Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Oh, shut up

Many of my Facebook friends follow Jim Wright, a "forward thinking progressive." Sometimes he's funny. His writing is always clever. Usually he's hostile. He is, frankly, too partisan for this old-school liberal. I'm a Kennedy Girl. I think public service is honorable, and I believe compromise yields results. The ideological purity of zealots like Jim Wright (or Steve Bannon) gets into the way of getting things done for the people of this country.

But that's a small quibble, really. He's a good writer and we have free speech in this country. I would prefer people not be seduced into his "us vs. them" worldview because I agree with Barack Obama that what unites us is greater than what divides us. But whatever. I'd also prefer people not obsess on the Kardashians and the Duggars.

But Jim Wright moves from his usual edgy and descends into offensive when he starts in on John McCain. "Johnny Walnuts," as he likes to call him. He makes fun of how, when presented with Trump's ridiculous accusation about President Obama and wiretaps, McCain snarled in his "gravelly war-hero voice" and "shook his gnarled fist in the air."

John McCain cannot shake his gnarled fist in the air because, in 1967:

•  He broke both arms as he ejected from his fiery warplane.

•  He was then captured, and as a POW had his shoulder shattered by one of his captors.

Consequently, John McCain cannot lift his arms. He even needs help to comb his hair.

John McCain in a propaganda photo from Hanoi

Jim Wright's military background doesn't make his Facebook post "informed." It makes it even worse.

Hillary Clinton's "deplorable" label should not be reserved for the alt-right. I was disgusted by Trump mocking Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times, and I'm disgusted by Jim Wright.

Let's try not to become what we hate.


  1. FYI, he didn't make up the "Johnny Walnuts" name. That's been around for a long time.

    That said, I am lukewarm about him. He is harsh, he is highly authoritarian in how he shares his opinions and many of them hit me the wrong way. (He is not down with the Woo at all, for example.) But it's a product of his military training and what he did there. So, I take what resonates, chuck the rest.

  2. I know "Johnny Walnuts" isn't original and I know it's an unflattering comparison to Paulie from The Sopranos. I know this. I just don't excuse Mr. Wright for indulging in it. Whether it's "Obummer" for Obama or "Mittens" for Mitt Romney or "Johnny Walnuts" for John McCain, it's childish and it coarsens the political debate. I don't accept it.

    And making light of John McCain for "raising his fists" ... nothing excuses that ugliness. As I said, the challenge for all of us over the next four years is to resist becoming what we hate.