Peter Cavanaugh

Bye-Bye, Bannon

“The Trump presidency that we fought for and won, is over.”

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen “The Grim Reaper” Bannon - upon being relieved last week of further executive responsibilities (fired).

What this means is anyone’s guess, probably including Bannon and definitely President Trump, left spinning his usual truth - fast and furious fiction - a president abandoned by many and despised by others.

But so much for all that.

Let’s dwell on something more enjoyable - like an asparagus pizza, a bowl of hot squirrel stew or an air hammer root canal.

The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, The Music Man featured 76 trombones, and in a few weeks I turn 76 years of age. So does my birth brother, Bernie Sanders. We both came to earth (I like the sound of that) on Sept. 8, 1941. He appeared in Brooklyn, New York. I landed upstate in Syracuse.

That same day German forces began a blockade of Leningrad and exterminated the entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania. It was in the first hours of our life. This much older time offers sparse comfort.

A great national malaise continues unabated. A number of my dearest pals for decades have become bitter old white guys. Others join me in concerned astonishment that these mutual acquaintances have become oblivious to what seems obvious. It is discontentment born of disconnection. They are mentally living off the grid – 21st Century Ted Kaczynskis – hermetically secure in a mind cabin of self-restricted consciousness - sealed away from all but the balm of ever more righteous right wing radicalism.

Crazy is contagious. But God-fearing Republicans may yet save us all. They do know how.

Hannity insanity is almost finished running its brilliantly manipulative multi-million dollar course.

About 15 years ago I spent one evening sharing a few serious adult beverages with Sean and his former partner, the late Alan Colmes. It was a Client Party at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. I was with Comcast at the time. We had nationally televised a live broadcast of the old Hannity and Colmes program from the Grand Ballroom. Guests included Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy. It was quite a night.

Sean had just released his first book - Let Freedom Ring – Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism. He was being treated like a rock star, patiently signing dozens upon dozens of copies for aging, devoted followers - some actually weeping in his presence. He finally ran out of books.

Alan and I stood aside and marveled. He and Sean had started with successful radio careers in an industry where everyone used to know everyone else. We shared many memories.

Far from being uncomfortable with Sean’s sudden surge in popularity, Alan appeared genuinely proud of his long time friend and enjoyed basking in the light of advantageous association. Colmes exclaimed, “He knows how to promote – he really understands marketing. Look at the ratings.” I found Sean to be extraordinarily charming and naturally charismatic. He provides pure performance and delivers what works.

That “Independence Day” song from 1994 by Martina McBride he often uses as a program theme? About letting the white dove sing and letting freedom ring? It has nothing to do with American patriotism. It’s about an abused housewife who sets her drunken husband on fire. A happy ending? Their 8-year-old daughter is sent to a “county home.” It’s a country tune. Sean never plays that part of the record.

Your uncle with the crumpled red Trump hat that smells like Bud Light should keep that in mind.