I have a dirty mouth. It’s a somewhat source of pride in some circles. Work in politics? It’s damn near impossible not to have one. It’s the nature of the game.
Don’t mistake my dirty mouth with inappropriateness, though. I may use words of a questionable nature, but always in an appropriate situation.
As a child, we were once playing Trivial Pursuit with my grandfather’s sisters - most of whom were on the tight end of uptight. I was reading the cards, and I said, “I don’t think I can read this.” My bad. I should have said, “I don’t think I should read this,” but my Dad didn’t correct my grammar, he just told me to read the card. After hesitating just a small little while longer, and with my Dad’s impatience growing, I finally said, “Whose first Presidential order was, ‘Let’s get this God damn thing airborne?’”
The immediate aftermath dissolved into a silence that was deafening.
Like Ralphie on “A Christmas Story”, I picked up most of my dirty words from my parents, (in my case BOTH of them) although I was careful not to use them in front of them. Even being an adult this long, I still stutter saying certain words and refrain from others entirely, the “F” bomb most especially. I NEVER use that word in front of my parents, and I’d sooner use it in front of my Dad than my Mom. There’s a certain sense of respect there.
But, last Friday, I had been busy in a meeting and had missed the NRA’s initial press conference. So, when I stopped by my parent’s house on my way home and saw the NRA’s proposals, in the wake of the shooting earlier this month, including the desire to “arm” the teachers of America, I dropped the “queen mother” of dirty words (I don’t think it is, by the way, just referencing the movie) not once but twice in my mother’s presence. Although I said, “excuse me but there’s no other word for this….” before doing so, as in, “Are you… excuse me but there’s no other word for this… f—king kidding me?!”
So, congratulations, NRA… you achieved something that I never thought possible. You said something so profoundly shocking and asinine that you made me revise a personal rule instantly. You made me scream the “f” bomb in front of my mother. Twice. In the same day.
So, my obvious question is this: are you absolutely fucking kidding me?
“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” Hetzner said. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”
I can’t even begin to tell you what a comfort Lexi is to me… and how many people respond to her when I bring her into a campaign office… Not enthused that these are based in the Lutheran faith (the faith I was baptized in but has antisemitic leanings), but over all, I’m glad that there are such things as comfort dogs and hope that they can help the people of Newton, as they have helped other people grieving through such horrible tragedies.
I’m a political animal. Don’t know how or why… I just get politics. I have an amazing talent for it.
Changing legislation is not a sprint (unless you’re in Michigan), especially when it concerns an issue that not only divides us as a nation as greatly as gun control does, but that divides us on how far to go and how we begin the process of getting weapons that are already on the streets off… (I’m for heavily regulating the sale of ammunition, as a good start.)
When I posted this morning that today is not the day to talk about gun control, I meant it. 24 hours. Give respect to the families and their children, before the national conversation turns to legislation. 24 hours before the deaths of these children are politicized, before the parents are investigated by a voracious and vicious news cycle and by organizations like the NRA who will demonize anyone they can to control the message.
There is nothing that waiting 24, hell even 48 hours wouldn’t accomplish, and I dare say, wouldn’t accomplish better. Right now, this entire country is reactionary, and reactionary politics is never a good thing (see P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act). Also, the reason people want to talk about it now, is because they’re angry now.
Changing laws like this or talking about changing laws like this when tempers are flared does more harm than good, in the long run. The only way to truly ensure that this doesn’t happen again, is to keep this open. Don’t forget, but next week, next month, six months from now, most people will be iffy on gun control and the burners on the stove will rotate again.
There’s too much to fix in this country and too much obstruction in our nation to fix it.
Things weren’t going to get accomplished today. People got to whine and complain and bitch about a problem that is always a problem immediately after a tragedy. It’s not a matter of the NRA telling you that “now is not the time”… Why are you allowing your opponents to set the rules of engagement? If an issue is important to you, you make the time, you let your voice be heard. You don’t kowtow and say, “Okay… we’ll talk about it tomorrow… We’ll talk about it when you want to discuss it.” If the time is NOW, the time is NOW, and there was time after Gabrielle Giffords, time after Virginia Tech, time after Columbine…. If the ball was dropped it was not dropped by the NRA. It was dropped by those of us that feel that guns are a serious problem in this country. And, the only way to change that is to take ownership of how and when the ball got dropped, so that it doesn’t happen again.
The Sunday shows will be filled with this topic, so no matter how many people ask, “If not now, when…” ”When” can be on Sunday or perhaps even as early as Saturday over breakfast.
The people in Newton deserve a chance for the news to sink in a little bit… to be hugged and embraced, before they are held up in the bright glare of the media spotlight. They have wounds that may never completely heal, and there will be reverberations of this tragedy for years…
I am a political animal. I know how to get things done. And, if my niece had been a victim, I would have told everyone to go straight to hell for politicizing her death on the day she died.
24 hours. Maybe 48.
The families in the entire community deserve that.
We dropped the ball. That doesn’t mean we get to overstep boundaries or respect in our guilt. That means that this time, we have to do better.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP)— CBS News is reporting that 27 people are dead, including 14 students, after a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman is among the dead.
CBS News’ John Miller reports there is preliminary information that the gunman was the father of one of the students. Miller also says that at least a couple dozen people were shot.
Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers. Holding off on posts for a few hours to stay tuned into this.
Take a moment to ponder those lost today in this awful tragedy.
I can’t imagine how much pain will reverberate for the families affected today, not only for the holidays this year, but for the holidays to come…
Truly the most tragic thing I can think of…