Birth of a ‘Lardass’
Lots of friends and family members tell me they love reading every single one of the comments that follow my posts on this blog, but many have asked me why some of the commentors who stop in refer to me as “Lard” or “LL” or some variation of that nickname. Here’s the story:
Something that happened on the evening of Jan 31, 2006 drove me to become a commentor on an Internet blog for the first time in my life. On most of those blogs, people go by screen names. I couldn’t really think of anything clever right off the bat. But when I joined the discussion on my buddy Craig Crawford’s “Trailmix” politics blog, I had to come up with something. So off the top of my head, I just created the screen name “Lardass Liberal.”
I went to Trailmix that night because I was extremely agitated that then-President George W. Bush had just delivered a lengthy State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress and had barely bothered to mention more than a few words about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Hearing about our nation’s response to Katrina was the main reason I had tuned into the speech. It was one of the worst natural and humanitarian disasters in American history and it had transpired just four months earlier. Yet the subject was relegated to just a couple of paragraphs near the end of the speech, amid a long laundry list of standard boilerplate items that get mentioned in every State of the Union Address.
I find that astonishing and shameful to this day. And if you think back on it yourself, I’d be willing to bet you’ll find it outrageous too. I don’t think it matters if you are a Democrat or a Republican. This goes way beyond partisan politics. Imagine what the backlash would have been in January 2002 if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 had rated such scant treatment in such a major address. In the case of Katrina, a major metropolitan area and a big chunk of the Mississippi Gulf Coast had basically been washed off the map of the United States. Tens of thousands of Americans had either been killed or displaced from their homes. A huge rebuilding effort was underway. But somehow, the disaster didn’t qualify even as a major theme — let alone the centerpiece — of the most important presidential address of that year. Meanwhile, a full four years after 9/11, the ramifications of that horrible event and the wars that grew out of it were still being pounded into our collective consciousness year after year by the Bush Administration. The subject of terrorism and war even dominated the 2006 speech. Go back and scroll through the transcript today, and you’ll feel as if we all must have been living in some foggy alternate universe back then. Here’s a link: http://tinyurl.com/n2perx
After the speech, I expected the TV pundits to jump all over Bush’s glaring Katrina omission during the endless follow-up analysis. But I was surprised to hear barely anyone in the media point out that Katrina had been ignored. I heard only NBC’s Brian Williams mention the clear fumble by Bush and his policy and speechwriting team. The failure of our supposed “watchdogs” angered me almost as much as the original omission, itself. So I turned to the Trailmix blog to vent my anger and to hear what others had to say. And so that’s how “Lardass Liberal” was born.
The Trailmix crew is a great gang. There are Republicans as well as Democrats on the blog, but some of the fiercest flame fights last year were intramural affairs between the Hillary Dems and the Obama Dems. Still, I’ve met some great people over there on that site — and as you can see from their comments on this site, they’re a pretty damn smart and funny and accomplished group with lots of diverse experiences to bring to the discussion. You’ll spot their comments under these names: Jamie, Patsi, Chloe, Flatus, Sturgeone, PatD, EdVB, Rebellious Renee, MaxTrue, Harborwoman, ColoradoBob, WhiskeyJack, TonyB, LordBloggington, Barbara Hill Bissonette, Katherine Graham Cracker, among others. And every once in awhile, Craig jumps in here to say something too. I love the fact that my Trailmix pals have come over here to support me at this time. I hope to be able to visit them in their backyard again someday fairly soon. http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/trailmix/
So please welcome them, and don’t think it’s weird just because they all call me Lard. Now you know why.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I apologize for changing the blog’s subject with this post, but I”m trying to keep Labor Day Weekend “cancer free” so I can enjoy the holiday. I’ll get back to having brain cancer on Tuesday.