News from the Plains: All this RED can make you BLUE
Noonan ... from Downtown
by Barry Friedman
When I think of Detroit, I think of a dark, destroyed, desolate, dispirited den of Democrats. When I think of the scandals of this administration—Benghazi, the IRS, the … the … the … (oh, the article before the noun, before the depravity. Daunting in its anticipatory bombshell)—I think of an error-filled, evidence-free, endgame of evasive errors.
And I weep, yearn for the alliteration.
Peggy's pain pronounced ... palpable.
I think of the strength it would take to extricate ourselves from the morass--this muddy, morose, meandering morass.
I rest now. Linguistically.
I think of the pope. And I smile.
One can lead 1.2 billion Catholics.
One can’t lead a thousand or so Democrats … at the IRS, at State, in Michigan.
Perhaps it is because this Obama is more comfortable wearing the kitsch of Somali elders than the sanctity of lapel pins, perhaps because this Obama is more at home on a surf board than a stallion, perhaps it is because this Obama is more apt to score from the 3-point line than a gun range.
One is comfortable in a white cassock in a modest apartment.
One wears sandals and jeans and eats shaved nice.
Obama--of us, yes, gentle birthers, it is true—but, I grant you, not for us. Not—and, oh, how it hurts to say this—with us.
The disconnect, this Democrat ... this man who fist bumps.
He talks to Americans, but does he speak to us?
Reagan did both.
The heart, the soul jumps when I see the pope go by. My heart, my soul, too--younger then--used to jump when Reagan drove by … galloped by. A young woman enthralled. I wrote once that Reagan—just writing the name, seeing the letters, how they snuggle together perfectly, spaced like angels on a beam of light (dare, I say, thousands of them) stops me in my trot—was to politics what Henry James was to American literature. Who then is this Obama to America? I suggest Isaiah Thomas. (Yes, basketball, again. This game of blacks and poor whites.) Good, not great, this Isaiah, this Isaiah from Detroit. Petulant, not personable, a friend of Rodman’s, an apologist for Laimbeer.
A point guard, not a center. A commissioner, not a commander.
Neither Olympians; neither loved by Jordan.
Reagan was a center, like Russell, Chamberlain, Manute Bol. He towered. He was the master. Sweet, child-like in his sunniness, but a competitor. The Jews, whom he loved (Why else would he call for the wall to come down? How else would he survive in Hollywood when all there was in that city of angels were Jews, Jews, Jews--even now ... Jews), would call him a mensch.
This man who touched Americans, touched me.
He would crash the boards.
I miss his touch; America misses it.
I once wrote of his foot—who remembers now, right or left—wagging, happily on a chair. It came upon me quickly, but gently, like the Eiffel Tower on an April morning from a Parisian side street. Beautiful, it was. Sleek, inviting, like a first love. Such je ne sais quoi, I remember. I wanted to touch it, to respect it, to marvel at it.
Yet, just a foot—to watch it snake back and forth.
But there were—and for purposes here, something more important—his arms!
It was Mitterrand, the socialist, the Frenchman with out-of-wedlock children and mistresses, who marveled at Reagan's cocked, flexed bicep. America was in those pecs, those well-defined, patriotic sinews. When Mitterrand touched them, he felt what I felt when I touched them (ever so briefly, but yes, yes, I did)--safe and a jolt of Americana.
“Like steel,” the philandering Frenchman said of them.
Breath come back.
So why the focus on the body?
What shall I write of Obama’s physicality?
Look at him. No upper body strength, no—yes, Yiddish applies—moxy.
He hugs, he dances. He pivots; he waits for the outlet
Reagan, yes, danced. But he led. Ask Nancy.
He ran the break.
This Obama is quick, but he stays out of the paint.
I grieve for an America that shoots from the outside. I want us strong on our feet, crashing the boards, throwing an occasional elbow, not graceful.
Bill Belichik, not Dean Smith.
See the man, see the ball. Defense wins championships, but offense wins generations.
I want us mending fences, not waltzing. I want us, as Dickie V says, bringing the rock inside; not waiting for the outlet pass.
I think, again, of sinew.
I think of modest men in pope mobiles, embracing gays, if not homosexuality.
I want us chopping wood, not cutting a rug.
Benghazi calls, the IRS calls, Egypt calls, the budget calls, immigration calls, Tom Coburn calls.
I hear ringing.
I hear opportunities.
I hear sobbing.
I hear nobody picking up.
Reagan would pick up; Francis would pick up
It is I who sob.
It is I who grieve.
The ringing won’t stop.