By Dave Simpson, columnist
Some thoughts from deepest Flyover Country:
– Since the onset of the coronavirus imbroglio, I’ve noticed that there has been less superiority expressed by our more cerebral bi-coastal cousins about those of us who live out here in Flyover Country.
Maybe it’s because our coastal counterparts are still largely stuck at home, but I haven’t taken offense at anyone calling our part of the country backwards and stupid for quite a while. Air travel is way down, so maybe this is a case of out of sight, out of mind. They’re not up there, flying from liberal coast to liberal coast, so they’re not looking down on us.
I think, however, that the virus may have them reconsidering living cheek by jowl, one atop another, jammed in like cows in a stock truck, poking their snouts out for air. Maybe the virtues of life out here in the Big Lonesome, where social distancing is hard to avoid, have suddenly become clear to the poor dears.
Could be. I was born at a hospital on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and grew up nine miles from the Loop. But I wouldn’t live back there again for all the beer in Milwaukee.
The Flyover Country dogma lives loudly within me.
– Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill said Friday they are praying for the recovery of the man Joe on the previous Tuesday night called a “liar,” a “racist,” a “clown,” “the worst president we’ve ever had,” and who he told to “shut up.”
It’s to his credit that Biden is now praying for President Trump. And I bet in his heart of hearts, he wishes he hadn’t stooped to name calling. I also suspect Trump may now have second thoughts about making fun, during the debate, of Biden’s proclivity to wear masks. In both cases, let’s hope so.
This is the kind of stuff that makes common sense folks out in the middle of the country shake their heads, sigh, and say, “politicians.”
– Speaking of the debate, I’m scratching my head (up where the hair used to be) over Biden refusing to say whether he favors putting more justices on the Supreme Court.
“I’m not going to answer the question,” he insisted, saying that if he took a position, that would become the issue, as if that isn’t something we would want prior to an election. And he said he wouldn’t take a position because some people are already voting, as if that made a difference.
Anyone who reads this column knows I won’t be voting for Biden, but I suspect others who may vote for him would join me in wondering why he won’t say whether he favors packing the court.
Expanding the court seems like overturning the Monopoly board when your opponent just put hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.
– I also did not learn in the debate whether Biden favors statehood for the liberal District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, no doubt giving Democrats four more seats in the Senate, and whether he favors abandoning the legislative filibuster in the Senate.
You can fault Trump for interrupting, but he makes no secret of what he thinks.
– Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but doesn’t it seem like Nancy Pelosi’s insistence on spending $2.2 trillion on another Covid-19 relief bill indicate that she’s willing to see people who need help get nothing, rather than compromise with Republicans and see them get something?
If I was out of work and getting short on groceries, I’d probably want Pelosi to be more flexible on this. Couldn’t they come back at some future date for more (borrowed) money, if necessary? They always do.
Why not help now?
– Ronald Reagan was famous for saying he’d rather get half a loaf than no loaf at all. (That was back in the quaint days when they were talking mere billions. These days it’s trillions.)
Of course, in Nancy Pelosi’s world, $2.2 trillion is already half a loaf (she wanted $3 trillion), and the $1.6 trillion the Republicans want is “the heel” of the loaf.
One point six trillion dollars. The heel of the loaf.
Let that sink in.
Dave Simpson can be contacted at email@example.com