Elijah and Grumpy Old Bumpa

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Bumpa, can I be president… or do I have to be a lawyer?

Yes, you can, and no, you don’t. Why would you ask that, Elijah?

‘Cause they’re the only people who count.

Oh, my, Elijah! You were born in a strange time!

Uh-uh! I was nine when I was born. Mom says it was past time. Mom was miserable before I got borned.

She was, Elijah. She sure was.

You’re miserable, Bumpa! Are you pregnant?

No, only young women get pregnant and miserable. Old men just get miserable and grumpy.

Yeah, we’re Minnesotans. When can we go ice fishing?

fish houses of ice fishermen in Minnesota

Grandpa doesn’t do ice fishing. Maybe Uncle Andrew will take you and Calvin together.

Does Uncle Andrew have a fish house?

No. You don’t have to have a fish house to go ice fishing.

But you have to have a big house if you want to be president or a lawyer, right?

Well, no. You don’t have to have a big house to be a lawyer. Some lawyers are street lawyers and public defenders. All lawyers take an oath to protect the constitution.

But some lawyers are bad, right? Like Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani. Grandma says they’re walkin on thin ice. It’s a national emergency!

Yes and no, Elijah. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Giuliani represented or represent the president. The president’s about to fall through the ice for making stuff up.

Yeah, the president’s a national emergency and his lawyers pretend he’s not!

Yes, that’s our opinion.

Right! I changed my mind. I don’t want to be president, Bumpa, and I’m glad I don’t have to be like Michael and Rudy.

Like I said, Elijah, you could be either president or a lawyer, but you don’t have to be. You can be anything you want.

OK! I wanna to be like Uncle Andrew! I can be a ice fisherman right here in Minnesota and grow up to be a grumpy old man. I wanna be like you, Bumpa.

— Grandpa (“Bumpa”) Stewart and Elijah (21 months old), Chaska, MN, February 17, 2019

Roosters in the Republican Barnyard

Roosters crowing

Roosters crowing

The cocks are crowing again.

Former failed Republican Presidential aspirant Rudy Giuliani started it by saying he isn’t sure President Obama loves America. He quickly tried to backtrack, explaining he wasn’t questioning Mr. Obama’s patriotism.

My, oh my!

No sooner had the old rooster crowed than that nasty old press asked the young roosters who are strutting and crowing to rule the Republican barnyard to chime in on Giuliani’s cock-a-doodle-do. Scott Walker, who was at the dinner where Giuliani made his statement, refused to comment on Giuliani’s statement one way or the other.

Days later while the issue was still live, a reporter again asked Walker to comment.

Leaning on the strategy that the best defense is a good offense, Walker blamed the press for making too much of statements like Giuliani’s. But it wasn’t the press who said that Mr. Obama wasn’t a native-born American citizen, or that he’s a secret Muslim, or that he hates America. It was members of Walker’s party who said those things. The press asked Mr. Walker if he thought the President was a Christian. In light of the history of character assassination leveled at the President, posing the question “Is President Obama a Christian?” to a young Rooster strutting around the barnyard with his eye on the Oval Office doesn’t seem like a fowl question.

Walker cried fowl. He replied that such questions are why people hate the press. People are tired of the media asking questions the American people don’t care about. Hmmm. Like whether a professing Christian President who quotes the New Testament in his speeches is a secret Muslim? The press card is very much like the race card. You only pull it out when you have no real defense.

In “The Insiders: Why would anyone think Obama doesn’t love America? Plenty of reasons,” a follow-up to the Giuliani story by Ed Rogers in The Washington Post argues that “Obama’s policies, declarations and overall conduct in office make some think he is dissatisfied with America and its self-image.”

Love and satisfaction are two different things. Can one love a country, a person, a group, a party, and be dissatisfied? If the answer is no, say good-bye to Martin Luther King, Jr. Say good-bye to Edward R. Murrow and Daniel Schorr. Say good-bye to the biblical prophet Amos whose tongue was sharper than Al Sharpton’s not because he hated his country but because he genuinely loved it.

The cocks are crowing in the barnyard. “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Roosters and the betrayal of truth have a long history. Whenever a rooster struts and crows, listen carefully.