Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

March 22, 2012

Nobody important. Just the president

Anybody who reads this blog knows mornings don’t suit me. I’m agin ‘em, in fact. I usually stumble down the stairs, then down some more stairs, peel an orange, and sit and stare. Yesterday morning,  I sat at the dining room table and in my stupor-stare my gaze skittered across the newspaper, which I’ve just about stopped reading. Ours is a good publication, except for all that news stuff, which I’ve become pretty weary of. However, this happened to be the part that is home to the obituaries, which I do read, you know, just to see if I’m there.

Unfortunately, to get there I had to see the front page of the Local section, and there, at the top of the fold, was the shame of Oklahoma: “No Welcome Mat for Obama.”

My president, your president, the president of all who live in this country, arrived in Oklahoma on Wednesday night. According to the article, this is the first sitting president in 20 years to be in this state overnight.

You know which one of our top two officials greeted the president? Um, let me see. Oh. None. And when I say none, I mean none. Not one. Governor Mary Fallin is on a family trip to Puerto Rico. Lt. Governor Todd Lamb is in Washington for a business meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.

Then there’s the governor’s energy secretary who is out of town on business.  Oklahoma’s secretary of commerce, Dave Lopez may represent the governor’s office in Cushing when President Obama speaks there. That’s as far down the ladder as I want to go. Anything below that just piles insult upon insult.

Let’s just hope Lopez doesn’t receive another invitation beforehand. I hear there’s a tractor pull going on in Kiefer.

It’s true that the news of President Obama’s trip to Oklahoma was not officially known until Sunday night, and that Governor Fallin was already in or flying to Puerto Rico. I understand that people make plans, and that those plans are important to them.

But this is the President of the United States. So you’re a republican. So you don’t like the man. Can we not respect the office? Or shall we have a pissing contest to see just how low we can bring our image?

Many people did want to hear the president speak and were not able to do so. The trip isn’t for campaigning but for business, so attendance was limited. And yes, the federal government paid for it. Quite a few column inches in The Tulsa World were devoted to just how much you paid, so if you’re interested, read it and write your own rant. This trip is neither the first nor the last that you will pay for. If you will scroll down past the information on cost, you can also read what people are saying about the man and the trip. Predictably, the comments are divided according to political party.

I didn’t vote for former President George W. Bush, and I agreed with very little he said or did. But he was my president, for good or ill. If I had been fortunate enough to meet him, I’d have said, “Yes sir, no, sir, and thank you sir.” And I would have been just as appalled had he not been greeted at the airport by the appropriate representatives of our state.

I love Oklahoma, but sometimes I think the bulk of its citizens are in a state of delusion. It isn’t bad enough that a corporation and a fetus are people and a woman is little more than a receptacle. We also rank near, if not at, the top in incarcerated women and near, if not at, the bottom in education. We’ve recently passed antediluvian laws that have made us the butt of jokes on national television. The number of our children killedas the results of neglect and at the hands of their parents and guardians is reprehensible. One of the people who can help change the state of our state is

President Barack Obama

And yet we feel so above it all, so superior, that we see no obligation to make concessions for our him.

I listened to a speech last night by a man who is avowedly and unabashedly conservative. He said that he, and by implication, other conservatives, have some traits rarely seen in, also by implication, liberals–honor, courage, valor, integrity, respect for the First Amendment.

He has every right to attribute those traits on whomever he chooses and to claim their absence in whomever else he chooses.

I say that people of many political, religious, ethnic, and cultural groups are imbued with those characteristics.

But I have to ask—where is plain old hospitality? The agreement to disagree and still treat one another with the respect due each of us, whether it is by virtue of the office we hold or our humanity?

The late Eric Hoffer, a versatile and critically acclaimed author, noted that “rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” Some of us are sure good actors, aren’t we?



  1. Oh, where oh where has my funny poster gone? Oh, I know, you’re in my head. It was so nice of you to put my rant into readable form and post it. I so agree, there is nothing wrong with being polite, someone should have met the man! I remember when President Nixon came and spoke at OSU, just before he left office. When I asked my husband how he felt about the president giving the commencement speech, he said, “It doesn’t matter what the man did or does, I’ll always know the President of the United States spoke at my college graduation.” He was right, not many people can say that. The president doesn’t visit every state, I imagine even fewer of them are as rude as we were.


    Comment by Nita — March 22, 2012 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  2. Well, we’ve probably just guaranteed that no sitting President will visit for the next 20 years. Being at the top and the bottom of all those lists is an indication of how very unbalanced we are in this state. No pissing contest necessary; Oklahoma is not OK. Something’s gotta give.

    One can only hope that self-righteous superiority gives way first, or the divisiveness it creates will be the death of us all. With half of humanity going around feeling like they’re not good enough, and the other half going around feeling like they’re better than the rest, it’s not difficult to see that a meeting place of respect for others’ experience would go a long way toward the solution. That would require everyone being willing to get off their positions. We can either be right, or we can be in relationship, and since going forward requires cooperation and respect, we’d all best be choosing relationship. We are in this together, right?


    Comment by Michelle — March 22, 2012 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  3. It all comes down to partisan politics again as usual. Is it any wonder we’re in the state (meaning condition) we’re in? If Jesus Christ himself were to introduce a bill in Congress that would help working Americans AND he wasn’t of the right party, the bill would be voted down and He would be shouted down. There are no statesmen/women in Congress and the Senate anymore. Regardless of party they’re all arrogant, self serving horses butts who have made a career of politics on the taxpayers dime. In keeping with this election year, I too have a plan:



    Comment by Norm Rourke — March 25, 2012 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

    • I agree. I’m just about sick of the whole damned bunch. I’m embarrassed for my state.


      Comment by vadasmaker — March 25, 2012 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  4. I voted for Obama and gave him money. I thinkhe and his family are awesome. As with anyone ELSE in the world, I disagree with some of what he has done, but I even disagree with SOME of what I have said and done in the past. He is a fallable human being, and I like him and feel he is trying to do the right thing for us, EVEN if he is a Christian, over-educated, and a MAN!
    I was on vacation last week and had I known he was coming to OK, I would have been there. It was not covered in the Sapulpa Herald.
    I traveled to Springfield a few years ago to hear him speak and enjoyed it, so why wouldn’t I drive 30 miles?
    Congress is a dirty practical joke we’ve played on ourselves.


    Comment by lottie — March 26, 2012 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  5. I had the pleasure of waiting on your son today in Greenville, SC. He mentioned your blog when I hinted at my love for writing. I’ve spent the past hour reading through. Thanks for the giggles and thanks for this bit of insight that I can definitely apply to the people of my own state. I look forward to reading more from you!


    Comment by Kimberly Burnett — May 28, 2012 @ 12:52 am | Reply

    • Kimberly, you are so sweet. Thank for taking care of my son and reading my blog!


      Comment by vadasmaker — May 28, 2012 @ 11:07 am | Reply

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