This past week on T.V. I listened to a collage of responses from representatives attending the opening of the Democratic National Convention. A question posed to each career Pol being interviewed was: "Is the nation better off today than we were four years ago?" To a person the answer was yes, followed with a potpourri of twisted reasoning that defied even Lou Costello logic. I picked my gaping jaw up off the floor, pushed my bulging eyes back into their sockets, and finally,after catching my breath started cussing at the
T.V. set defenselessly sitting in the corner of the room. Suddenly a fifty year old memory flashed before my eyes giving reason but not approval to their answers.
It's the spring of 1960 and I'm in the office of my boss, Raymond O. Murphy, Assistant Dean of Men at Penn State University. On the hot seat in Ray's office was one of my freshmen students, John Miller, a Screw up First Class, who was unceremoniously on the verge of being tossed out of the ball game. John was failing most of his courses and had been a disruptive pain in the anatomy during late night study hours all semester.
Now final exams were approaching and the disruptions were seriously interfering with the study routine of the entire dorm. I presented the sordid history of John's behavior to Dean Murphy and recommended expulsion. John looked the Dean straight in the eye and exuding all the innocence of a saint, dismissed my charges as a fabricated myth and painted me as a villain on a personal vendetta.
Dean Murphy, a professional with more training, maturity,and temper control than this old sailor, wisely recessed the expulsion proceedings and excused Miller. Ray asked me to canvas the students in my dorm to obtain witnesses who could corroborate my accusations. When the number of potential witnesses reached ten, Dean Murphy summoned Screw Up Miller back to his office for a private meeting and presented him with the witness list. Miller just smiled and said, without apology," Well Murph, you can't blame me for trying." That same afternoon Miller dropped out of the University of his own accord.
Shortly after Miller's departure I met with Ray and expressed my exasperation over a person willing to lie at the expense of another person's reputation and the group's well being. Murphy just laughed at me. " What did you expect Lefty? He wasn't going to say you're right, I screwed up and deserve to be tossed out. Guys like that have to be shown the door."
Here we are fifty plus years later and nothing's changed except now we've had almost an entire convention assembled in an attempt to defend a failed administration while wearing a happy face. It's worthy of note that a number of Big D team members were conspicuous by their absence. My guess is that growing dissatisfaction back home made it too dangerous( guilt by association) to attend this grand exercise in whistling past the graveyard.
Our economy is down the outhouse with unemployment over 8% and rising. Our
National Dept will become an albatross around the neck of our grandchildren.
This administration during four short years accumulated more debt than all other
administrations to date, funding stimulus packages reeking of political correctness and cronyism. We are now saddled with a government run health care system that is complicated to the point that even the framers of this Frankenstein Monster can't control its negative impact on the citizenry or health care establishment. Add to this pathetic list foreign policy that insults our traditional allies and panders to established and emerging
nations with questionable interest in American values.
Today the President looks us straight in the eye and with a worn out theme of Hope, Change, and blame Bush does a fifty year old encore of the Screw Up Miller strategy: " You can't Blame Me for trying." Well Mr President, just trying is for amateurs -there's the door!
At least the Penn State example had a happy ending. Seven years after I graduated, I was visiting the campus when from across the street came a loud shout, " Lefty!" Running toward me full tilt was a neatly dressed John Miller. Instinctively I took a defensive stance but he was smiling and after shaking my hand, enthusiastically brought me up to date on his last seven years. After dropping out of school in 1960 John joined the Air Force and completed a four year tour of duty. He then reapplied to Penn State and in 1967 was in his senior year with a Deans List Grade Point Average. All's well that ends
well in the adventures of Screw Up Miller. Hopefully our nation will also rebound from the Obama Amateur Hour.
Retired Consulting Engineer and Farmer