March 2, 2019

Hard to believe, but three months to the day I last played golf I actually went out and hit a small bucket of balls today. Boy, did it feel good. It was only just a few days ago when, after taking off the splint I have to wear on my right hand while sleeping (all the way though mid-June, BTW), I actually felt like there was finally progress being made in my hand. I could still see the swelling around the bottom of my fingers, but all of a sudden, after taking off the splint upon waking, my hand didn’t feel as if it would shatter into pieces when making a fist. And I could feel after a day’s worth of work the hand didn’t feel as stiff as it normally had been.

So Saturday afternoon I tossed the clubs into the trunk and bought a small bucket over at nearby Kokopelli G.C. It was a perfect afternoon to hit balls: a little light cloud cover, 75 degrees. Lovely. I was rusty, for sure – who wouldn’t be after not hitting balls for three months? – but while still feeling the swelling whenever I would make contact, the worst it ever got was what I would characterize as “mild discomfort”. So I’m going to see how the hand feels tomorrow after putting a little ice on it tonight, and we’ll see what the next steps are.

I’ll tell you this: it felt good to be back!

A few other thoughts:

You probably won’t hear a whole of positives about the President’s epic two-hour CPAC speech today from the usual “fake news” outlets, but if I’m a Democrat strategist for any of the 2020 candidates, I’m no longer unaware of the mountain that’s ahead of me to climb. Incumbents in and of themselves have a baked-in advantage with unaffiliated voters and independents who, regardless of who the incumbent is, prefers the devil they know over the devil they don’t. But Trump’s speech today laid out in very clear and broad strokes the difference between he and anyone he’ll go up against in 2020. Whether it’s immigration, the wall, free speech on college campuses, abortion, or capitalism over socialism, there was – and will be – plenty to differentiate himself from anyone the Democrats field.

…more than that, however, the President showed his sense of humor and ability to relate stories about his time as president by going off-script – something he did often. This in and of itself is going to make any Democrats job that much harder: if there’s one thing all the already-declared Democratic candidates share it’s their divisive tone and utter lack of sense of humor. You may not like anything Trump had to say today, but there was no doubt whatsoever that he was enjoying himself and feeding off the audience. The Trump rallies (which CPAC wasn’t) remain a unique part of the political landscape that no one can, or will, be able to match. And one can only expect, increasingly, more of the same as the 2020 campaign gets underway.

Anyone who watched his speech today would have a damned hard time reconciling the picture of Hitler incarnated being pushed by CNN and MSNBC relentlessly, day after day. One thing I’ve noticed is that this president is increasingly comfortable in these kinds of venues. He’s quick-witted, fast on his feet, knows how and when to point the dagger, and uses humor and his “outsider” personality to paint himself as a defender of the average American and against the Democrats and “The Swamp” of entrenched special and political interests. Unlike the Democrats, he’s not running against anything; he can paint a positive picture of being “for America” while the Democrats flail “against Trump and against capitalism”. If you think that’s a winning message for Democrats, you don’t know politics (think the GOP flailing against Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012), you’ve been watch way too much MSNBC and CNN, and I’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

Speaking of swampland in Florida, I’ve stumbled upon a great writer in the tradition of John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, and Wayne Stinnett. What’s different about Carl Hiaason is his writing style and ability to write with cynical irreverence and humor about Florida and its reputation as, to use Howie Carr‘s words, “a sun-shiney state for shady people.” His books are a breezy and fun read, with laugh-out-loud lines, and interesting characters and plot twists. I’m in the second book of his “Skink series” and it has been an enjoyable experience. Give him a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 19:48 | Comments Off on Weekending – Return to Golf Edition
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