Observations From An Interesting Weekend

Quote of the Day:

And that’s the way it is.” –Walter Cronkite

Like most everyone else with even the mildest sporting interest, TB watched with anticipation, hope and fear as Tom Watson lined up his putt for par on the 18th hole at Turnberry to win the British Open. Like most everyone else, I was crestfallen when he blew it. What is it about these old legends that makes us all a fan when they make a run at greatness long after their heyday has passed? I never was a Watson fan and there aren’t many for whom he was the favorite. Why should we all take his side over Stewart Cink, a good guy by all accounts with a beautiful family who has never been in the major spotlight? After all, Watson is already a legend. Isn’t more cosmic good added to the universe by virtue of a first time major victor? Maybe we like the idea that we are watching history happen. Maybe we like the idea of appreciating more fully a greatness we gave too little credit to when it was current. Maybe we like the idea that if an old guy can accomplish something so important at age 59 that it somehow extends the productivity of our collective lives. A combination of these and other reasons I guess, but it was a helluva run and I wish he’d sunk that putt.

Walter Cronkite died. There is now NO chance he can come back to the airwaves and save journalism. Often this weekend I heard him called the “most trusted man in America.” I wonder, could he also be called the “last trusted man in America?”

Which brings me to the latest scandal involving Mark Sanford, the worst part of it, to my way of thinking. Emails to Sanford from media luminaries of all networks and bias have surfaced. The common theme–“come to my show. We will make you look good.” Does anyone think these offers were isolated incidents? We all know the same invitation is extended to all politicians, right or left. I don’t believe Cronkite would’ve made such irresponsible, first amendment wasting interview requests. Now we know why “journalists” never seem to ask the big follow-up that challenges a politician’s well rehearsed talking point. They promise not to do so in advance.

Which leads to C Street in Washington D.C. and the political-religious cult known as “The Family.” If you haven’t heard, “The Family” refers to a group of politicians and politicos who live together in a building on C Street in DC. Among the residents are fundamentalist Christian Senators and Representatives like adulterers Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Senator Mark Ensign (R-NV), and former Congressman, near Senator Chip Pickering (R-MS). Mark Sanford (R-SC) was among their number when he was in Congress. “The Family” has members of both parties, but so far the affairs of its Democratic members have not come to light. What is so bad about The Family is not that they house these hypocrites and facilitate their affairs, it is not that they teach the “good” side of historical villains like Mao, Mussolini, and worse, it is not that they work to support dictatorships in various parts of the world; it is that they indoctrinate their residents and followers with the concept that they are “chosen by God” for high government office and that they are not subject to the same religious limitations as the commoners. Friends, these politicians believe in divine right, no different than the justification of the monarchs of the old world from whom we broke in 1776. It is one of the most anti-American concepts imaginable, and it is orthodoxy for a substantial group of Washington insiders. Hell we all know they think it of themselves, but for divine right to be an organized tenet of the religion they and  so many of their supporters profess to serve, frankly blows my mind and challenges my faith. It is difficult to know how to combat the forces of aristocracy and oligarchy that seek to maintain control over this country as they have great influence over both political parties. But I firmly believe the political battles in this country are waged between the wrong groups–liberals vs conservatives, blacks vs whites, fundamentalists vs non-fundamentalists–when they should be waged between lord and subject, master and servant, royalty vs commoner. I only wish we had another Cronkite waiting in the wings to ask the tough questions, with no strings attached to bring the real news to the people.

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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8 Responses to Observations From An Interesting Weekend

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    I think we love to see someone recapture their glory and in that process we see that we have hope for ourselves.

    Walter Cronkite was like a grandfather that showed up right before dinner every night. I remember his reports on Vietnam and seeing the map of that part of the world. At the time that was scary for me but I was only 7 or 8 years old, if that. There will never be another one that measures up to the standard of Walter.

    As for “The Family” – that is all kind of disgusting but the bottom line is – everyone is a sinner in some form or other. Mark Sanford just can’t seem to shut up. He would make a fine romance writer! He could give seminars on how to write romantic emails to your significant other or wife, as well as your mistress. In the end Gov. Sanford may have to do just that to make a living. Forget that he was with his mistress. The Governor left his state and job unattended for 5 days. If I did that I’d be fired for sure. I think Mrs. Sanford, who has money of her own, should give him the boot, but good.

  2. Face, since you are around today, I was thinking there might be one person who was pulling for Cink and you were the best possibility. TB doesn’t comment on golf often, surely you have a take on the Open of 09?

  3. quail09 says:

    TB….i think i finally found some common ground with you politically….i can’t stand even a whiff of royalty vs. subject….democrat or republican….there are so many of both parties right now who don’t live by the very laws they write..it sickens me….and the sense of entitlement that some politicos exude when you meet them personally, well, it is sad….even some of the up and comers act this way…i can see it a mile away…we just defeated one of this type who was running for mayor of ocean springs….first time i ever voted democrat

  4. Samsmama says:

    I think Jessie Lou summed it up pretty accurately in regards to Tom Watson. I was also rooting for him, but mainly because he’s a local.

    And I was so saddened to hear of Cronkite’s passing. I was happy to learn he’ll be laid to rest at a nearby cemetery. I might go pay my respect.

  5. face says:

    Not Cink. I was for Westwood, and he is catching a break from the media because of the Watson story. Westwood choked about as bad as i’ve seen. Cink is a good guy and has been close several times in majors including a playoff loss in the US Open. So I wasn’t too upset he won. I just can’t help pulling for the Europeans. I miss the days of Seve, Faldo, Langer, Woosnam and Olazabal. Maybe they’re not old enough to contend again yet.

    Watson was a great story and everytime I thought he was losing it from Friday-Sunday, he kept his composure and stayed in it. I’m almost glad he lost because I had to leave as the playoff started and I would have been upset if I had missed his win. I can still remember my dad calling me in from the yard in 86 as Nicklaus was making his charge at the Masters. A Watson win would have rivaled that.

  6. Harmony says:

    I agree with JL that we “love to see someone recapture their glory and in that process we see that we have hope for ourselves”. It’s funny that I never really noticed the selfishness behind that before. That we would/could deny someone (new) entrance to the land of greatness for one last glimmer of hope that a “come back” is in our deck of cards somewhere, really seems selfish to me. Yet I know I will forever be in seek of it..perhaps it’s of the fountain of youth quality. *shrugs*

    I love reading you, as I ALWAYS learn something new. Not just new..but also important. I hadn’t heard of “The Family” before and I must say reading on them has left me feeling sick and a little confused. I never really understood the whole separation of Church and State thing..when exactly does this occur? It seems as though the Church and State have always crossed paths and interacted with one another, to the point that it appears impossible to think that such a separation could ever exist. Although I feel our nation was founded on principals of Christianity, we as a nation have diversified in such a way that the Church can no longer be based upon Christian beliefs alone. “The Family” appears to be overlooking the construct of who we are together as The People and I find that scary beyond belief..especially that they have such influential ties in our government. Their claim that ” the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes” sounds eerily like the call for a Supreme Race of times before…knocking religion as a whole and our need to understand one another back a couple of pegs.

    I think I forgot where I was going with all of that..and now the kids want to be fed.

    TB…I believe you could be our new Walter Cronkite.

  7. Harmony says:

    Oh..And? I’m back I can’t wait to catch up on all of your posts!

  8. Harmony, if there’s one thing I can’t stand its someone who’s too damn kind. Ok, I’m lying, I love it; thanks for your comments and glad to see you back in town.

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