Once upon a time I was there and here is the picture to prove it. A twinkle in time… but, back about 20 years ago… 1998, July 4th. The parade in Southampton was graced by Senator D’Amato. He was an unabashed Republican in a blue state, New York. He brought home the pork! He was proud of it! And he never ever let anyone forget what he did for NY. Three terms! He got re-elected twice! NY has not elected another Republican senator since (2000).
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill
Senator Carper attributed the quote to Truman. Not exactly so. Truman made similar reference to the original by George Santayama (1905), “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
“All politics is local” is attributed to former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O’Neill.
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln
Famously attributed but not exactly confirmed. Maybe he (Lincoln) never said it? The Republican party of Lincoln is now the Democratic party of today. Watch what the conservatives say. They like to twist things to and fro. Like any magic trick, watch what the other hand is doing.
These days politics is like that. Maybe, maybe not. We don’t have far to look back and realize that D’Amato was a Republican in a Democratic land. And he was re-elected using a narrow platform. Give ’em what they want. A whole lot of Democrats drank the cool-aide more than once.
Tom Carper – former governor and current US Senator came to speak. His wife cheer leaded for him. He is the consummate politician. He worked the room like a master politician. He was a warm personable and very engaging politician. He personally went around the room and shook everyone’s hand and learned key facts that he used to engage the crowd like they were long lost friends. Did I mention he was a masterful politician? He spent nearly two hours with about twenty-five people. He started by asking us to state our names and our issues. Needless to say, there were anguished pleas to stop the madness in Washington. And in the last ten minutes he spoke to those very complaints and issues. He was a masterful politician. He managed to skirt every single issue with platitudes and a message of positive thinking. The US has been in this position before and it will all one day become better. He did not say a single controversial thing. When he was done I knew nothing about his stance on gun control. It’s easy. You are for it or against it. Not a word. We applauded. He had worked the room like a masterful politician. Bravo! I will hold my nose and vote for him in the national. I will vote for his democratic opponent in the primary. i will do that so he might know there are some folks who oppose his complacency. Wake up dude! I see that you are a masterful politician. I wish I could be you. At the same time I’d like to see some action. That’s not what masterful politicians do. They are there to get re-elected. Campaign reform, term limits? No, the guardians of the vault are the bank robbers. Oh my, why didn’t I think of that. And I shoot too straight to ever be elected to office. Yes, now we can find the plans for plastic guns. How is it that I will not be surprised to find gun manufacturers are behind the effort to ban plastic? It was a disappointing “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment for me when everyone in the room clapped hands.