To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, January 28, 2021


Let’s Be Honest: It Stinks


There are moments when it all goes bad. I can barely even type the words. Nothing works. Everything you pick up breaks in your hands. Simple conversations, nothing conversations, escalate without either of you knowing why.

The air is all wrong: too hot or too cold.

Are you the only one who has mastered the difficult skill of pouring water into the back of the coffee pot and filling the filter and pressing start? And washing your hands six times?

Will my chapped hands cure a pandemic?

Someone told me it’s a nice day. Who cares? Stroll down the main drag with restaurants packed cheek by jowl [six feet from the middle of one table to the middle of the other], which doesn’t account for people leaning back, trips to the bathroom and [rarely] an actual score in some sports bubble.

So let’s be honest.

It stinks.

If you’re not worried about money, stop reading here.

I mean, seriously, money doesn’t solve everything, but it sure as hell provides bail.

Money allows you to be generous. Generosity – by which I mean not giving people what they deserve but what they don’t – makes friends of everyone. The problem comes when the money starts running out and you realize the only person you haven’t been so generous with is yourself.

And what are we to do? I’m not talking about your family, although that may apply as well, but our communities: neighbors leaving because they can’t afford their homes, children whose parents cannot make up at home what the children miss at school, people dying, families being wiped out, the evening-gowned Republicans claiming it is all alright.

It is not all right.

OK, take a deep breath.

Take four. We have all learned the slow breathing that snipers practice to calm their heartbeat. We must calm ours, too.

In times like these, we often look to national leadership – to then-President Ronald Reagan to help us understand the Challenger disaster, to then-President George W. Bush after 9/11.

This time, we must turn to each other.

An election, in the best of times, is a process of division: into parties, into candidate groups, in favor of nominees, a hard-felt election.

Can you imagine a worse time for the buffoonery that has sadly come to characterize national elections?

Can you imagine a worse time for highly paid little white boys to dream of issues that can divide and polarize elections, not because the candidate believes in the issue [heavens, no] but because it will work to divide Americans?

That is the game, after all. Trump’s minions search for something Joe Biden must have voted for in the last 40 years that, if passed, might have been bad for somebody – teachers, corn farmers – someday. Imagine dedicating an expensive education to work like this. I don’t doubt that the other side is doing the same thing. What a colossal waste of time.

Meanwhile, people suffer.

In watching a Republican infomercial, you might think COVID-19 is gone. It may be gone among the president’s black-tie retinue, who have the benefit of daily instant tests.

But it’s not gone among the people standing in line in the test sites down the street. And it’s not gone among those of us who can barely type these words. One day at a time. What else?

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Susan Estrich
Susan Estrich
Estrich served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1988, she was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run, even though she had never before managed a political campaign. She was the first female campaign manager of a major presidential campaign, and the first female campaign manager of the modern era. [5] [6] Estrich appears frequently on Fox News as a legal and political analyst, and has also substituted for Alan Colmes on the debate show Hannity & Colmes. She writes regular articles for the conservative website NewsMax, for which she is a pundit.[7] She is also on the Board of Editorial Contributors for USA Today.[8] She is currently a law professor at the University of Southern California Law School and a political science professor at its affiliated undergraduate school. Before joining the USC faculty in 1989, she was Professor of Law at Harvard University, where she was the youngest woman to receive tenure.[9] On January 10, 2008, Estrich joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, a law firm based in Los Angeles, where she chairs their Public Strategy in High Profile Litigation: Media Relations practice area. [10][11] She writes a nationally syndicated print column distributed through Creators Syndicate.