It’s your funeral now



“I want to debate somebody,” the man on the phone told our receptionist.

She transferred the call to me.

“Sorry, I’m on deadline and don’t have much time to debate right now, but how can I help you otherwise?” I asked in polite a tone as I can on deadline.

“Liberals suck,” he said.

“You suck,” he repeated, just to let me know I’m a liberal.

Got the point, onto the letter writer. She hates me.

I got no hate. I am just a frustrated loser who can’t afford to move to Canada where you can get some decent health care without selling the farm.

Yes, I was born an Irish Catholic Democrat and as I have pointed out many times, I did not have much choice in the matter. Hard-wired. We had a picture of JFK in our bedroom watching over us as we slept, along with the bleeding heart of Jesus. You wake up to thunder in the night and see a bleeding heart next to an assassinated president. It affects you deeply as a child and it is almost impossible to shake.

Also deeply embedded in our psyche is the idea that loss is more profound than victory. That’s why we love wakes, drinking and some funerals. The Vikings, the Greeks, the Spaniards and the English all invaded and plundered the Irish kings of lore over a period of millennia so that our genetic code is written to expect loss and disappointment. It is there you draw meaning. We were left to sit in the bogs and dig spuds and write epistles of lonely sorrow.

You won.

The House seat covering Buena Vista County is as safe today for Republicans as it was in 1960 when Dad tried running and was extinguished summarily by Fred Jarvis of Alta. Gary Worthan ain’t going nowhere despite our editorial exhortations from weeks past. Steve King is enjoying life more than ever.

See, our opinions are just that. Entertainment for the ruling class. Mere jesters. We couldn’t harm a fly, much less a Republican. Buena Vista County is as reliably red as ever no matter what we say.

Liberals may suck, and many of them absolutely do (okay, me too), but we are irrelevant in the current conversation.

You don’t need to pile on.

Relax and savor the victory.

Call Gary Worthan and tell him to keep the lid on K-12 funding education. It’s your funeral. Laurens-Marathon is going by the wayside anyhow. Go ahead with the next round of tax cuts. Shut down the Cherokee Mental Health Institute and tell the rest of them to get a job. Send Steve King your ideas on how to pour the footings for that wall and send him the address of your wetback neighbor out there raking leaves. Have a party.

As for me and my house we are gonna just keep on rollin’ against the tide.

I still have my ACLU card although I haven’t paid my $10 annual dues in years.

We’re still going to argue for civil rights for immigrants, black folks and others trampled by society.

We will try persuasion and shame on Gov. Branstad to lighten up on public education funding. We will beg him to find ways to give private colleges a better leg up with the Iowa Tuition Grant program. We will grovel at his feet if he will keep the death penalty dead.

We will press for mediated solutions to Iowa’s water quality problems, solutions that protect drinking water while keeping agriculture whole. We can’t be about suing each other because our legislature and county supervisors can’t seem to solve big problems or don’t want to. We will urge King and Grassley and Ernst for more conservation funding, although they are heading the opposite direction fast with their new mandate.

We will stick to our guns. And you stick to yours because you can carry them anyplace you want since that Kenyan can’t sweep them up in a matter of weeks. As for that Chicago congressman whose son was shot, Rep. Bobby Kauffman might just tell him to suck it up buttercup.

Unlike President-elect Trump, we believe in some things that can’t be dealt away.

Oh Lord, some more high-minded talk from a liberal who sucks.

We could say whatever works for you, such as: Lock her up. But that would not be so very interesting. Better to tilt at windmills (that wind energy production tax credit is toast, by the way) and go against the grain than to affirm the way things are. That is the beauty of the Constitution while we have it, that the Wall Street Journal can say exquisitely stupid things exquisitely and that the Sioux City Journal can be stuck in Wiley Mayne’s and Jack Miller’s heads. I read them both to know what not to say.

I know everybody is saying that the media blew the last election. This is the end of newspapers as we know them, the critics are crying. The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal all reported in depth that Hillary was in bed with Wall Street and that The Donald is an ogre. What more could they do? Use a scratch and sniff to help the reader?

Newspapers will be fine but they won’t have Hillary Clinton to kick around anymore. Just Donald Trump and Steve King, which is much better.

We still have the obituaries, the car fires, the engagements and weddings, the recipes, the school board minutes, the police blotter and the little league photos.

We don’t have to publish an Opinion page that people love to hate. But it’s the whole reason we got into the business, to take up hopeless causes like electing a Mexican-American woman to the Legislature. Prisoners of geography, we try to make the best of it by having some fun that so many people find specious. It’s just us talking to ourselves. Nothing to get up about. Heck, you have the keys to the car. Pedal to the metal and no looking back. Don’t let us bother you.