Where did THAT week go? Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee where I look at some political stories you might have seen, or missed, and offer my commentary. Sometimes fun, often serious, it's what I do...and thank you for coming by for a shot but careful...the coffee is hot! Let's dig in! We've got it all today: Politics, Sex, Religion...what more could you ever want?
While the nation endures what is an increasingly crippled administration there is hope for America. Last week in the Commonwealth of Virginia the Democrats took back the governors office and evened out the assembly by offering clear and principled answers to public policy. There and in states all across the nation candidates started to claw back control of everything from city councils to state legislatures. (As our contributing cartoonist Tim Lloyd suggests we are riding a wave!) And they did it by running for something and not against "45". There is a deep lesson here for 2018 and I think we've got the message.
Need more than Virginia? Take a look at Helena, Montana where 45 crushed Clinton by over 21 percentage points...twenty-one. Last week a "progressive ticket" swept the City Commission race and elected a slate of progressive candidates to represent them in city hall. What was the message in Helena? You could sum it up as "people first" agenda from homelessness, to small scale economic development to clean water. Here too the message was not on a failed national administration but on moving forward with solid progressive ideas. Well done and it would seem like For the 'back-story" here is the article from the Helena Independent Record. But, come back...OK?
The Iowa Political Hack
I first met Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) when he was still a congressman. We shared a table in Webster City one evening and I found him refreshing and loaded with common sense. It was sort of a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" sort of style. Over the years I have hosted the senator at a number of meetings and events where the topic was aging. However Sen. Grassley has become, over the past several years, a political hack who cares little for Iowa and the rule of law. Last week it was Grassley who dismissively waved off questions about Roy Moore of Alabama. It was Grassley who voted to approve a life-time judgeship to a failed three year lawyer. It was Grassley who last year denied the Constitution and refused to grant a hearing for a Supreme Court nominee. Each week that goes by his connection to "Mr. Smith" fades and withers. It is time for a replacement. Let's get it going Iowa.
Notice Something Missing?
Here is something to ponder... Michael Flynn has been absent. Despite mountains of evidence that the former national security officer was engaged in illegal practices there have been no indictments offered up by the Robert Mueller probe. That has led many to wonder if Flynn has already been "spilling the beans" on the Russia/45 incident. Flynn, who stepped down in disgrace after just 24 days on the job has been AOL for months. And, we need to remember that Flynn had much more direct access to the campaign than did George Papadopoulos who has already been telling all. Interesting, no?
In what has to be the most outlandish attempt at supporting Roy Moore of Alabama GOP Auditor Jim Zigler said there was nothing immoral or illegal going on with the accusation Moore had a relationship with a 14 year old girl...when Moore was 32. Zigler was even able to bring the Bible to the table when he said, "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became the parents of Jesus." These people are amazing and you've got to wonder what planet they come from. Gotta love their "family values". It's a hot mess.... Meanwhile a former Moore colleague said yesterday that, "It was common knowledge that Moore dated high school girls when he worked for the Etowah County District Attorney's Office in the 1980's. In a statement to CNN Teresa Jones who served with Moore said, "It was common knowledge that Roy Moore dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird," Jones told CNN. "We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall ... but you really wouldn't say anything to someone like that." Oh really?
They Do Not Care
Last week men, women and children were slaughtered while they were in a church in Texas and weak-spine politicians are offering "thoughts and prayers" to their families. Thoughts and prayers...they were in a damn church praying you idiots. Of course it's "too soon" to talk about sensible gun controls. Of course it is too soon to talk about the failure of the United States Military who "forgot" to mention to the federal government that the shooter was a nut job and was drummed out of the air force because he beat his wife and child. One more time...there is no reason, none, that Americans should be able to possess military style firearms. These weapons are made to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. That is their function and the fact that the United States thinks that is "just fine" is a condemnation of the highest order. If we wanted to we could get serious about this but...frankly...the people in power simply do not care. Bringing us even closer to the next "worst mass murder event in the nation's history". So very weary...
You Don't Either...
As long as I'm at it... I would assume there are more of you who are depressed and saddened by the two football loses yesterday by Iowa State and the University of Iowa than are moved to speak out in favor of gun control in our state. In fact, I have proof. You voted in a whole bunch of "gun nuts" as legislators. Nice going...and I just proved my point. You do not care. If you did you would be demanding a different set of laws and you would be serious about it. Go, ahead...own it...it will do you good.
On Wednesday morning I attended an event hosted by Iowans Supporting Israel and I believe I was the only media person in the room who covered the story and asked a question. It was a panel discussion on the impressions four Iowans had about a recent trade mission to Israel. At the table was Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Sara Kurovski, Mayor of Pleasant Hill, Don Schoen, CEO of BettrLife and Jamie Letzring, Deputy City Manager for West Des Moines. It was, mostly, a reflection on their trip, a few mentions of religion and conversation about culture. The most important piece of information was something shared by Debi Durham who told the 125+ people in the room that Iowa was going to forge ahead with a bi-lateral trade commission between Iowa and Israel and focus on several key industries including precision agriculture and bio-medicine. Yeah...it was that good!
I learned a valuable lesson last week in my failed attempt at a Windsor Heights City Council run. And, what is worse, I should have known it all along. I learned that to be successful, even in small town politics, you must not commit to solid ideas. It is far better to offer platitudes and play on emotion than it is to offer up details of public policy. The reason I should have known that is because my business is all about playing on emotion. I'm in the advertising business and our goal, in all our media efforts, is to "sell the sizzle and not the steak". In other words leave the details for those who are really, really interested in details. For the general public say nice things or scare the hell out of them with inaccurate and false statements. Both work.
I will tell you it was an amazing experience and something that was a great value. Thank you to the many people who took the time to get involved. And, I would encourage you to put your name on a ballot. It's quite the experience. I met some wonderful people along the way and found their insight remarkable. I also met people who were angry and feared change. I get it...change is hard. So is football...
Thanks for reading and have a remarkable Sunday and a fantastic week!.