Hot Air: Local Hope

Worry all you’d like about the future, in terms of politics and the people you’d hope would represent you (and often — way too often — don’t), but we’ve got a pretty good pair of public servants just starting their respective careers right here in Bloomington. First-term Monroe County Commissioner Amanda Clerkin Barge, repping Dist. 3, is the goods, pure and simple. Also among the all-too-scarce Dem victors on last Nov.’s Black Tuesday was Monroe County Community Schools Corp. board member Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer.

They’re a mighty nice core pair of pols around whom tomorrow’s leaders can gather. Here’s hoping that 20, 25 years from now, we’ll be talking about both of them the way we now talk about the likes of Charlotte Zietlow or Frank McCloskey.

The Heart Of The Matter

We can scream all we want about that Li’l Duce/Russkie plot that went down last summer. And, believe me, I’m screaming too. The truth is, though, this scandal ain’t got no traction, ‘cept among those of us who are thrilled to pieces over the everyday revelations thereof.

A further truth: the overwhelming majority of voters in this holy land couldn’t care less about whether or not Russian spooks fed the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton or manipulated news gatherers and social media to air libels and horror stories about her. People want jobs, health care, a comfortable retirement, and assurances that terrorists won’t blow up a ballpark or a power plant. The Russian story has nothing at all to do with those issues.

Sunday, The Loved One and I went for a spin around these parts and passed through Morgantown, a dot on the map in Morgan County. All of 988 souls live there, per the 2014 census.

Smack in the middle of town on SR 252/135 stands a biker bar on the north side of the street. Frenchy’s Pub.  Right across the street from Kathy’s Cafe, one of those breakfast/lunch/dinner diners that we all promise ourselves we’ll eat at one day but never seem to get around to actually doing so. A good 20 irons were parked out in front of Frenchy’s, with three bikers just pulling up. Here’s one visitor’s rave about it on the joint’s Facebook page:

I absolutely love this place.. great environment… laid back and very friendly people!!! I tell my husband all the time it’s the exact type of bar I’d love to work in!! Great food as well!!!

And here’s an invitation from Frenchy him- (or her-?) self:

Saint pattys day party friday night karaoke door prizes drink specials good food good freinds good time come see us ……love frenchy (sic)

Frenchy’s Pub, Morgantown

Sounds pleasant, no? I could imagine it being one of those small town, salt-of-the-earth places where you drop in, pay $2.75 for a domestic beer, and get reassured about the goodness and stability of the heartland. Y’know, live and let live. Work hard. Care for your family and neighbors. Enjoy a holiday. Sing a song. And, just for spice, tool around the countryside on your Road King or your vintage Flathead.

Three big flags hung above the entrance. One was, natch, the American flag. The middle one — the position, acc’d’g to the rules of flag etiquette, meant for the most important — was a blue Trump flag. Next to that was the red “Make America Great Again” flag.

(The Trump flags were not unfurled on the date the above image was taken.)

So here we are, six months into the the most embarrassing, hurtful, baffling, terrifying presidency of my lifetime and a prominent business deep in the heart of this holy land, in contradiction to all those admonitions that businesses should remain politically neutral, is screaming loud and hard how loyal it and, presumably, its clientele are to President Gag.

The ongoing revelations in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and the continuing nightmarish disclosures in less revered media outlets, mean nothing to these people. A parade of FBI agents and investigative journalists could march into the place and lay out a damning bill of particulars against our sitting president, and these folks’d still pledge loyalty and fealty to our demagogic strongman.

So, yeah, the Russian interference in our national election last year means nothing to a large swath of the American citizenry. The question is, How big is that swath? A 538 polling algorithm, updated daily, shows 39.3 percent of your fellow countrymen this morning approve of the job the Greed-Monkey-in-Chief is doing.

That makes sense. My take on the November election was 35 percent of those who voted for Trump actually voted for Trump. The remainder of the votes that brought him to 46.1% of the turnout total included all those who bore that irrational, visceral hatred of Hillary Clinton and would have voted for a convicted child molester rather than her if given the choice.

Hillary Clinton’s never going to run a president again, despite the terrors and night-sweats of my Hillary-hating friends on the Left. She’ll be 73 y.o. in January, 2021, when the next prez is sworn in. Plus, Jesus H. Christ, she’s got to grasp by this time the amount of toxic hatred she engenders on both sides of the political spectrum. Unless she’s a pathological masochist, she isn’t going to submit herself to a third strike.

So, while Trump likely — very likely; in fact, I guarantee it — isn’t going to be impeached, I get the feeling this term will be his only one. You can’t win with only 35 percent of the country behind you.

Fingers crossed.

Then again, should a ballpark or a power plant be blown up, all bets are off.

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