Something just isn’t right. And by not right, I’m talking about something is rotten in the state of Denmark—except this isn’t Denmark, and I’m not Marcellus. It’s that same queasy feeling one gets from opening the door to the refrigerator and knowing something in there has gone bad.
Take for example a dinner I had recently at one of Dallas’ freshly minted fashionable restaurants. Of course, it’s really a bistro, not a restaurant, this being Dallas. Since I provide neither culinary criticism nor free advertising, I’ll leave it to you to figure out which restaurant, I mean bistro, I’m referencing.
My friend was waiting for me at the bar and asked if I’d ever been here before. Well, not to this “upscale’’ eatery, but I had been numerous times to this location before it became quite so chic. From the moment I walked through the door and saw all the gleaming white marble, my mind did an overlay of what the place had been for most of the years I’ve lived in Dallas.
Since at least the Carter administration, this space had housed several gay bars of the decidedly not upscale, chic variety. The only thing in the place that looked remotely like its prior incarnations was the mirror behind the bar, in the same location that once reflected male dancers swinging from stripper poles. And that “courtyard growing verdant from crawling ivy,” as one reviewer noted, used to be something else entirely. The kitchen at the back, well, it wasn’t exactly cooking that was going on back there.
And take Wednesday’s event at Texas State University. Aimee Allison, who co-founded “She the People” which sponsored the presidential forum focused on initiating a dialogue with voters who are women of color, said afterwards that Senator Elizabeth Warren “stole the show.” Really, Kamala Harris? You let her steal your home court advantage? That is just so not right.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Joe Biden announced his candidacy with a video that hangs its hat on the existential threat Donald Trump poses to America. It’s kind of dark. No, it’s really dark. I’m sure Uncle Joe will get around to talking about health care, infrastructure and all those other “message-y” things, but it’s not what he was saying when he came out of the gate. Joe, you got my attention, but now I need a peppermint.
As if that weren’t enough, the impeachment talk leaves me with even more of that queasy feeling. Warren and Harris want to proceed; Sanders does not, fearing that impeachment would be politically disadvantageous and diminish the possibility of (his?) beating Trump in the 2020 election. Nancy Pelosi warns how divisive an impeachment would be while leaving herself some wiggle room by not rejecting the possibility outright. (Isn’t the country already divided, if not downright splintered?) Even Hillary Clinton has weighed in saying, not surprisingly, that Congress should move forward with a Watergate-style investigation. Analysis paralysis anyone?
Time might tell what needs to be done, but it has a sneaky way of not letting us know what that might be until it is too late to do it. A skillful debater could mount intellectually honest arguments for all of these possibilities or, conversely, tear each one down.
With all these current and formerly elected officials telling us what they think should happen next, it’s understandable that many of us are wondering who is principled and who is just political. Because if it’s really just politics after all, there’s going to be some folks asking for their chains back, as they’ve grown a wee bit weary of having them yanked.
So forget the vodka this week, I just need some Maalox.