EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 30, 2012

Column: ‘Sound of Music’ offers no escape from political realities


The most normal person there in the past few weeks was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who laughed when President Obama proposed that he be allowed to increase the debt limit all by himself, without Congress. I laughed too; until on Christmas Eve the Boston Globe lead editorial advocated that “Congress limit its own power by abolishing the debt limit entirely as part of any fiscal-cliff deal.” Of course. Who needs a debt limit? And by the way, who needs a Congress? Obama won the election, and now he can borrow any amount he wants — $20 trillion, $50 trillion, what’s the difference? Just electronically transfer the money from the Federal Reserve to the wheelbarrows ...

I feel this allows me to mention another Mayan apocalypse cartoon. Two Mayans are looking at the stone calendar. One asks, “So how come it ends in 2012?” The other says, “Those idiots reelect Obama.”

Sorry. But why be filled with Christmas spirit, goodwill to men? Others don’t feel the need. All over America, anti-gun zealots are tweeting that NRA leaders like Wayne LaPierre should be shot. On Dec. 14, author Joyce Carol Oates tweeted: “If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?”

I’d call the FBI to suggest they arrest her for inciting to violence, but a calm agent would probably tell me that the kind of people she was tweeting to probably wouldn’t have guns with which to shoot anyone, and wouldn’t be able to get close enough to stab LaPierre because, of course, he is armed.

Back to “The Sound of Music.” Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ... And look, the Nazis have just taken over Austria, though so many Austrians had believed that it could never happen there. The Trapp family is escaping over the Alps to the West, where Winston Churchill will be vowing in 1940: “We shall fight on the beaches ... we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills.” England prides itself on its gun control, which began in 1937; one wonders what Mr. Churchill thought they were going to fight the Germans with, on the beaches and in the streets. Fortunately, a well-armed America saved them.

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