Phillipe + Jorge wake up frightened by a bizarre new concept in the literary world: a book by a politician that actually tells the truth.
P+J refer, of course, to the new tome by Linc Chafee, former US senator and Casa Diablo regular. As we wait for our own copy of Linc’s memoir to arrive in its plain brown wrapper (move over, Ulysses), we refer to our buddy Scottso MacKay’s Urinal report on the book. As Scottso notes, “The most startling revelation: Chafee must be the only senator in US political history who says his defeat was the result of voters acting logically.”
Actually, knowing Linc’s reputation for candor and thoughtfulness in examining every event and issue, we are not at all startled. Anyone who has paid attention to Linc’s career is aware that he usually speaks with little concern about the repercussions. Whether you agree with him or not, he at least had the courage of his convictions, and you knew it wasn’t on behalf of greed, power-mongering, or a personal agenda.
Chafee explains the voters’ logic by pointing to how, with the election of a Democratic senator — the equally estimable and admired Sherbet Whitebread — they were choosing to gain a majority in the Senate, potentially offsetting the insanity and impeachable behavior resident in the White House.
(Unfortunately, due to the actions of poor Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, who was born without a spine, and far too many gutless Democrat colleagues, the Senate still rolls over for Dubya on every major bill that funds the atrocity in Iraq and the Constitution-defying illegal surveillance of American citizens.)
The now-independent Chafee has made it clear that he is equally disdainful of the Senate’s inexcusable capitulation to the lying neo-cons running the country. We look forward to digging in to Linc’s words of wisdom and remembrances.
As a bonus, P+J offer an “Oh-lee, oh-lee, in come free!” to US Senator Jack Reed. MacKay notes that Linc, in his book, quotes an unnamed, highly regarded fellow senator, speaking off the record about the Dems that caved and swallowed the Dubya/Big Time/Condi Big Lie on Iraq (say hi, Hillary!): “They are afraid the war will be over as fast as Gulf One. Few will die, the oil will flow and gasoline will cost 90 cents a gallon.”
Well, if that doesn’t sound like our own Little Big Man right down to the ground, as he is rumored to be the wise man in question, we would be amazed. C’mon in from the cold, Jack. It will only make us love you more.
P+J remain appalled by the obvious hummer perpetrated by Carpionato Properties on the people of Providence, getting a $10 million break on the purchase of the old Providence Fruit warehouse before targeting the National Register of Historic Places’ property for demolition.
The empty words uttered by Little Chi-Chi at the Providence Preservation Society’s annual meeting don’t cut the mustard. Sorry. The Carpionatos are laughing all the way to the bank with La Prov’s blessing, just as the Procaccianti Group, another City Hall favorite, did when it got its own “emergency demolition” permit for the old police station.
Another big one for Barack
We can’t tell if Teddy and Sweet Caroline (not to mention our own Patches) will make much of a difference in the upcoming Democratic presidential primaries, but the Kennedys’ endorsement of Barack Obama does have some meaning: it means that all of the worst instincts of Bill & Hillary Clinton have been exposed for all to see, and by someone with more than a little credibility in the world of “progressive politics.”
We agree with Teddy: Obama is ready to be the next president of the United States.
We base this on what the great novelist Toni Morrison noted (with much less attention) on Monday. We sense a rare “wisdom” in Senator Obama.
And unlike many of you who are reading this, we remember well the presidency of John F. Kennedy, and we witnessed the great growth and promise of his younger brother Bobby. In the interim, no one has inspired us in the same way as the senator from Illinois.
Those who think that there can be great leadership without poetry, without inspiration, without the ineffable qualities that allow people to dream of possibility and greatness, are truly out of touch with what has made America great. Think of the audacity of the Founding Fathers. Think of Abraham Lincoln.
Yes, Obama’s probably more along the lines of JFK than Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, or Franklin Roosevelt, but he is something special.
Sleep tight, America
And how did we spend our $720 million a day on the war in Iraq? Not on the cost of health care for 423,000-plus US children, among other possible worthy uses. It makes you proud to be an American in George Bush’s world, doesn’t it?