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November 29, 2003

Comments

Interesting, Moe. Rather puzzling to me, but I don't know your parents. If you don't mind me prying, how does your dad feel about the administration's conduct of post-war Iraq? And how does he feel about Wes Clark? And are your folks in a, well, favored-by-impending-cut tax bracket, and is their social circle conservative? Also, if they're well into AARP territory, how do they feel about the medicare bill?

This morning I played golf with a buddy. We generally play as a two-some and got paired with a couple of seniors. I had played with the seniors before but had never talked politics - actually I never talk politics on the course. These two were having a rather heated discussion about the visit. They are both over seventy and both are what I call "Roosevelt Democrats" - never voted Republican in their lives. The "discussion" between them revolved around the publicity aspect of the trip. One was a vet and the other was 4-F due to flat feet. The vet had the same reaction as your dad - the other was certain that Bush really didn't give a damn about the troops - it was all just a photo-op.

When you were smoking - did you smoke a "union" brand or a "scab" brand. I used to catch hell from my grandfather about smoking "scab" cigarettes (and my father was president of his local until he went into business).

"If you don't mind me prying,"

Not especially. I brought them in, after all. :)

"how does your dad feel about the administration's conduct of post-war Iraq?"

Could be better, could be a lot worse, doesn't agree with Mom that we should declare victory and go home.

"And how does he feel about Wes Clark?"

Never got around to asking. Dean and Lieberman were mentioned (they aren't too impressed with the latter, but I think that it had to do with his association with Gore, who they weren't too happy with after the last election), and Sharpton in passing (folks live up in Jersey, you see); Hillary also, but only in context of her trip (we all agreed that it was a good thing on her part) and her job as a Senator (they think she's doing pretty well).

"And are your folks in a, well, favored-by-impending-cut tax bracket,"

No, but that has to do with my Dad's sweetheart pension plan; he's got one of the old kind, and he went through hoops to be able to keep it before he retired. They go to Europe every year, but on a fixed income made possible by careful, careful planning and the use of an amazing network of People We Know Who Would Like To See Us For A Day or Two.*

"and is their social circle conservative?"

Possibly: they're pretty big in their local parish. 'Course, they're about as p*ssed at the bishops as I am, and it was impossible to go to that parish and not walk away with a burning hatred for current immigrant policy (if I had seen the old INS drowning, I would've tossed them an anvil), so I dunno.

"Also, if they're well into AARP territory, how do they feel about the medicare bill?"

I have absolutely no idea. I should have asked my Dad about that, especially over cribbage (beat me like a drum five games out of six; a miracle I didn't get skunked). We didn't talk about politics all that much.

Hope that helps, rilkefan: bear in mind that my parents are kind of weird, as might be evidenced by the fact that I'm just a tad odd myself. Hey, I said that it was anecdotal evidence and everything. :)

Moe

*I went one year, actually: that pair squeezes money until it screams. Nice people in France, all in all; shame about the government they're saddled with.

"When you were smoking - did you smoke a "union" brand or a "scab" brand."

Beats me. I was smoking Marlboro Ultra-Lights; Dad smoked unfiltered Camels. If either was a scab brand, it's news to me.

But I don't cross picket lines.

Moe, great post. As to the anecdotal evidence, I'm sure most folks think it was a good idea, just like Clinton's Thanksgiving Day visit to Kosovo way back when. There's simply no down side to the Prez visiting soldier's in harm's way. And both deserve credit for it.

The political spinning and counter-attacking that occurs afterwards gives me a headache. But that's the world we're living in, yes? And if your anecdotal evidence is meant to be applied to the next election? Well, it's a little early for that. What did Mom and Dad think of Operation Flight Suit?

By the way, I'm not snarking. I'm genuinely curious. And you realize you have now offered up your folks as Andecdotal Test Subjects for the duration of the election season.

"The political spinning and counter-attacking that occurs afterwards gives me a headache. But that's the world we're living in, yes?"

Yeah, pretty much. 'Course, I'd rather have people fighting about this than over whose fault it was that San Diego got turned into a Level III Biohazard site.

"And if your anecdotal evidence is meant to be applied to the next election? Well, it's a little early for that."

Agreed. I just liked the point about Bob Hope, which was sparked the post, really. :)

"What did Mom and Dad think of Operation Flight Suit?"

The carrier landing? Don't know, actually, but I'd guess that my Dad was probably more approving than my Mom. She does that... well, Mom thing when talking about the President, sometimes. She may vote for him, she may not - but when he does something that she doesn't like, out comes the "well, he's sincere", which is LaneSpeak for "but he means well", and that's about as dismissive as you can get in English.

So, there's hope. My kid sister almost certainly is going to be an ABB Democrat, so the critical Lane family voting bloc is still in play. :)

Moe

I like your family a lot. And I remember the voting bloc notion. My father and I battled over my mother's vote prior to every election -- I usually brokered my younger sister's nod for the Dem candidate, so Mom was pretty much the last battleground, and determined whether the Peyton family would go 3-1 or 2-2. And damned if the last one to talk to her didn't get the vote every time. I miss her. Thanks for prompting the memory.

"By the way, I'm not snarking. I'm genuinely curious."

Yeah, I'm cool about that.

"And you realize you have now offered up your folks as Andecdotal Test Subjects for the duration of the election season."

Gee, you think? Hey, it helps keep the site unique and stuff. Just remember that we usually don't go into politics all that much, most of the time. :)

Ah family anecdotes,

My younger brother (lower middle class)makes me look like Harley. His wife (daughter of a union rep, registered Dem) doesn't like Bush, but is horrified by the nine. two votes for W. Her parents? Yellow dog Dems. My sister and her hubby, pre-9/11 Dems. Both voted Gore. Both will vote Bush. Brother in law's parents are college professors...I'll let you guess that one. (Actually, if Nader runs, they'd vote for him again, unless Kofi Annan is available).

My parents. Early 60's. Retired. Upper middle class. Devout Catholics. Bootstrap types. Grew up verrrry poor in Massachussets worshipping at the altar of the Kennedy's. Then became Reagan Democrats until Clinton. Now registered Republicans. Distressed by the Dems leadership, pissed at the church (I mean PISSED).

Girlfriend grew up in Long Island, lifelong Republican (she has a thing for W and the flightsuit). So is her entire family.

Thanksgiving survey?

Bush trip a great thing? 8 votes

Bush is a schmuck even if he cures cancer? 4 votes

Medicare bill a good thing? 9 votes

Medicare bill stinks? 3 votes (I sided with the academics *shudder*)

"Thanks for prompting the memory."

You're welcome.

Hey, Moe, you're in crumpets territory.

"Hey, Moe, you're in crumpets territory."

Um, OK. That bad or good?

Moe, maybe my comment was just contentless - it was intended to refer to "tea and crumpets" politeness as discussed elsewhere on your (plural "your", stupid uninflected language) blog. Harley was referring to his late mother; the "you're welcome" seemed odd to me, maybe because of that, maybe not. In any case, I'll work on writing in prose until you get around to posting a communicate-in-poetry thread.

Ah. harley and I have been commenting at each other for a long time (in blog years) at Tacitus: we try not to go for each other's jugular over non-political issues. IOW, I know that he was happy to have a fond memory of his late mother and he knows that I was recognizing his thanks.

(pause)

At least, that's how I hope things stand.

Moe,

Yep. Thanks again.

Moe, I wasn't doubting your sincerity. My sense of oddness must be off. - Sort of topically, I found
this post
about grief and loss during a holiday season moving.

One grandmother (died just two years ago) loved Bush post-9/11. Largely because of his voice. (No snark: she was nearly blind and listened to the news.)

My dad said that he got the Bush-is-a-nice-guy thing, but he's shocked and disgusted by Guantanamo Bay. (And he hates Dick Cheney. Long term thing.)

My mom doesn't talk much about who she votes for, but she thinks the Iraq war was a disgraceful waste of time, money, and people.

Funny thing: my mom's family are basically right-wing, and my dad's family are basically left-wing: my mom's family tend to be entrepreneurs, my dad's family are union members all the way back to my great-granddad. Big family reunions tend to be very polite because everyone knows we've got so much to disagree on. But when it's just my mom's family or my dad's family, then sparks fly! There's nothing like sitting on the sidelines watching two people with basically the same politics and a strong affection for each other having a real argument about something that matters to both of them.

Much better than spoiling a family holiday by arguing about What She Said At That Woman's Wedding, or Cousin Shelagh's Samovar That Should Have Been Left To Me, You Know.


it was impossible to go to that parish and not walk away with a burning hatred for current immigrant policy

Moe,

How so? Not an area I know much about.

"How so? Not an area I know much about."

Mostly Latino parish with a high proportion of illegal immigrants... who just wanted to keep their heads down, work jobs Anglos didn't want to do and send money back. INS scared them... and I'm sorry, but I must have missed the bit where they explained why a guy working three jobs for sixty hours of subminimum pay is somehow a potent threat to the Republic.

I know that some conservatives like, say, John Derbyshire might say differently: to that, I say, f*ck John Derbyshire and his nativist bigotry. If it had been a hundred years ago, the arguments he uses would have been directed against my ancestors, none of whom entered this country with all of their paperwork... or, in at least one case, his proper name.

(pause)

Sorry: I meant it when I said burning hatred. Not directed at you, of course.

And, Moe, the fact that you recognize the parallel between illegal immigrants now and your ancestors a century ago is what first lifted you up above the ordinary run of heartless right-wing blogger. ;-)

No, seriously: it was the first thing I remember liking about you, and I'm glad to be reminded of it.

I have found other reasons for liking you since. Haiku, for example.

is what first lifted you up above the ordinary run of heartless right-wing blogger.

It's true, Moe is definitely one of the coolest, if not the coolest heartless right-wing blogger. :)

(Just trying to earn my fair share of the burning hatred, here. Plus, I'm a sucker for a straight line. In fact, cool part is true--heartless could not be less so.)

My family is yellow dog Democrat, with a few exceptions here and there, until you get out to the great aunts and second cousins level, whereupon there's a 50-50 split among the older generation--half think the pope's right about everything & it's led them to the Republican, half just think he's right about most things and they stay new deal democrats. The in-laws too. My father in law told a joke about a portrait of George W. Bush at my wedding and I think there were 6 people there of 150 who probably objected.

I have a secret plan to get one provision of our immigration laws declared unconstitutional for my third year paper....I probably shouldn't blog about that though, as it could blow both my anonymity and the chance that no one has seen this but me.

Thanks for the kind words; one hopes that they'll survive my latest post. :)

Thanks for the kind words; one hopes that they'll survive my latest post. :)

Ah, hell, Moe, if I quit liking people just because they like the wrong man for them, I'd have broken up with half my friends. You're in an abusive relationship* with Dubya: I understand this and hope you find the strength to walk out. There are refuges out there. You don't have to go back to this guy who keeps treating you bad just because you love him.

*Apologies to anyone who is or has been in an abusive relationship and who feels hurt by my use of these terms in a humorous metaphor.

"in an abusive relationship* with Dubya:"

(snort) Um, no, I'm not.

(counting to three)

And sometimes a river is just a river. ;)

Moe

And sometimes a river is just a river. ;)

But this one's in Egypt. :-)

Sorry to intrude on the historical revisionism being conducted here, but comparing today's illegal immigrants with the great immigrations of the past is rather flawed.

Basically everyone was accepted one hundred years ago because the official policy was to let masses of people in. Today, as wrong-headed as it may be, immigration policy is to let in select amounts of people, mainly skilled ones.

I also must say that it is rather odd to see otherwise rational people tacitly approve of breaking your nation's laws simply because you do not agree with them. If you wish to change immigration policy, then lobby.

Finally, what is up with all the gratuitous Derbyshire bashing Moe? I rather like him.

Otherwise... great blog.

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