Back during the 2016 presidential campaign, I embarked on a little test – asking my Democratic friends and/or acquaintances, including those in elected office, what they had thought about Tim Kaine’s performance in the vice-presidential debate.
Most of my respondents, to their credit, were honest. He didn’t do great, they replied. So-so, maybe marginally above so-so. To them, who were pulling for him, it was a disappointment that it was no slam-dunk-erino.
There were a few folks, though, who insisted Kaine had had a yuuuuuuuge triumph over Mike Pence. (OK, they probably never used the word “yuuuuuuuge” even before Donald Trump created it, but you get my point.) They were convinced, or tried to convince me they were convinced, that Kaine had been fabulous that night.
The old phrase “you can’t polish a t#rd” springs to mind. (The t#rd being not Kaine, merely his performance that night.)
Why bring this up five years later? Because there was some t#rd-polishing going on two weeks ago in the pages of the Falls Church News-Press, which tried to convince readers that the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan had been the best pull-out since … well, just for fun I wanted to insert a Bill Clinton reference here, but the corporate lawyers would not like that one bit.
In that same edition, the paper launched a poll asking readers whether the withdrawal had gone well. And last week, the results were in.
Falls Church-ians were brutally honest: 78 percent said no, the evacuation was not carried out successfully. Only 20 percent said it was. And 2 percent decided to go online to respond that they weren’t sure. (Ah, sweet mysteries of life why people do things like that.)
Now, it was a non-scientific poll, but it seems to make the point that even in a Democratic-leaning area like Northern Virginia, people can see the forest for the trees. When it came to the Afghanistan plan, it looks like advisers were telling our president not to do it the way he did, but he’s a stubborn sort. That’s not a good trait for a chief executive, is it?
So kudos to you, Falls Church online-poll voters, for showing some sanity. Although I wonder if you’re going to do so well in the current poll, which asks, and let me quote verbatim: “Should all businesses eventually require proof of vaccination from its customers?” (The copy editor must have been out of the office when that sentence was constructed…)
Were I (fully vaccinated since April) to vote, I’d cast my ballot for allowing in the unvaccinated, since otherwise it seems we are moving toward the makings of a “let-us-see-your-papers”-style fascist environment the we had hoped had gone out of fashion with the demise of East Germany.
But I’ve got a suspicion that way too many of the respondents are going to side with those, like the president, whose reflexive totalitarian tendencies are coming to the fore of late.
Guess we’ll know later this week. I will report back!
ON A SEMI-RELATED T#RD NOTE: One of the great scenes from “Caddyshack” is embedded below. Never has a candy bar caused such chaos before or since.
(For those of you wondering if that scene initially included some boobies, as one-time Sun Gazette writer Ryan Moore might have phrased it, you are correct — I had to embed a mammary-free version in order to keep decorum.)
- Scott McCaffrey