The problem here in Cheneyville is the Old Man's off his rocker.
That's the way some folks are seeing it, anyway. He's lost his marbles, they say. He's gone around the bend. His brain's turned into oatmeal. He doesn't know his...
You get the picture.
That's the way some folks around here see it. They hear about the latest stuff the Old Man had to say about the New Guy, and they just shake their heads.
They figure nobody with an ounce of gray matter left would have said all that--accusing the New Guy of "trying to pretend" the country's not at war with the terrorists, and of not really caring about keeping us safe from the terrorists, and even of not saying the words "War on Terror" as often as the Old Man thinks he should be saying them.
Like saying the words enough is how you keep us safe.
Nutty stuff, every bit of it--and that's even before you get to the part where he goes after the New Guy for trying to shut down Guantanamo and supposedly let the terrorists go free, when two of the terrorists who helped that Nigerian guy try to blow up that plane the other day were let out of Guantanamo while the Old Man was running things!
Ignore him, some folks are saying. Let him yell if he wants to yell. He doesn't know what he's saying anymore. It's all just a blur to him now.
He thinks he was a hero, they say. A war hero! And a great military strategist, too. Instead of who he really was, which was wronger longer than just about anyone about just about everything.
And he's acting like the expert?! He has to be nuts!
That's the way some folks see it.
Then there are the other folks. They don't think the Old Man is nuts at all. They think he knows exactly what he's doing.
They think the Old Man is the same slick operator he always was, only now he's taking all that slickness of his and using it to try to take the New Guy down. He can't stand it that the New Guy won. He can't stand it that the New Guy won big after running against everything the Old Man and his Puppet Pal had done for eight years, and everything they stood for.
By the time the Old Man left office, he was some kind of scary joke, a human toxic site. When the New Guy was sworn in, at least he had a line in there to thank Puppet Pal for his years of service -- but not a word for the Old Man. You think that was an accident?
You think the Old Man didn't notice?
He notices everything, these other folks say. He forgets nothing. And he can't stand everything the New Guy stands for!
"Social transformation," the Old Man calls it. "The restructuring of American society."
That's the last thing the Old Man wants. He liked it fine the way things were. Just thinking about changing it gets his bile boiling.
So everything the Old Man's saying now, they figure, he's saying absolutely on purpose. Every distortion, every insinuation he's putting out there, he's putting out there with his eyes wide open. Doesn't matter what the facts are--as long as the Old Man can do the New Guy some real damage, he's happy, and it doesn't matter who else might get hurt along the way. That's how these other folks see it.
Me? I'm still teetering. Sometimes the Old Man's so crazy, you just have to laugh.
Sometimes he's so nasty, I want to punch his lights out.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.