A few months ago while watching Justified, AKA “one of the greatest shows EVER”, I was treated to one of my favorite axioms. Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, as usual played excellently by Timothy Olyphant, had grown tired of a crook claiming to be a victim of circumstance, and criticized his lack of self-accountability thus (paraphrased): “you know the saying, ‘when you encounter a jerk in the morning, you saw a jerk; when you encounter jerks all day long, you’re the jerk’?” (Of course, this show airing at 10pm, the pejorative he actually used was, ah…um…well, let’s just say it sounds a lot like “brass pole.”) Well, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been there and done that—yes, I’ve been the jerk. In fact, I’m not ruling out a little jerk-being later this week. Most people probably have had these episodes, even the bona fide sweethearts I’d bet. Nobody is perfect, except for that most humble of all people, Jesus. (“Dare I falsely deny my capacity to portray the surly tool?” Check Romans or something.)
Say, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got this wild hunch that Mr. and Mrs. Obama often complain about having to deal with jerks all day long. (“Must our subjects oft fail to show us our due deference? Bunch of #@%*! brass poles.”)
On the subject of jerks, some of you might be under the impression that liberals aren’t especially fond of non-liberals. Sure, you could cite examples like, say, when they called former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a moron. Or perhaps when they called former President George W. Bush a Nazi. Or a moron. You could even point to those occasions they wished certain conservatives were dead. Or never born in the first place. Or were morons. I’m actually hopeful at some point one of them will come up with something a little more creative, like (pay attention, liberals!) maybe wishing a recently-dead conservative would come back to life, and within minutes, die again.
Yes, it could be argued that liberals are typically a bunch of disrespectful little sludgemuffins. I would argue, however, that liberals actually hold us opponents in very high regard. I came to this conclusion only very recently, after much consideration and almost as much Schnapps.
Take Benghazi. When it’s pointed out that Obama failed to protect our consulate there, allowing a terrorist attack that led to the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, liberals like to point out that George W. Bush didn’t stop the original 9/11 attacks. Well, if you were to get yourself a gander at all the PDB notes, various memos, heads-ups, Post-Its, and hey-check-this-outs President Bush got, the best 9/11 prediction you’ll find is this: a terrorist with a history of attacking the USA plans on doing it again. That’s it. You won’t gander-get any discernible dates of execution, which structure and/or locale could be the intended target, or the likelihood of it being just one structure and/or locale as opposed to multiple. You sure as hell won’t find anything along the lines of “y’know, al Qaida must be bored out of their bathrobes from decades of attacking us with explosives and such! I’ve got this little huncharoonie that they’re going to leave the bombs at home and use commercial jets like missiles instead!” no matter how much gandering you invest. Long story short, the information Bush got was the equivalent of your waiter telling you tonight’s special is “food with a side of food,” only vaguer.
Fast forward to the current president, who in the several months leading up to the 11th anniversary of 9/11 got repeated requests for more security, reports of apparent surveillance activity by suspicious locals and other mounting concerns, all from one official at one location. The only work done there all year that had anything to do with security was the depletion of it, which is exactly what you should expect from people who think an economic boom is fueled by consumers with less spending money. Right up until 9/11/12, Obama showed such a continuous, unfettered, mammoth lack of interest in his consulate’s welfare that he drew widespread praise from dangerously apathetic people across the country, later inspired nearly off of their couches by his non-existence during the attack. The entire day our Benghazi staff’s fears were realized, and a respected American diplomat was subjected to brutality that made A Clockwork Orange look like an episode of Full House, Barack Obama was less active than my adrenal gland during the NFL playoffs. Through 8 hours of savagery against our people, not a single effort was made to help them. No force deployment, no airstrike, no rescue attempt of any kind.
In other words, liberals figure Bush had some kind of superpower to predict and prevent the unforeseeable, but blame Obama for ignoring months of clear warnings and disappearing during a sustained attack on his people? C’mon, what do you want from the guy?
For another example just take a look at the elections of 2004 and 2008. In the former, Vietnam veteran John Kerry Heinz was the obvious choice, being that he was a Vietnam veteran who served in Vietnam. In the latter, Democrats looked at Senator McCain and decided it wasn’t enough that he was a Vietnam veteran. Nope, not acceptable. In the liberal “thought” process, a Republican hoping to become president is just gonna hafta do more than shed blood in service of his country and then represent his home state as a federal lawmaker for decades, dammit! Wait a minute, is that a shallow, disturbingly inexperienced, vote-avoiding Democrat who wouldn’t know a military base from a set of Legos over there? Holy Margaret Sanger! QUICK, LET’S VOTE FOR HIM!!!
Of course this brings to mind the 2008 candidates for vice president. It was pretty apparent to anyone who’d register on an E.E.G. that the Republican, the aforementioned Alaska governor Sarah Palin, was ill-prepared for the national stage and came across as ditzy on occasion. And that, my friends (sorry-couldn’t resist), was all liberals needed to say she was too stupid for federal office. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the person they did deem acceptable, would have trouble spelling his first name if you spotted him the J, the O, and the E. The combined room I.Q. goes up when he exits an airplane lavatory, but we certainly can’t expect him to be as fit for the job as the Republican!
Whenever I think of all the time and effort we often have to put into explaining the benefits, indeed the greatness, of conservatism, I often picture parents dragging their teenage kids to a museum. “See this, Jeremy? This is the Benz Motorwagen, the first ever gasoline-powered car! If you think about it, if it weren’t for Karl Benz, we wouldn’t b…” What you just witnessed was Jeremy’s dad telling him about arguably the most important invention in transportation history, and then watching Jeremy, who has been on his cell phone with his girlfriend for so long the conversation is now covered by common-law, abruptly walk away as if Dad was a radioactive mutant skunk wielding a dead carp. A typical Jeremy out there doesn’t recognize the freedom and lifestyle he enjoys as a result of conservative principles, just as he doesn’t recognize his Dad’s $100,000 Mercedes, which he wants to take to prom badly enough that he’d donate one of his nostrils, wouldn’t exist if not for that overgrown antique tricycle at the museum.
It turns out all that time we’ve spent extolling the virtues of conservatism could’ve been spent on our other favored pursuits. You know, like beating up homeless people for their pocket change and giving it to fat cat bastards like the Koch brothers and Mitt Romney. If you want to make one of the countless fence-sitting wishywashes aware that conservatism is superior to liberalism, that life on the right is da bomb, da s**t, and all dat & a bag o’ chips, simply give them a name of a famous person whose entire existence is one giant, luxurious, luscious bath of conservative living. Pick someone who, say, amasses spadillions of dollars in the private sector after identifying a consumer base and marketing his product, lives in a huge mansion on the coast, saves a tushload of money selling a large asset before a scheduled tax increase takes effect, flies in a cushy private jet, and uses megatons of electricity and other natural resources without a modicum of hesitation or a speck of guilt.
In short, you tell them to get a gander at Al Gore.
Final aside: years ago I was the biggest Law & Order fan, and still enjoy reruns from most of the show’s 20-year run. There was a point in time I thought I might lose interest in the show, and that was the last episode featuring lead detective Lennie Briscoe, played by Jerry Orbach. My concerns were brief. The very next time I watched the opening credits of a new episode of L&O, Orbach’s mug was replaced by that of Dennis Farina, and the show didn’t miss a beat. Farina’s Joe Fontana, whose expensive car and wardrobe (never explained in any episode) belied his working-class demeanor and toughness, was a walking amalgam. Watch the man through two short seasons and assorted teleplays, and you’ll see either a worldly cynic, ends-justify-the-means thug, grandfather figure, crusader, wiseass, suave lady-killer, or flawed, mere human being filled with irrevocable sadness. But no matter the teleplay, you’ll always see an individual people tick off at their own peril.
Farina, a former Chicago policeman who would rack up numerous film & TV credits, died last week at the age of 69. Raise a glass to him next time you’re thirsty.