Lines of battle are drawn

Lines of battle are drawn

It has been quite an eventful week of happenings, some wonderful, some expected and some extremely awful in the nation as well as along this the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66.  I have been biding my time waiting for things to evolve before offering my meager contribution to the discussion.  Over the past eight days or so I was able to attend another wonderful concert, this one at the Brady Theater.  Brit Floyd, a tribute band that has been wowing audiences for the past five years by playing the music of Pink Floyd with amazing clarity, played to a nearly packed house.  The evening’s highlight was one of the group’s vocalists, Angela Cervantes, performing the Clare Torry solo Great Gig in the Sky with studio quality.  That number alone was well worth the price of the ticket.  Speaking for myself, I left the Old Lady on Brady feeling incredibly invigorated after such a show that was like turning on a stereo.

Brit Floyd at the Brady, 6.11.16

Brit Floyd at the Brady, 6.11.16

I had every intention of making a post dedicated entirely to Brit Floyd’s most excellent concert, however, the mean and cruel world intruded.  I rolled out of bed last Sunday in time to watch the talking heads, turned on the TV and was met with the awful news of the latest mass shooting, this one in Orlando, FL.  I spent the day reeling with the rest of humanity at what is being called the greatest mass shooting in the nation’s history to date.  Frequent readers of Reason Rest Stop know how I feel about firearms and access to assault weapons from this post last October, Embracing the right to not get shot.   I feel no need to reiterate those views.  I did feel a need though to express my solidarity with the community affected most by this latest tragedy.  A female companion and I attended a candlelight vigil at Tulsa’s Club Majestic and Guthrie Green in the Brady Arts District last Sunday evening.

Guthrie Green candlelight vigil for Orlando, 6.12.16

Guthrie Green candlelight vigil for Orlando, 6.12.16

On the heels of this latest tragedy it was most certainly refreshing to see Senate Democrats grow some gonads this week.  It did give me a sense of satisfaction to watch on C-SPAN as Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy delivered a 15+ hour old fashioned filibuster on the Senate floor.  If this obstructionist Congress is going to sit on their fat ass and do nothing in terms of legislation while the body count stacks up, they can a least be as annoyed with some of their own tactics as we have been.

Ready for Hillary

The expected news of the week was the cinching of the Democratic nomination in terms of delegate count by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after her victory in the Washington, DC primary on Tuesday.  I’m not sure I’m ready for Hillary but here she comes ready or not.  An interesting phenomenon this past week was her favorable rating rose in several polls while Trump’s declined, largely due to the candidates’ respective response to the Orlando tragedy.  While most incumbent politicians and Secretary Clinton offered thoughts, prayers and condolences to the wounded community, Candidate Trump used the occasion to blow his own horn and gloat about “being right on Islamic terrorism” while the facts of the case were still being sorted out.  Not only did he blow his horn about it, he doubled down on his most extreme claims even after it was revealed that the Orlando shooter was less of a radical Islamist and more of a frustrated gay man with an anger management problem

Image by Facebook

Image by Facebook

Another milestone Candidate Trump crowed about this week was the one year anniversary of his official candidacy for the Republican nomination.  Comedian Bill Maher took due note of said milestone and offered up a query to the nation regarding the ostensible double standard for Candidate Trump as compared with others who have ran for the office of President:

Real Time with Bill Maher:  New Rule – Trump’s Low Bar, June 17th, 2016 

TrumpU

At week’s end the battle lines for the upcoming campaign became a little more clear against the backdrop of yet another mass shooting.  It is apparent that many voters in each party are not happy with their presumptive nominee and although there are third parties fielding candidates, none are realistic challengers.  The lion’s share of support for Mr. Trump and to a lesser degree many of those who supported Senator Bernie Sanders are blue collar conservatives and old Reagan Democrats respectively who are finally figuring out that Reaganomics has not worked for them.  This likely accounts for the “outside the Beltway” populism that Mr. Trump has played for all its worth.  I do believe we are going to be in for a show like none we’ve seen when a seasoned politician like Hillary Clinton goes head to head with a political novice like Donald Trump.  I may have alluded to this before but there is a lingering doubt in the back of my mind regarding Trump’s sincerity toward his candidacy.  He has a track record of being the sort of guy who would burn down his own house to collect the insurance money and walk away without a second thought.  Ever since Trump announced his candidacy a year ago I have never been without the subconscious specter of him getting to a week or so before the election and announcing “I quit!  This was all just a big joke!”  Hey, it could happen and perhaps it would be in the nation’s best interest if it did.

Battle lines of Gettysburg