Roy Exum: Where Did ‘Nice’ Go?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

One in a flurry of emails begins like this: “I have to congratulate you for your 'big swing and miss' with the statement that you will vote for Bredesen for Senate, what an irresponsible thing to do in such a sad time in our country.  Have you watched any of the Kavanaugh circus/hearing/confirmation? Do you support these paid protestors?? The ridiculous pounding on the doors of the senate building by unhinged people who want mob rule, is this what you want for us as a nation which is what we will have if we have a Democratic majority win in November?”

Trust me, this is just one in a pile of protests I have received after I wrote a story on Monday, “I Believe Bredesen.” The story did not say nor in any way imply that I will vote for the former Governor when early voting for the Nov. 6 general election begins next week. Rather, it said that when Phil answered a reporter’s pointed question if he would have supported the Kavanaugh nomination, he said that he would have.

Had Bredesen been a Senator and done so, he would have been the only Democrat other than West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. But the “righteous right” among us immediately called Bredesen a liar, saying his motives instead were to attract moderate Republicans and independents to his side of the ballot. I am different in that I can find no reason to not believe the man after he served our state in a very fair and honorable way for two terms.

I believe Bredesen told the truth, just as I could also find no reason to believe Brett Kavanaugh was not telling the truth when he swore he had never sexually attacked anyone. And here is what I also believe, this after a conversation with a female psychologist – I believe Dr. Christine Ford told the truth – that as a 15-year-old girl some lout did indeed pounce on her.

But here is the disclaimer, as it was explained to me: Such an attack would have been a major trauma to a child. The fact she could not recall some of the simplest facts – not back then or she would still remember – indicates the assault was a tremendous mental shock. It is possible her mind could have somehow put Kavanaugh’s face, someone she recognized, on that of the attacker? I do not know the answer, even as far-fetched as it may seem, but I do know I just watched the Democratic Party stoop to the lowest level of politics I can remember.

There was a big story in the Washington Post on Tuesday that observed, “ … Republicans have cast the Trump resistance movement as ‘an angry mob,’ a term used by many of them to describe a faceless amalgamation of forces that they say threaten the country’s order and, they hope, energize their voters” for the mid-term elections.

Last month Ted Kruz, the Republican Senator from Texas who is now in a hotly-contested race, went to a trendy Washington restaurant with his wife. To everyone’s surprise an angry group of liberals verbally attacked the couple, this at the height of the Kavanaugh hearings. Chanting, “We believe survivors!” the Senator and his wife Heidi were run out of the restaurant. Videos of the incident were almost immediately posted on the networks and you want the biggest surprise: The very next day unsolicited contributions to the Cruz re-election were the highest in this campaign.

Jeff Roe, a Republican strategist, told the Post writers likening the Democrats to an anarchist-type mob is working. “Their tactics are too hot. They insult Republicans and turn off independents even more than the prospect of impeachment does,” Roe said.

Shortly after West Virginia’s Manchin gave his support to Kavanaugh last week, a cluster of reporters wanted his comments but Manchin was unable to answer due to an unruly mob that shouted him down. “Shame on you! Look at me … look at me! Are you going to let our Democracy die!!”

The best part of yesterday’s story in the Washington newspaper for me was also what I believe to be the truth:

“Voters say they are tired of the anger and polarization emanating from Washington. They say they crave compromise. Yet these same voters view the rival party with disdain and frequently punish politicians for reaching across partisan lines.

“They want the anger to stop … but can’t stop being angry.”

royexum@aol.com


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