Most Americans can’t quite understand how events of previous centuries still have the power to stir anger and resentments, and make an appreciation of their common interests difficult. Well, some Americans can recall a certain anger late on a summer night after a third or even fourth bourbon and branch water, but the feeling quickly goes away. Nations, after all, do not have permanent friends, in Lord Palmerston’s famous explanation to Queen Victoria, but nations do have permanent interests and memories of a civil war no longer poisons those interests on these shores.
Successful congressional candidates of both parties often — perhaps usually — suffer amnesia when they get to Washington, and get a glance of the vast buffet of perks Congress votes for itself. They forget a lot of the promises they made during their successful campaigns for Congress. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, a Republican, has not forgotten. He’s trying to find out who certified that Congress is a “small business” so its members and their highly paid staffs could be eligible for an Obamacare subsidy for employees of businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
By all accounts, the all-electric Tesla is a dreamboat of an automobile. It looks good, it’s comfortable and it’s a joy to drive. It has innovative engineering and slick handling, and it’s faster than most sports cars. Because it uses no gasoline, it’s “environmentally friendly,” but like a lot of good things, it costs a lot.
America celebrated the planet Wednesday with the gaudy red, white and blue charm guaranteed to turn a tree-hugger green. Earth Day was first observed 45 years ago when most baby boomers were teenagers, and now the candles are dripping all over the birthday cake. It’s only natural. Repetition becomes routine, and routine hides the original idea, which is rendered meaningless. It doesn’t take a campaign to care for the planet, and some of the Earth Day observances are starting to look a little silly.
It’s the conceit of every generation to think in terms of hyperbole, that nobody has seen the trouble it sees. But the 2016 campaign for the White House promises to be as personal and divisive as any in a long time. The politics of threats, fireworks and innuendo have begun. The Democratic and Republican front-runners have been around for a long time, and have the help of longtime loyalists with a history of using every weapon in their arsenal to cripple and destroy.