Wednesday, October 8, 2008

That's IT??


There I was, sitting on the couch with MuscleBaby-The-Elder...

I turned on the debate (a little late) and listened to the first question to come across (the one about "What is the bailout specifically going to do for people in trouble?").

After listening to the first 30 seconds of McCain's "answer" I closed my eyes and exhaled.

Then I heard MBTE (who is nine, btw) say to me:

"He's just yappering now, isn't he Daddy?"
"Yes Baby, he is - c'mon, go brush your teeth - it's time for you to go to bed anyway."

Losing's easy - I was really hoping to show her how a presidential candidate wins.

- MuscleDaddy


  1. My wife wants us to move to Australia. That won't happen but I gotta say - it's getting more tempting.
    The debate could have been a slam-dunk for McCain but he'd rather not be "partisan".

  2. Our professional political class has failed us. My (erstwhile) party has failed. It would seem that my candidate prefers honorable failure to a brass-knuckles win. And yet I must shake off the posion. I will not fail in my duty to my community and nation. I woke this morning hung over and haggard. WTF? Take the day off. My liberal colleagues surely would. Do. Every chance they get. I have accrued 320 hours of leave. That's 40 days! Use 'em or lose 'em is school policy.

    But I did not call in sick. I nuked a cup of day old coffee and had a smoke. Then I showered and shaved. Eighty kids were waiting for me, and I knew damn well no one else could deliver the lesson plan like I could. Today they would learn the difference between an Arab, an Iranian, and a Turk. I would illustrate the divide between shiites and sunnis. We would dissect the complexities in Afghanistan. New vocabulary for the day: despotic, democracy/republic, subsistence farming, extraction economies, pastoralism, Indo-European, Aryan, Sanskrit, mother tongues, diaspora. But I had primed my kids well. I knew they were ready to put it altogether. My students would be leaderless without me. But today they shined! The puzzle came together. I have taught 15 year olds more than most Americans understand about the region.

    I can't speak for John McCain. God knows, I would dearly love the chance to put a few words in his mouth. I can only do my small part with fidelity to the truth. Congress can't stop me. Barack Obama can't stop me. The locally elected school board can't stop me. Six years ago I was brought in when a senior teacher quit his classroom and walked away. My principal's instructions were terse: "put down the rebellion." It took me a day, but I utterly crushed them. Snuffed. Whipped. Dominated them like a big dog hump'n scrawny mutt.

    Nothing has changed. Nothing will change for me. Those above me can fail, but I will not fail mine. Not my students. Not my brothers and sisters (that would be those of you reading this commentary). Not my local community. In me they trust. And I will never violate a sacred trust. In times of crisis the average citizen can stand and deliver. The strength of a republic resides in the citizenry, and nowhere else. We plant our feet firmly and then we stand and we fight. Brothers and sisters, that's just the way it is. So buck it up. We've got one hellava fight ahead of us.



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