Before you flip to the horoscope page, let me reassure you this isn’t going to be a sports column. Occasionally readers complain that I focus too much on sports. For that very reason, I recently began writing an exclusively sports column, “The Snide World of Sports,” which runs the first Wednesday of every month. (How’s that for a shameless plug?)
Even though the day’s top story is the resignation of Secret Service Director, Julia Pierson, because it’s the playoffs, I note that at 3:30 this afternoon the Dodgers play the Cards in the opening of the National League Division Series. Reaching the NLDS for the second year in a row is Dodger manager Don Mattingly. However, I confess I still miss Tommy Lasorda and his often volatile post-game interviews.
One of his most famous was when Tommy was asked his opinion “of Dave Kingman’s performance.” (Kingman had just hit 3 home runs against Dodgers and drove in 8.) Lasorda launched into a profanity-laced tirade which is on YouTube along with his Kurt Bevacqua meltdown in which Tommy is bleeped more than he’s heard.
There’s also another sound bite of Lasorda yelling to reporters, “This job is not that f*****g easy!” Given the historic disrespect that President Obama has experienced from his first day in office, the worst since Harry Truman, just once I’d like Obama to get in touch with his inner Tommy.
Before the partisanship dysfunction that currently grips Washington, when a President took office informally he was given a honeymoon during which both sides tried to work together. In FDR’s case, the honeymoon lasted 100 days the results of which many believe saved the country. (Is that all?) This was recently revisited in the outstanding PBS Ken Burns documentary series “The Roosevelts.” (This Burns fellow might have a future.)
If FDR’s honeymoon was 100 days Obama’s was more like 100 minutes. Actually it was zero because the day after the 2008 election Senator Mitch (Mr. Excitement) McConnell told the nation, “We’ll do everything we can to make Obama a one-term president.” He could have just as easily added, “No matter how much it cripples the country.”
Take the Tea Party. (I wish somebody would, far away.) In my opinion the Tea Party is partially rooted in racism. Before you email me please consider that Bush ran up record deficits and lied the nation into interventionist wars but I didn’t see mass demonstrations by Tea Partiers. Ask yourself why.
Then there was the pathetic “Birther Movement,” led by the likes of Donald (Combover) Trump who boasted that he had sent a team of private detectives to Hawaii. Singlehandedly, he was going to prove that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and thus was an “illegitimate president.” In 2000Bush lost the popular vote and the Supreme Court installed him as President but there was nary a critical word from the Donald. Go figure.
Whether one likes Obama or not, the list disrespecting the office of the president is shameful. During Obama’s 2009 State of the Union Speech and in an extraordinary breach of congressional decorum, Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) pointed from the gallery at President Obama and shouted “You lie.”
The undistinguished Congressman breached all protocol and manners by heckling the President of the United States with cat-calls. After shouting, Wilson continually shook his head defiantly following several of Obama’s statements. And when the President finished his speech, Wilson cowardly bolted from the chamber. (What’s the opposite of mensch?)
In the 2010 SOTU, as Obama spoke to the three branches of government, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alioto shook his head and mouthed the words “Not true.” (Believe it or not there was actually a time when the Supreme Court was revered.)
In 2012, as President Obama walked across the tarmac at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, he was accosted by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. She shoved a letter toward him, lectured him on immigration and pointed her finger directly in his face.
Despite TV cameras and reporters, Brewer later claimed she had “Felt a little threatened.” Curiously Brewer’s maiden name is Drinkwine and, with all dues respect, I’m told the name is quite apt.
Then there’s Congressman Pete Sessions, (R-Texas.) In a meeting with the President and other legislators, Sessions reportedly told Obama “I can’t stand looking at you.” Showing incredible restraint, Obama said he understood the two had differences and he respected them. (I wish Sessions had insulted Tommy Lasorda like that. I’m sure his aides would have gladly picked him up from the ground.)
Perhaps the most offensive disrespecting of Obama (at least today) was a Boston Herald cartoon. As Obama brushes his teeth the White House intruder is in the bathtub behind him. “Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?” the intruder asks. I ask, other than a racist, who could think that was funny?
There are plenty of other examples but no more room. So I’ll close with, “Go Dodgers!” Okay, now you can turn the page to the horoscopes.
Google “Boston Herald racist cartoon.” Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth or firstname.lastname@example.org.