Monday, October 28, 2019

Remembrances Of The McBoobadoobs And Election Campaigns Past

     If you fail to pay attention to the caperings of the major media, it’s easy to miss the assistance they’ve been providing to the Democrats for the 2020 elections. This is especially significant given that most of the Democrats vying for their party’s presidential nod are at least as far to the left as Obama was. In light of the huge contrast between the Trump economy and the Obama economy, and between Trump’s foreign achievements and those of Obama, we wouldn’t willingly elect someone who shares Obama’s hard-left positions unless there were significant compensating assets on that side of the political ledger, and such assets are, shall we say, hard to find. So the media, as heavily invested in Democrat success as ever, are doing what they can for those candidates, mostly through the op-ed columns and talking-head shows.

     It put me in mind of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, and the several ways in which the media strove to glamorize him. They glossed over his arrogance and his many lies, and emphasized his speaking and (God help us) his grooming. I thought back to a couple of columns I wrote for Eternity Road of fond memory. And I decided that the time had come to revive them.

     For context, please read this October 2008 piece by Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia before proceeding.

1. Conversations With The McBoobadoobs.

     Recently, a Long Island blogging colleague of mine, Elizabeth Scalia, better known as The Anchoress, mentioned Booby in the course of a disquisition on how the Main Stream Media have treated Joe Wurzelbacher, now better known as "Joe the Plumber." What matters, she wrote, is the response Barack Obama, the socialist candidate for president, made to Joe's innocent question about how Obama's tax plan would affect him. It wouldn't have made a difference, Elizabeth said, whether it had been Joe or Booby McBoobadoob who'd asked the question.

     I immediately took exception. Joe is apparently a fine fellow, a good plumber, a loving father to his kids, and a credit to his community. But he's not Booby.

     Aloysius Christopher McBoobadoob was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on February 13, 1967, the first child of Hector and Clarice McBoobadoob of that city and state. He acquired the cognomen Booby in grammar school, and insists to this day that it has nothing to do with the shape of his upper chest.

     Booby's early life was undistinguished. He graduated high school with average grades, served a three-year stint in the Army, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal. Upon reentering civilian life at age twenty-one, he accepted employment at an agricultural-supplies concern on the outskirts of Des Moines as a general handyman and maintenance person. At twenty-six he married Amarantha Sullivan, his longtime sweetheart. The two then moved from Des Moines to Indianapolis -- Amarantha, who's usually called just Maire, insisted on being close to her aging parents -- which is where they live today. Over the past fifteen years they've acquired one house, one son, two daughters, one dog, and two cats. Today Booby works as a facilities supervisor for a large Indianapolis self-storage company, while Maire volunteers in the children's section at one of the city's public libraries. The two drive used cars -- hers is a 1998 Buick Century; his is a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix -- and are oppressed by the usual complement of credit card bills, Jehovah's Witnesses, and calls from telemarketers.

     Booby and Maire live reasonably well on his $58,000 annual salary. He has to do a few things himself that better-off persons usually hire done -- oil changes on the cars, maintenance of the furnace and hot water heater, repairs on household appliances -- but he does them cheerfully, observing that he once did them for an employer for pay, so what's so bad about doing them for himself and his family? Maire sometimes comments disparagingly on the seemingly permanent dirt under Booby's fingernails, but he can usually put an end to that with a kiss, dinner out, or a gift of shoes.

     Justin, Louise, and Adele, the three McBoobadoob children, attend public schools. Booby and Maire aren't perfectly happy with what the kids are being exposed to. There's quite a lot of non-education, even anti-education, going on in public schools these days. Maire tries to keep up with the trends and counteract them when the occasion demands, but she often wonders if her kids are telling her everything she ought to hear. Along with that, a couple of the teachers in the high school have become aggressive about their anti-religious convictions. Booby, a non-practicing Catholic, tries to shrug it off, but Maire, a devout Methodist, is becoming concerned that these "educators" have more traction with Justin than her parish pastor does.

     The cost of living has them concerned, too. Combined property taxes on their modest three-bedroom home, for which they paid $110,000 in 1993, have risen to $6200 per year -- more than ten percent of Booby's before-tax salary. Partly it's because they're within the city limits -- three miles further west and the tax bill would be only $4300 -- but there's nothing to be done about it except sell and move, and Maire is flatly against that while the kids are still in school. The tax burden, the rising cost of oil, gas, and electric power, and the need to start putting together a college fund for Justin have them looking for economies. They haven't found many they can exploit.

     Booby and Maire don't discuss politics. She's a little bit left of center; he's a slightly mushy conservative. She usually votes; he usually doesn't. They instinctively avoid political involvement; it would take a team of horses and an oversized whip to drag them to a campaign rally. But this year, both of them are engaged. This year, they sense that more than trivialities hang on the balloting on November 4.


     I asked Booby what he thought of the Joe the Plumber episode and its sequels. I'd never before heard him raise his voice. He's angry at everyone involved: at Barack Obama, for his oily invasion of a peaceful private neighborhood; at the Obama campaign, for its assault on Joe Wurzelbacher's good name in the hope of salvaging Obama's public image as a friend of the middle class; at the media, for their attempt to paint Joe as some sort of Republican stooge; and at Joe himself for, as Booby put it, "not cold-cocking the bastard and laying him out flat in the street, right then, as he deserved."

     "I don't own much firepower," Booby said, "just this little Ruger .22 caliber target rifle, and I haven't even taken it to the range this year. But by God, if that lying sonofabitch had paraded down my street like a tinpot dictator, I'd have loaded, locked, and filled his ass with lead. These political assholes think they can shove their faces in wherever they want, whenever they want. Then if they don't get the reception they think they deserve, it's us poor slobs who have to suffer. Why the hell didn't Joe knock him on his ass? The Secret Service? He would have been out on bail in two hours and a national hero in three!"

     "Would you have done that to John McCain, everything else being equal?" I said.

     Booby took a long pull on his Coors, sat back, and thought for a spell. "Maybe," he said. "Left or right, black or white, an invasion's an invasion. We didn't ask the Japs about their politics after Pearl Harbor, did we? We just gave 'em the back of our hand." He brightened. "But I'll bet McCain's never done anything like that. Has he?"

     I thought about it. "I don't think so," I said.

     Booby nodded. "Good," he said. "He's a good man. Maybe not the best man in the country, but he'll do. Another beer?" he said.

     I smiled. "Sure."


     Maire McBoobadoob is even more incensed. I didn't expect that. What I knew of her politics seemed to agree with Obama on more than half his policy points. It turned out that that hardly mattered.

     "It's a question of decency," she said. "I don't care nearly as much about politics as I care about decency. Decent people treat other people decently. Obama doesn't. If you ask him a question he doesn't want to answer, you're a racist. If you look into his friends and allies, you must hate minorities and the poor. If you investigate his fundraising practices, or his ties to an organization like ACORN, you're Public Enemy Number One!" She took a ladyfinger from the faux-silver tray between us and dipped it halfway into her tea. "These are pretty good, even if they do come in a five-pound bag," she said.

     I nodded, as my mouth was still full.

     "Who I'm really worried about," she continued, "is Justin. The more I look into the schools, the more I see that I don't like. A lot of Obama's cronies call themselves educational reformers, which is about like calling a sewer worker a sanitation executive. They want to push all this 'progressive' PC garbage into the curriculum and push all the English, history, math and science out! As if the schools weren't already full of their nonsense!"

     "Is there a part of it that bothers you more than the rest?" I said.

     Maire drained her teacup and pursed her lips. "I think...the sex education part," she said. "Louise and Adele have already gotten a helping, and it's not what we were told it was. The teachers are against chastity, if you can believe it. They've been telling the kids to experiment, that it's all in good fun. Hey, maybe you're gay, try it out, you might like it! Almost nothing about the risks, the diseases, or the heartbreak." Something flickered across her face, something swift and sorrowful, as if she were remembering a heartbreak of her own from long ago.

     "Were you offered a chance to opt them out?" I said.

     Maire shook her head. "No one gets that. Not around here. Do they do that where you live?"

     "No," I said. "It seems to be mandatory everywhere, now."

     "I should have guessed," she replied. "Once they get their meathooks into the system, they never pull 'em out, only drive 'em deeper. More tea?" she said.

     I nodded, though my back teeth were floating. "Sure."


     Booby and Maire are Middle America. Yes, they're fictional -- neither the Scots McBoobadoobs nor the Polynesian branch of the family will admit to them, anyway -- but they embody the full spectrum of American middle-class virtues, values, priorities, and fears for the future. They've sensed the rotten core at the heart of the Obama for President campaign, and want nothing to do with it. And so, to Booby's surprise and for the first time he's aware of, Maire has decided to vote Republican. Barack Obama has a lot more to fear from the McBoobadoobs of America than from Joe Wurzelbacher.

     There've been Republican accusations of vote fraud against the Democrats, and Democrat counter-accusations of vote suppression against the Republicans. The Republican charges are well supported by evidence while the Democrats' accusations are not. If anyone's votes are likely to be suppressed, or in some way nullified, they're the votes of Booby and Maire, and millions like them. It's from the low of character that we expect such villainies. Such persons are heavily over-represented among Democrats, and on the political Left generally.

     But we already knew that from first principles, didn't we? The Left has forsworn all standards of justice or decency; they might get in the way of stealing the next election. A man who says that only the Cause matters, that anything is permissible in service to the Cause, has pre-declared his ethical boundaries: he has none. It's among the ironies of human life that when a man of low character accuses you of something vile, it's because he's actively considering doing it himself.

     Consider well before you cast your ballot on November 4.

2. Return To The McBoobadoobs.

     I and my Co-Conspirators here at Eternity Road don't do many Man-In-The-Street interviews; there's too much legwork involved, and we dislike being pelted with street debris by persons disinclined to speak. But one such piece, written just before the 2008 election, garnered a great deal of interest and E-mail. One typical E-mail suggested that I schedule a follow-up interview with the McBoobadoobs a year later, to see if their opinions had changed at all. I noted the suggestion in my Long-Term-Agenda folder, to which I recur whenever I sense that my focus is beginning to narrow -- or widen -- unacceptably.

     It hasn't been a year, but events have been far more rapid than anyone expected. So, thinking it might be well to take Middle America's pulse in a direct way, I called Booby and Maire and asked if they'd be amenable to a follow-up right away. Being the gracious sorts they are, they immediately agreed.


     There've been few changes in the lives of the McBoobadoob family. They're still where they were on the edge of Indianapolis. Booby still runs a self-storage facility; Maire still volunteers in the children's section of a local library. Their kids are as they were, just nine months older. Probably the most significant developments in their lives since the earlier interview are the things they decided not to do.

     Maire, who remains concerned with the quality of the education the kids are receiving in their local public schools, had been looking into a Catholic alternative. The $2000 annual tuition appeared manageable, at least for Justin alone, who at fourteen is squarely under the crosshairs of the multiculturalists, the moral relativists, and the sexual proselytizers. Booby defers to Maire on such matters. But after long consideration of the family's finances, the prospects for a sharp increase in taxes, and the likelihood of a large slug of inflation, she decided against it. Political trends being what they are, it would be too risky to commit to that magnitude of expense.

     "What if Obama gets his health-care proposal or his second stimulus bill through Congress?" she said. "You know there'd be a tax increase to fund either one. And the borrowing to this point is scary. How can Washington afford the interest on all that debt?"

     "Are you aware of how the Federal Reserve system works?" I said.

     Maire nodded. "I got curious about it when the first stimulus bill passed. It's hard to believe it's legal." She snorted. "And they claim the Fed is non-political! Wait here a moment, I have something to show you."

     She rose, left the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a handful of something. What she spread on the table before me was a pile of broken jewelry.

     "It's mostly fourteen-K gold," she said. "One or two diamond chips. I've had most of it for a long time. You know how this stuff can accumulate. But I heard a commercial on the radio a few days ago, from a local outfit that's buying up scrap gold. 'Highest prices paid!' they said. So I went through my jewelry box for everything I'd never had the inclination to fix, intending to bring it down there and see if I could get enough for it for a mortgage payment."

     "Why didn't you?" I said.

     "Because that very day, I heard two other commercials on the radio, from two other outfits buying up scrap gold. Same basic pitch: 'Highest prices paid! See us first!' And it occurred to me that when everyone is buying, that's usually the time to stay put." She stirred the pile of chains, bracelets and brooches with a finger. "We don't really need the money...right now."

     I nodded. "I know a lot of people who've come to the same conclusion."

     She smiled wanly, recognizing a good decision made against her druthers. "So Justin will have to stay in public school for another year or so. And I'll keep this stuff against a rainy day." She frowned down at the little pile of valuables. "Do you suppose I should keep it somewhere safe?"

     "I would," I said.


     I found Booby working on the suspension of his 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. He sat up and smiled sunnily as I approached.

     "Do you do this stuff?" he said.

     "I used to," I said. "The wife doesn't let me any more."

     "Yeah, I get it," he said. He rose, wiped his hands on an old towel, and shook mine. "They'd rather your nails stayed clean, just in case you win free tickets to the opera. How's it been going?"

     "Fair," I said. "No real changes. But I'm out here to ask you that!"

     He shook his head. "Changes," he said. "They raised our property taxes again. $6900 a year, now. I can still afford it, barely. But I was thinking about moving."

     "Outside the city limit?" I said.

     He nodded. "With the girls growing so fast we could use more space, and there are some nice four-bedrooms to the west that we could pick up for a song. We did some looking, found a couple we might have liked to buy. I talked with a realtor about what we could get for our place, and the difference seemed affordable...until I saw their tax bills."

     "They went up too, eh?" I said.

     "A lot," he said. "With home sales so slow, the thieves in local government know they have us by the short 'n' curlies. Seems like everyone in the state has gotten socked. I don't know what they need the money for."

     "I'm not sure 'need' enters into it," I said.

     "Yeah, right." He looked back at his car. "If you try to be responsible, stay out of debt, think forward about what you don't need right away but you might soon, stuff like this can freeze you in your tracks. You don't know what you can count on. I mean, I still have my job, and I even got a little raise in March. But who could say what the bastards are going to do to us next? That Communist in the White House could start shoveling my money at his buddies in Iran and North Korea any minute!" His expression changed abruptly. "Show you something?"

     I followed him behind his garage, and found a pop-up camper trailer there. It was a few years old, and was beginning to show the signs: nicks and small dents, and a few rust spots along the underside of the body panels.

     "Bought it a couple of months ago," Booby said. "That's why I was working on the Pontiac. I figured, what with air travel and hotel rooms getting so expensive, maybe Maire and I would make our next vacation an outdoorsy one, the way we did when we were younger. There are some beautiful campable parks and nature sites out west." He looked down ruefully at his paunch. "A few miles of hiking and nature trailing might do us some good."

     "Figure to go soon?" I said.

     "Not this year," he said. "I have to save up to afford the gas."


     Booby had one more thing to show me before we parted company. He put a finger to his lips in the universal sign for quiet, and led me into his basement workshop. It's a neat and orderly place, all the bins containers neatly stacked and labeled. There wasn't a single item littering the surface of his workbench.

     He pulled open the bottom drawer of the bench, reached inside, and drew forth a matte-black rifle.

     I recognized it at once. It's a Bushmaster AR-15, one of the most popular semiautomatic rifles in the world. Compact, accurate, and lethal at up to 200 yards. Its utility and sturdiness are legendary. Eugene Stoner's original design was intended for military use, and became the basis for the Army's M-16 automatic carbine.

     "I have one of those," I said.

     Booby nodded. "I would've guessed. The way things have been going, I figured we should have something like this and plenty of rounds for it. I can't bring myself to tell Maire about it, though. She'd pitch a record fit."

     "Think so?" I said.

     "Yeah. She's a great gal, don't get me wrong, I still love her like crazy, but guns make her...a little weird."

     "A lot of women are like that," I said. "When did you buy it?"

     He looked me squarely in the eyes, a portrait of unclouded resolve. "November 5, 2008. When did you get yours?"

     "Same day."


     If there is hope for America, it lies in the McBoobadoobs and families like them. Families rocked by the torrent of anti-family, anti-property, and anti-privacy legislation and court decisions the last few years have brought. Families desperate to improve their situations but paralyzed by the instability of the legal, social, and political conditions we suffer today. Families that must endure an accelerating stream of intrusions and exactions, levied upon them seemingly for no purpose but the enrichment and aggrandizement of the politically powerful. Families whose deepest need is to be left alone and in peace, and who can't understand why their need is the only one that seems weightless in the balances of executives, legislators, and judges.

     Families that have come to understand that the elections of 2008 have moved us to the brink of national disaster.

     Yes, the McBoobadoobs are fictional. But they give a thought-provoking interview, don't they?

No comments: