroes, don't forget Peter Meijer, the 33year old Freshman Republican representative from Michigan (from Justin Amash's old district) who voted to impeach Trump on his third day in office.
Awww…spoken by a true man in dealing with SBC. Oh dang! I said that.
I’ve seen good, in fact have looked for it. It’s refreshing to hear a different voice that isn’t full of slavish devotion but sees honest good!
Well said. My daddy told me 45 years ago when I began my career to “never put your faith in a politician “. He was a wise man. On the other hand my brother told me if you ever get elected to office “don’t do nothing. Sit on your hands. You’ll stay in office forever. And now I truly understand what they meant.. I enjoy your thoughts.
I can’t stop thinking about your Victoria’s Secret piece. Matt, I’m a retired elementary school principal in the very blue, very hip republic of Vermont. I watched my kids, ages 8-12, both boys and girls, refuse to eat lunch because they might “get fat.” THAT is the problem with ALWAYS having skinny and/or fit models. Our kids internalize these “perfect” bodies and start harming themselves at a very young age in order to be “attractive.” I’m sorry you miss your soft porn, but I’m glad my kids have a more realistic vision of the human body presented in catalogs and other media.
As a fully recovered SBC member, I noticed years ago the attraction of “conspiracy theories” to the Bible thumpers. That and behavior not to be discussed in mixed company. But generally from the church “leadership”. It is mostly connected to fear, greed and lust. But fear definitely…I won’t go into the manipulations I began to witness in those fire, smoke and brimstone revivals or the accuracy of the head counts of the ‘saved’. It is disheartening how often people confuse fear with faith.
There can be beauty in literature interpretation, but I am amazed at how many people have stretched interpretations of the Bible, Quaran, Torah or other historical holy books to meet their own needs. If a mere layperson dares to argue with the meaning given by the leader of said cult…er…religion, I believe the term they’ll be saddled with is heretic or some other current term. One must subscribe to the word as given. Too often this leadership is the loudest, angriest, most fear mongering homeschooled, Bible college graduate on the block.
I admire Adam for standing his ground. I don’t know that I fit any political box, but I do disagree with many of his beliefs. That is fine. Honesty and integrity are rare these days in politics, however, I am not sure when they were in abundance. But great men and women who stand their ground, and their ground is truly of wanting the best for the people, have made us a fairly great country. Not as great as some remember but not as vile either. Perspective-
I do know it’s a mess and will resolve but not before Mother Nature has her way with us. Drill, baby, drill translated is burn, baby, burn. Or freeze. Starve. Our little baby country in the general scheme was a great, experimental idea but I’m afraid we are getting the government we deserve!