Vital political lesson meets one of dad’s favorite jokes | Whale’s Tales

As we all know by now, the recent midterm elections did not go as the polls, pundits and prognosticators had predicted.

The red wave Republicans expected to ride to shore did not swell to tidal, bone crushing proporitions.

The Senate did not change hands, and the House did, but not by the anticipated margins. Instead, many contests that should have been all but certain to go R slipped between their fingers.

Queue the blame game.

In the days and weeks since Nov. 8, fingers have pointed to the man at Mar-a-Lago.

There is irony here for those who care to see it. Because the same party higher-ups who embraced the guy and turned a blind eye in public to his glaring shortcomings since at least 2016 — when he seemed on the certain path to power — have since had a change of heart.

No miracle there. Those are not stupid people. They knew who and what he was. In the lust, thirst and itch for power, however, none of that mattered.

There are people out there, irrespective of party affiliation, who would ride the devil’s coattails if it promised them power, consequences to the republic be damned.

In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Hamlet talks with Horatio about the fate of the late Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who bore the mandate from King Claudius for the prince’s death, only to have Hamlet turn it onto them:

“Why, man, they did make love to this employment;

They are not near my conscience; their defeat

Does by their own insinuation grow.”

So, no tears for them.

There is a vital lesson here that applies across the political spectrum.

Tie yourself to a flawed candidate or cause — go ahead, defend that personin 10,000 preposterous ways when they’re up. Your miraculous turnabout when he’s down only tells the rest of us about the hollowness of your own soul.

In the final summing up, the full responsibility rests not on the former president. Same as you and I, the guy has one vote. He cannot pick anyone’s slate of candidates. Responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the millions of people who listened to him and chose in the primaries to speed rafts of poor candidates on to the general election where a broader voting pool said no, you shall not pass.

We get the representation we deserve. Remember, if Representative A or Senator B are knuckleheads, it follows there have got to be knuckleheads who voted them in.

One more thing.

A friend on the left once told me he would support some proposition — I’ve forgotten what it was — that anyone else could clearly see would absolutely go down in flames in the upcoming election. But he could not see that at all. In his overweening confidence in his own blinkered world view, he was certain the world would be behind him. It wasn’t. The proposition was a lead balloon, and it went down like one.

Thing is, most of us are somewhere near the middle politically, and we’ll support reasonable things, And most of the time, we’ll vote the turkeys down

I’ll leave you with one of my father’s favorite jokes.

Seems a Senator, let’s call him Foghorn, was speaking off the back of a train one afternoon when a cloud of flies buzzed up and swarmed his face.

“What the devil is the matter with these flies,” said Foghorn, trying to bat them away. To which a porter answered, “Senator, those are zuzu flies. They like to buzz the posterior ends of horses.” An indignant Forhorn answered, “What man, are you calling your Senator a horse’s butt?” The porter answered, “Oh, no, Senator Foghorn, not at all, not at all…” Then added with a smile, “but you can’t fool them zuzu flies.”

No, you can’t. And you can’t fool us.

Robert Whale can be reached at