Walter Mondale–As exciting and relevant as ever

Today is a day about nothing. Sundays are a day about being with family, watching football (lord, let it be September already), and going outside on a sunny day. It is not a day for being indoors typing a political column, hence my typing furiously, mistakes be d@mned.

Given how difficult it is to write a column when nothing is occurring (yes Al Queda is plotting our deaths, but there is no unique news about it today), I can only imagine the backflips that the Jayson Blair Times and its ugly kid sister the Washington Post are doing to convince people to read their papers today. Their first option is to completely fabricate stories, but that has gotten them into trouble in the past. The other option is to come up with human interest stories, or as I call them, disinterest stories.

Therefore, the Washington Post has decided to party like it’s 1979. Dusting him off from obscurity, Walter Mondale…yes, you read that correctly…Walter Mondale…is concerned about…stuff. Apparently whatever reporter failed to get the Lindsay Lohan interview for the paper was relegated to this story. Walter Mondale is displeased with Dick Cheney.

For those of you expecting me to file this under the, “water is wet” category, I am not sure it is any more if this is the best that the news has to offer today.

For those of you who do not know Walter Mondale, he was by most people considered to be an honest, decent man who was the Vice President to Jimmy Carter, the worst President since possibly before the Civil War. They stumbled into the White House in 1976, and were defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980 44 states to 6. In 1984, after promising to raise taxes (again, he was honest), he was defeated in his quest for the Presidency 49 states to 1. Out of mercy, Reagan did not schedule one more visit to Minnestoa (Mondale’s home state), which would have given Reagan the clean sweep. Hey, unlike Al Gore, at least Mondale won his home state. To some, that gives him relevance.

Mr. Mondale states, “Under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it (The Vice Presidency) has gone seriously off track.” So Walter Mondale is considers Dick Cheney a failed Vice President. Given that I disagree with a controversial 2001 football game between the Raiders and Patriots, I am declaring Tom Brady’s 3 Super Bowl rings irrelevant. He is now a failure as a football player. See how easy it is?

What is it about people like Carter, Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro (Mondale’s VP candidate), and consultants such as Susan Estrich (Michael Dukakis’s campaign manager), Bob Beckel (Mondale’s campaign manager)? How can they fail in such spectacular fashion and then have the nerve to think they should be take seriously as critics? Michael Dukakis did what people in that situation are supposed to do…disappear, keep quiet, and find a sanctuary where liberals are tolerated, in his case education.

Again, Walter Mondale was never seen as a bad person, but his claiming how relevant he was seems like a desperate cry for relevancy. How many people would recognize him on the street?

As for his criticism of Dick Cheney, he writes, “Rather than subject his views to an established (and rational) vetting process, his practice has been to trust only his immediate staff before taking ideas directly to the president.”

So to put this into English, Dick Cheney does not consult and get the approval of the Jayson Blair Times or Walter Mondale himself before making decisions. He trusts those closest to him. Perhaps he is a normal person that relies on close confidants rather than complete strangers that do not have the best interests of the administration at heart. It seems any vetting process Mr. Mondale disagrees with is irrational.

“Many of the ideas that Bush has subsequently bought into have proved offensive to the values of the Constitution and have been embarrassingly overturned by the courts.”

What courts? Federal courts with entrenched liberal judges hired during the Carter-Mondale debacle years? What constitution? The evolving one liberals like Mondale believe in or the strict constructionist version that brilliant men like John Roberts and Sam Alito believe in? For those keeping score, President Bush hired them.

Every President wants more power, and every Supreme Court sometimes has to tell the President no. For a true constitutional dictatorship, one should read about FDR.

“The corollary to Cheney’s zealous embrace of secrecy is his near total aversion to the notion of accountability. I’ve never seen a former member of the House of Representatives demonstrate such contempt for Congress — even when it was controlled by his own party. His insistence on invoking executive privilege to block virtually every congressional request for information has been stupefying — it’s almost as if he denies the legitimacy of an equal branch of government. Nor does he exhibit much respect for public opinion, which amounts to indifference toward being held accountable by the people who elected him. ”

Mr. Mondale, have you heard of Hillary Clinton? Perhaps you remember her disastrous attempt at health care reform. As for Cheney’s desire for secrecy, the issues he has tried to keep secret are issues that should be kept secret. It is difficult to conduct a War on Terror when the Jayson Blair Times decides to publish troop movements, getting American soldiers killed. Yes, Mr. Cheney actually has the nerve to not reveal secret information to people who cannot keep their mouths shut, aka bloviating Senators.

Openness in government is vital, but national security is only a cliche to people who think the War on Terror is a bumper sticker. Dick Cheney is not going to go on Oprah, have a good cry, and reveal everything for the sake of healing. Anyone who has friends knows we want the big picture of their lives, but we do not want every painful gory detail. The bottom line is results, and getting things done. If anybody knows what it is like to fail to deliver results, it would be Jimmy Carte and Walter Mondale.

Saving his best comments for last, Mr. Mondale writes, “Since the Carter administration left office, we have been criticized for many things. Yet I remain enormously proud of what we did in those four years, especially that we told the truth, obeyed the law and kept the peace.”

Hey dad…remember when I got an F on that report in school? Aren’t you proud of me that I did not cheat and earned that F the honest way? Was that not a fine moment for both of us? Remember the ticker tape parade you gave me for it?

Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale may have obeyed the law. Big deal. They are supposed to do that. Comedian Damon Wayans rightly points out that people who brag about taking care of their kids are pathetic because “people are supposed to take care of their kids.”

They did not keep the peace. They surrendered. They allowed hostages to be taken. The economy was a disaster, and it took Ronald Reagan to bring dignity back to America.

Walter Mondale is as exciting and relevant as ever. As I said, in a world with nothing else going on, on a beautiful sunny Summer day, on a day when I wanted to write a quick column that most people would not read, I took pity on him and gave him a few moments of attention.

Perhaps the Jayson Blair Times next Sunday can print an article detailing the late Lady Bird Johnson’s opinion of President Bush. Or maybe they will get that Lindsay Lohan interview and admit that they just needed to fill space on a page.


No Responses to “Walter Mondale–As exciting and relevant as ever”

  1. martywd says:

    Yes mondale and carter must be proud of their ‘accomplishments’ during those dark days in American history? On this Sunday afternoon as well as any other day of the week for that matter, any comment from mondale and carter should always be considered, irrelevant.


  2. micky2 says:

    Its a sunny beautiful day in Hawaii. And I’m soaking it up.
    Looking around me in totall awe, And being so glad that I’m not tortured by the lifestyle of hating my country. Or ripping it at every chance I get.
    Have a good one folks.

  3. Chris Rock was the one who did the “taking care of kids” routine in his HBO special “Bring the Pain.”

    I’m only pointing this out because I called the Whitewater scandal this weekend Watergate…so I’m trying to bring everyone down to my level.

  4. noeo says:

    The first thing that came to my mind after reading about Mondale and wondering why someone would actually interview him… Monte Python’s Holy Grail where the local trash man, err, refuse engineer, calls out to his fellow villagers… “Bring out your dead!!!!”

    You brought a tear to my eye when you mentioned the upcoming football season. I can’t sleep now.

  5. neoconnews says:

    If there something that is worth staying up late on a Sunday night for, it’s some Jimmy Carter bashing. Anytime, anywhere. Although to be fair, I think it was Ford who did more of the stumbling than Carter. And as far as the rest of the cast of “I’m a political failure, get me out of here #47” I think I’ve seen enough Geraldine Ferraro to last me a lifetime, and I wasn’t even born when she was relevant. God forbid Cheney worry more about protecting the country and contributing to the execute branch than schedule more meetings with outsiders who disagree with him before they’ve even heard what he has to say.

    NeoCon News ( )

  6. The Troll says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog as for a link exchange,
    I like your blog, feel free to add me to your blogroll, and I’ll add you to mine

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    There is historical value in interviewing people who were active in a nexus of history. Mondale’s stature is much greater than you let on. He was a stellar U.S. Senator, and as Vice President, he didn’t find any need to try to gut the Constitution (in that way, I suppose, he’s much more conservative that the current National Socialist Republicans).

    After the vice presidency, Mondale served with distinction as our ambassador to Japan, a post impossible for any but the most honorable people.

    Cheney would do well to listen to Mondale, and the nation would do well, too.

  8. arclightzero says:

    As a native Minnesotan my feelings on Mondale are sketchy at best. For what good he has done here or there (i.e. his ambassador position in Japan), he cannot escape the fact that he is a democrat and for some reason can’t escape that mind frame. Albeit, he’s no Jimmy Carter, but he can’t seem to escape the need to rouse up trouble with the Republicans none-the-less. It’s the typical democratic problem of not being able to leave well enough alone. But I guess that’s what separates the democrats and the republicans… Most republicans have enough dignity to keep to themselves.. Not to mention the fact that most republicans have enough going on their own lives that they don’t need to butt into the affairs of others (or other administrations).

  9. micky2 says:

    Ed Darrel said;

    “After the vice presidency, Mondale served with distinction as our ambassador to Japan, a post impossible for any but the most honorable people. ”

    I don’t understand what makes this guy think that being Ambassador to Japan is so difficult, or ” impossible ” for only the most honorable people. Clinton could of sent Mickey Mouse in 93 and there would of been less risk of screwing up a good relationship. Its not like relations with Japan were under some kind of strain at the time of his appointment.
    Whatever this gentleman may think of Mondale, and with due respect to Mondale, I think the article above points out that this is not the kind of man Cheny should be listening to in a time of war. Seeing as how it is Carter and Mondale that have to take a good chunk of the rap for todays circumstances. And Mondale would still like to apply the techniques from the past that got us where we are at today.

  10. I blogged about this too, Eric. Sometimes, I watch what is going on in or society and just shake my head with sadness. Maybe the Islamofascists are right; we are too weak mentally to fight for ourselves………


  11. arclightzero says:

    Geek, I have to say that sometimes I feel that way too, but then I remember how much good there is too. For every whacked-out loudmouth out there who’s working to drive us into the ground, there’s 10 people working quietly who want to see this country a better place.

    The problem isn’t that things are getting so bad, it’s just that the loudmouth naysayers and liberal moonbats out there are the ones who are getting all of the attention. If the media didn’t so ravenously cover the negative, I think we would be able to see the good that is indeed out there.

    But that’s just my $.02

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    What makes the ambassador to Japan post difficult is this: Japanese respect knowledge and careful reasoning; ignorance is a genuine turnoff to them. Plus, Japan plays an enormous role in the world economy, and the U.S. ambassador can much more easily screw things up than improve them.

    We were fortunate in the last 30 years to have a couple of former senators, both of whom had demonstrated the wisdom and courage that won Japanese admiration before their appointments, in Mike Mansfield and Fritz Mondale. Mansfield’s tenure, unspectacular in the U.S., was so spectacular in Japan that the Reagan administration literally could not find a way to equal his performance, and so they asked Mansfield, the partisan Democrat, to stay on (it was one of the wisest moves of the Reagan administration, particularly in those early days when they screwed up royally on a few key things).

    Mondale demonstrated exactly the sort of cool thought and consideration, and wisdom, that Cheney has not demonstrated. Cheney would do well to listen, but as the old jokes go, you can’t tell the smartest man in the airplane he’s getting ready to bail out with a Boy Scout’s backpack instead of a parachute. Mondale doesn’t demonstrate the arrogance of Cheney that has gotten us into trouble in places like Abu Ghraib and Korea. Coolness, reason, wisdom, and lack of arrogance — all virtues that we badly need in someone in Cheney’s position right now.

  13. micky2 says:

    Chenys world is 180 degrees apart from what Mondales was. To the pount where anything Mondale could contribute would be irrelevant.
    It makes about as much sense as Carter helping Bush.

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