Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Hillerman, Hunter and Hyena

October 28, 2008

By David Evans.

People of letters are not replaceable or interchangeable, not fungible or otherwise dispensable. When one is no longer with us, a library of rare volumes has suddenly gone missing. People who read have lost a treasure. So have people who listen to people who read or listen well. We will not hear a lot more from Tony Hillerman. He has already given us a lot. If he is not on your bookshelf, please remedy that oversight at your earliest available opportunity. You will be enriched by a language and culture that still talks code in the four corners region of the Navajo Nation.

The warrior is the one who uses language in such a way that all the people feel included. None are excluded, left behind, or made to feel that voting other than your conscience is somehow patriotic. The current impostor said he was a uniter and proved a divider. He said there was a threat to America from the cradle of civilization. He said we couldn’t wait for a second resolution. He said the leisure class needed more federal boodle to create jobs. If the elected one had selected the appointed one in 1988, we would have been spared much in the last twenty years. W is for war. What has he ever given back that he did not inherit, make toxic, then inflict on the people of here and there? Legacy building is a tricky thing. Ask SMU students, faculty and staff.

Historians who focus on elections and the presidency will tell you that material may be gathered, but presidencies cannot be fairly judged, even initially, until their elected successor leaves office. Twenty days into 2009, President Clinton, the last elected president of the twentieth century, will have more than his share of critics and sycophants making the rounds. Eight years will bring an initial assessment. The Reagan-Bush regime has been going out of focus. Even Houston is turning blue.

Late night discussion of how many Democratic Senate pick-ups are pending in the South and West shows a certain fractured progressive unanimity, in the usual populist sense. Everyone agrees 57 or 58 blue seats will open 2009. Some think one or two more are possible. Fifty nine percent is a divisive concept for the world’s oldest deliberative or debilitative body. The Senate could have curtailed the recent unpleasantness long before it started, but it was controlled by a cabal of Conservatives and Republicans for way too long.

In 1974, a seismic shift gave Dems a filibuster proof majority. Everybody who saw a president in the mirror every morning made their plans. Georgia’s Jimmy Carter and Arizona’s Morris Udall ran well in a field that included Bentsen, Harris, Church (later), California wunderkind Jerry Brown (not late but in rapid response to the nation’s plight, in time for Maryland and Oregon), George C. Wallace, Washington’s Scoop, and others.

There was no bicentennial Massachusetts candidate for the only time in fifty years of contested nominations, save one. Geography is different than political geography. This year the Massachusetts candidate is the nominee. In 2000, Paul Wellstone would have been the Massachusetts candidate, but he backed out of a reverse hammerlock. Bradley was an almost-Braintree candidate. McGovern was the Massachusetts candidate in 1984 and prior. It is not unreasonable to believe there was one in bicentennial New Hampshire, given always that reasonable people can disagree. We should all trust Hunter on this one.

The deliberative massacre of 1980 took out almost all of the blue elders. Bayh, Church, McGovern and a dozen others went. Only Hart survived in Colorado, to hand off to Wirth, who tossed it to Nighthorse. All had probably seen a president in the morning mirror. Mo Udall said the only cure is embalming fluid. Brother Stewart is an excellent Western historian, especially regarding Forgotten Founders.

The 1986 Iran-Contra borking turned the hundred pale blue for eight years. Then disaster struck. Even Bob Dole knew he had at least three prevaricators on his side. It took another eight years to recover from the myopia of 1994, although 2000 was as close as it can get in the Senate. The next tectonic shift is Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning EDT.

Blue contenders in Wyoming and Mississippi are within striking distance. North Carolina and Georgia are likely. Kentucky always has bluegrass but the cold clay of the minority is a relentless and wily coyote.

A cold blue pall has fallen over the frozen north. Senator Ted stands convicted of those things they said he did. Senator Mark is looking strong. Why didn’t Sarah, plain and tall, seek the Senate nomination?

It may have something to do with the scriptedness of her presentation, the “nails on a chalkboard” timbre, or the inability to find Soviets or bears under her neighbor’s welcome mat. Conventional wisdom says she was a vandal but she always took the point and walked it in excellent fashion. Hunter says it is probably the old ibogaine problem. She has those glassy eyes and a consistently sluggish relationship with reality. She even makes her own ticket mate look relatively knowledgeable on domestic and foreign affairs. Hunter says not to believe the illusion. He says they don’t know much that isn’t written in (apparently) ordinary language for them. Hunter says country second, rock first.

Hunter reported something slithering into Roswell last week that screeched like a wounded hyena caught by the jewels on a barbed wire tether. Hunter said the ghastliness made everyone subtly reach for the kind of night mask that will let you sleep through a lightning storm. New Mexico’s second CD is contiguous with Texas’ 23rd so there may have been some twofer plan. The Roswell Tourist Museum only said their world-famous visitors had returned to look for their lost mate. Hunter said there was no press worthy of any good notice, only the usual medium tedium. Someone mentioned the doomed. When asked if he attended the actual event, Hunter said it was all right there on the expense report. He didn’t say anything about a grapefruit league breakfast (with himself) or a biker’s fire extinguisher in the reception area, so he did clearly sense Roswell re-visited because the deja voodoo was exact. But nobody can remember seeing Hunter himself. Jann said he mighty have been nearby, or made himself a remote viewer. The story sure got filed. Something about the doomed, Hunter led.

Hunter will never die. Unlike mortals, he will keep covering primaries and yawn-fests long after the homing owl pays off the mortgage Maybe longer. The Louisville slugger does traverse the planet in hours, but we need only send the fist searchlight signal into the clouds to find him. He will be back to help us understand the action.

No one ever did it better.

The three best Thompsons of the last half century have been Mrs. Fred, Governor Tommy, and the scofflaw scribe. Woody Creek and the front range really had one depp of a blast since our last mandarin chief was elected. The “appointed one” is sometimes a Hunter wannabe, in his dreams. We will elect presidents again one day. When we do, Hunter will be there. Hunter is always there for these.

An excellent electoral strategist lost a little Jamoe on Transmountain Road this weekend. Call me when you read this, Stagger Lee. You have fought this one like a warrior. Let’s finish it. This weekend, we should go straight down to Electric Avenue. Then Tuesday, we can make the rounds of the victors and the vanquished.

How long will it take for a whip count Tuesday night? Noon Wednesday would be my guess. Autumn is here. A cool westwind is all up and down the frontrange, blowing snow and good sledding weather across Tornado Alley. Attend. Got a distant relative who may not have voted early? Call and ask. Traditional Gonzo thanks to Ned Ludd for that sneeky call at the right time. Second Sunday could be a similar one, but not in Dona Ana County this time. By then, we will see how blue the house is too.

Take your friends to the polls. Take people you like to the polls. Take people who like you to the polls. Take people you don’t like to the polls. Take people who don’t like you to the polls (tell them Tinsley is your personal ibogaine rep and you voted for him because he dwells in the land of the ultra-enchanted). People vote. Really conscientious people don’t let their friends wait until election day.

That old Bernanke magic won’t wait. Ben will trim a quarter or two from his wholesale prices. Look for no discernible effect on the wild gyrations. If you just can’t see things clearly, the best remedy is Looking Backward by an economic historian non-pareil named Bellamy.

Dada asked if it would be a picnic or a cakewalk. The typical picnic is an expensive waste, barely showing the flag. The cakewalk in Anthony’s county is solid blue. Doubly blue. That red car is in a ditch down south somewhere.. Even Chaparral and surrounding communities changed from light purple to deep blue as early voting began. Over in Hobbs, Spinoza, White City, the bat cave, the dump, Andrews, it will be closer. T or C, Hatch, Otero is contested. Lake Roberts voted a refreshing greenish blue. Silver is the new blue. Even the duck racers are solid blue, especially in the headlight at dusk. At the Lprd’s Ranch and town, light blue is the color, unless Sarah visits. Then it will be solid blue.

Hunter told me this after Roswell. He explained that it was the ibogaine ttalking when S & L says they can win Harrisburg and the whole Keystone. Rendell and Casey will not strike out this week. Carolina is blue about Liddy. Saxby is bombastically on my mind. Hunter wrote that Saxby reminds him of something. That’s what he said, not someone, some thing. His friend drew Saxby. Hunter knows these things.

Palm Beach is okay, now that the lepidoptera have gone to Colorado. The panhandle is pinkish purple. Alcee will turn the purple blue. Debbie assures everyone that S & L is a nice guy, sort of like all of Yenta’s matches. He tailors his message well, but the younger ones will all be singing mazeltov. Both stump extraordinarily well.

We’ve been discussing music for Tuesday night. Everybody says Morello the Nightwatchman’s Road. Anne says the Pittsburg Patriots. Karen wants Tim Armstrong. I voted Jackson Browne (with Bonnie Raitt or Lives in the Balance). Hunter says CDB, Georgia. Hunter knows these things. Hunter knows everything.

The BBC and LA Times have good interactive maps. They sent a giant pape-mache deluxe home edition of the game, along with one hundred big red and blue pushpins, already installed, that are to be pulled out of each of thelower 48 as they are finalized. They also included two hundred Daschle and Lott pushpins that I pre-installed. I need more Daschles. Hunter says to use LaFollette. Hunter knows all things.

Along the nuclear highway, it is blue Daschle plus two, blue Daschle plus two, purple Daschle, and Big blue Daschle Sky. To the immediate West is purple Daschle. Then to the Southwest is blue Daschle. Seattle narrowly averted a machinist walkout but they are over-caffeinated at a lost franchise. Vancouver is blue with conservative syrup-flavored leafs. Let’s have the Vancouvers draft the new labor and environmental treaty. Maybe we could have a side agreement on trade, but there had better not be any enforcement provisions on something as frivolous as mere commerce.

Down in Bullhead City and Laughlin it is pinkish blue, but the three showplaces are a very revealing deep blue. Tucson opened a new S & L office. It is purple plus two or more.

Hunter says just leave the salt out of the recipe. He says SLC Punk ain’t Dixieland and that Eye of the Tiger is the music for Park City and suburbs. Hunter knows a lot of things, being a pillar of the community and all.

They have always said broad shoulders was my kind of town. Best Luck Tuesday, as Tiny Tim said, every one.

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