Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I have not posted here for a while but I have to award a Lily, tonight, to Mike Huckabee. He is one of the least sensitive and empathetic of all who have stepped in front of the microphone in the past few days in Tampa, and that is saying something.  He has shown the depth of his cynical opportunism by giving a speech with the tag line of "We can do better."

We can do better.

Those are words that flip my heart over and back.

That was the title of Robert Kennedy's book in the late 60's, as he emerged from the dark shadows of mourning his brother's death and dared to challenge a war and a way of life/prosperity that was based on war.

It was the title of his book and it was the slogan of his last campaign.

In 1964 I had fire in my eyes, one of Barry's Boys, a supporter of Goldwater and of the very ideas that are sparking and arching in Tampa tonight, at the Republican National Convention, 48 years later.

By April 1968 with the eyes of a Marine Corps Lance Corporal, rather than the eyes of a high school sophomore, streaming tears for that guy who had earned the chops to quell a race riot in Indianapolis.  He stood on the back of  a truck on the night--only a few days before his own murder--when Martin Luther King was shot from ambush.  No other white guy on the planet could have done that in 1968. I doubt if any could do it today.

I am sure that Mike Huckabee, who had the nerve to steal Bobby's slogan tonight, wouldn't even think to dare  to climb up on the back of that truck and have a go at accomplishing what Bobby accomplished that night.

This RFK guy, whose slogan Huckabee stole, was the guy who lost the primary in my home state and went for a run with his dog on the beach in Oregon.  Then he, himself was dying on that hotel kitchen floor--after having said, moments before, having won the California primary, "Now, it's on to Chicago."

He was going to take on HHH and his own party establishment.  He was going to get us out of Vietnam, and he was going to ...

He was going to ...

And then he wasn't going to.

So, Mike Huckabee, you will never be buried beneath an eternal flame.  You will never be able to stand on the back of that truck and be heeded, you cannot quell the rage--you can only stir it up as you tried to do tonight.  You will never know what Bobby and his big brother learned in Appalachia, what they learned by staring down Nikita Khrushchev and George Wallace.

But you can steal his slogan.

So go ahead, Mr. Huckabee.  Take his slogan.  Squeeze whatever juice you can out of it for your hateful and divisive cause.

But you will never get his gravity or his integrity.  And your name will be forgotten long before his even needs a buffing.   Because, Mr. Huckabee, you can try to talk his talk but you can never, never, never, never, never walk his walk.

You can never had what he had...but you can have a Lily because, Mr. Huckabee, because you epitomize and personify the power of Lily Tomlin's simple truth--"No matter how cynical I get, it's hard to keep up."

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