Napalm in the morning…

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

That was Robert Duvall’s famous line from Apocalypse Now.  We laughed nervously at Lt. Colonel Kilgore’s morbid craziness while we also stared at the wild, crazy eyes of Marlon Brando, playing Colonel Kurtz, a berserk officer living in a cave, who had gone over the deep end in the same movie.

I was somehow reminded of that movie as I watched and listened to John Boehner this morning as he tried to explain why he couldn’t successfully arm wrestle enough members of his own party into voting for his Plan B.  A plan devised by folks who apparently had skipped arithmetic in first grade.  A plan that offered to microscopically increase taxes on folks making over a million dollars while, maybe inadvertently, also raise taxes on a few million poor folks.  Such a deal.

Eric Cantor, majority leader and Boehner’s Sancho Panza, stood next to the Speaker and, when his turn in the barrel came, told us how the Republicans had fought hard to maintain fiscal sanity while the Democrats simply didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation.  Then he quickly stepped aside, exited stage left, and went home for the holidays.

Speaker Boehner, looking like he needed some emergency time in the tanning booth, then took questions from the press.  “Mr. Speaker, now that you weren’t able to corral enough of your own party to pass your own Plan B, and since all of your members are headed for the airport, what are you going to do next to keep us from going off the fiscal cliff?”

Rising majestically to his full political height, a smile appeared on his face not unlike that of a kid who has no way out other than to tell the truth, and said “God only knows.”  For the first time ever, I actually almost believed him.

The Speaker knows the solution but can’t bring himself to say it.  To say it means that he will have failed to satisfy the Colonel Kilgores and Colonel Kurtzes of the Republican party.  The crazies who have hijacked the party and are holding it hostage until he and we agree to their every demand.  Holding a gun to their own heads like Cleavon Little did in Blazing Saddles.  The crazies who, like the NRA’s gun-toting national icon Charlton Heston, will never let a tax hike be pried from their cold, dead hands.

The same crazies worship Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, who earlier had promised to provide constructive suggestions that would stem the mass killings of first graders.  In satisfaction of that pledge he offered these remarks at today’s NRA news conference…

America has left its school children utterly defenseless.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Put an armed police officer in every school.

Laws that declare school zones as “Gun Free” actually entice killers to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

He criticized Congress for not having established a national data base of the mentally ill (he did not, however, offer to be first on its list.)

How does one deal with crazies?  First, you convince the vast majority of our citizens that the crazies are indeed crazy.  We’ve already done that, in spades.

Second, you refuse to deal with the crazies on their terms.  We’re doing that.

Third, you replace the crazies.  We’ve done some of that but another opportunity will come up in 2014.

Yes, the fiscal cliff is ten days away.  As the venerable George W. Bush once said “bring ’em on.”  If we do that, here’s what will happen.

Sane folks, including a bunch of Republicans, will realize that the sake of the country is more important than Grover Norquist, The Tea Party, and Wayne LaPierre.  They will band together with enough votes to pass legislation that will lead to fiscal sanity and put a severe dent in mass murders.

Until then, get used to the smell of napalm in the morning.

Robert Duvall

3 Responses to “Napalm in the morning…”

  1. 1 Roger Conrad December 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I felt really old today listening to the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre talk about arming elementary school teachers and having policemen in every educational institution. I thought back to my elderly kindergarten teacher Mrs. Gooden and imagined her today teaching students with an AK47 slung over her shoulder. “Now class, how many rounds does this assault rifle’s clip carry? Can you all say assault rifle? And what do we do with this gun? Yes! We kill the bad guys that come here to hurt us. Very good class.”

    I can remember when the worst thing that happened to me in school was other kids making fun of me or stealing my lunch. How self serving it was of Mr. LaPierre, whose NRA represents the interests of the arms industry and is heavily funded from that source, to suggest that more arms sales and a larger police establishment is the answer. It is all about the money, but he hides that by wrapping it in the constitution and the flag. More fear, more patriotism, equals more sales. An ingenious profit plan that can escalate into the future. Already there are companies offering body armor backpacks for children. Be afraid, be very afraid $$$$$.



  2. 2 sally December 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I guess that anybody who thinks that more guns is the answer also thinks that the answer to the obesity epidemic is to tell everyone to eat more cheeseburgers.


  3. 3 Harry Dyner December 23, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Do we have a revenue problem or a spending problem? Both parties have continued to spend. We have only had a budget surplus during one year since World War II—during Eisenhower’s tenure. The Clinton “surplus” was not true, since they played games with the social security funds (you can check this out by looking at the yearly growth in the debt of the United States).

    You criticize the Republican’s, but Obama didn’t even accept his own Simpson Bowles commission recommendations, and started moving the goal posts on trimming spending. Now it’s lest pass the revenue and we’ll talk about spending next year. He (and you) will blame the republican’s intransigence on taxes for pushing us over the “fiscal cliff”, but both sides are at fault.


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