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Skip Tucker: The Political Postmortem

By SKIP TUCKER, Alabama Daily News Featured Columnist

The excellent Todd Stacy and Alabama Daily News brought me on board in January to try to tease some meaning out of the political vagaries of the day.

This day, political postmortem day, rests gentle on my mind. From where I sit, which is somewhere in the cramped space between the coldblooded left and the hardboiled right, Tuesday’s midterm elections couldn’t have gone better.

While the ballyhooed Blue Tsunami was a ripple when compared to the wild-eyed predictions of total repudiation of the Trump administration, it served to put in place a counterbalance. No power should be absolute, eh.

My main takeaway is that Trump received a passing grade. He is positioned for re-election, as things stand. The State of the Union, relatively, is sound. Even the TV screamers start to feel queasy and to look for an exit when words like The Economy and Safe Streets pop into play.

To my mind, Trump has been the most truthful of recent presidents, often to his detriment. He has done, or tried to do, what he said he would. How about that for something new.

Of course, the talking-head screamers, as we speak, are re-defining what they meant by Blue Wave.  Blue Wave now means exactly what happened, and isn’t it remarkable how each variant fits neatly into the box of their ideology, and what a happy thing for them. It isn’t right (but it is left).

Whatever definition for Blue Wave they discover, it didn’t dampen the sugary white shores of Alabama.

Those tender, erudite souls who read my stuff might recall me wondering whether conservatives might surrender to the millions if not billions of dollars worth of hateful rhetoric spewed by the never-ending madness of TV reporters. Their extravagant bitterness recurs so frequently it was hoped astonishment might fade. Alas.

But it was repudiated at the Alabama ballot box. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was astonishing. In 15 years of voting every election at my polling place, it never took me more than 15 minutes.

Tuesday, on arrival,  my first thought was that a football game had occurred. I left and returned twice over a six-hour span, and still I stood in line for a half-hour. A woman in front of me said, “Isn’t this wonderful.” It is. And high time.

A national pundit last week pinned high hopes on Alabama’s Democrat hopefuls, saying the party “fielded its strongest list of candidates in years,” and how disheartening that must be for them. Good people, wrong party, at least for the time being.

Back on point, Donald Trump got a passing grade, and here’s why I think it: midterm elections traditionally tend to the opposition party and in a large manner.

While the GOP lost at least 26 seats and control of Congress, it’s nothing compared to the abject wreckage experienced by the midterm exams in the administrations of Clinton and Obama, who lost 54 and 63, respectively, according to Sean Hannity.

Another high point is Nancy Pelosi’s return to the front row. She is to Republicans a gift that keeps on giving. I find her overweening arrogance repulsive, frankly, to the point that on the rare occasions I have a bad day I find comfort in the knowledge that somewhere there is a Mr. Pelosi.

Too, I admire the fact that, near as I can tell, all Dems lost who led the dirty fight against Justice Brett Kavanaugh (didn’t I see that another of his accusers has recanted and is under investigation by the FBI).

Maybe another hopeful sign is that The Donald said following the exam that he’d like to see the polemic and the hateful rhetoric softened. He said he’ll do it if met halfway, but that he will continue to meet tough with tough.

The fine-haired, triple woven screamers won’t contenance softness, but wouldn’t it be grand to see Pelosi and Trump at least appear to work together for the good of us all.

It is not without precedent.

In the 1990s, when Republicans won Congress, Newt Gingrich worked with Bill Clinton to balance the budget. In the 2000s, when Democrats won Congress, George W. Bush worked with them to pass prescription drugs for seniors. So it could happen.

At least it’s pretty to think so.

This just in: I filed this column yesterday, before the “incident” at a presidential news conference when CNN’s Bully Jim accosted a female white house staffer.

Known even to his liberal colleagues as a self-serving grandstander, Bully Jim not only refused to hand back the microphone so other reporters could have a go, he insisted on continuing his verbal assault.

When the staffer reached to take the microphone, he pushed her away. It wasn’t a blow, or even a shove, but it was bullying and no doubt. CNN defends his irresponsible actions. It’s the old phonus balonus.

We now know where the pros at CNN stop resistance to the bullying of women, or anyone else: It’s all right to bully someone who works for Donald Trump.

Perhaps a measuring stick would be to put the shoe on the other foot. What if Donald Trump was at CNN studio and refused to hand back its microphone, refused to allow others to have a fair share.

Here’s a telling thing: Bully Jim was not, as he lamely claimed, just trying to ask a question. He began his tirade by saying to the president, “I want to challenge…”

As a former reporter, I assure the fact that it was out of line.

He was out of line, rude, disrespectful, insistent, insensitive, mean spirited and, later, a whiner. Those words describe a bully.

A nitwit at CNN sent a twitter claiming righteousness. The twit said Bully Jim was trying to get information for his 8 p.m hit. An extremely poor choice of words.

Shame on CNN. Shame, shame, shame.

(Next week: Good Man Jeff Sessions.)

Skip Tucker was editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper, then communications secretary for gubernatorial folks like George McMillan, Charlie Graddick and Jim Folsom. He ran Alabama Voters Against Lawsuit Abuse for in Montgomery for 15 years. He has published one novel, Pale Blue Light, a spy thriller set in The Civil War. He’s now a regular contributor for the Alabama Daily News at

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