Friday, June 26, 2015

Klarides Does Not Have A Yacht

A few weeks ago, Democrats and their sounding boards in the increasingly irrelevant media fired a shot across Republican Presidential candidate Mario Rubio’s “yacht,” hoping to sink his candidacy. It turned out the yacht was a fishing boat; but, no matter, Democrats had made a point. Republicans are rich – therefore insensitive to the vast yachtless middle class.

Republican candidate for Governor Tom Foley suffered the same scrutiny -- with this difference: Foley really was rich, and his yacht did not resemble the creaky boats used by Mr. Rubio’s Cuban forebearers to escape the remorseless tyranny of the Castro brothers, both communists who long ago had declared war on yacht owners and political opponents and gays and others who opposed their brutal autocratic regime. Fidel Castro had a yacht. (See the picture above showing uber-rich Lowell Weicker canoodling with Fidel on his yacht.) Mr. Weicker, Maverick U.S. Senator and Governor of Connecticut, also had a yacht. The Castro regime is now being given a leg-up by President Barack Obama who, consulting his Ouija board, has willy-nilly decided to end a blockade against communist oppression supported by all his presidential predecessors, some of whom were Democrats.

Now, it so happens that Democrats in Connecticut who wish to tar Republicans as redundantly rich have a problem, because two members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat U.S. Congressional delegation are redundantly rich.  U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal is among the four or five richest members in Congress. And Representative Rosa DeLauro – Whether she will retire her seat to progressive heartthrob State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. is yet unknown – is also “comfortable,” largely owing to the money grubbing efforts of her husband Stanley Greenberg, pollster and political consultant to Democratic stars. Ms. DeLauro has a multi-million dollar mansion in Washington DC  where the lights of the national Democratic Party gather from time to time in a salon-like setting to discuss how they might improve their good fortune.  No one knows whether Ms. DeLauro or Mr. Blumenthal keep yachts, but both can well afford boats larger than Mr. Rubio’s “Old Man In The Sea” fishing boat.

Themis Klarides, the State House Republic Minority Leader, DID arrive in the General Assembly from the middle class; and, oh yes, she is a woman. Her father owned a restaurant; her forbearers were Greek proletarians. Perhaps some of them were fishermen. She is not conspicuously rich, unlike Mr. Weicker, whose grandfather founded Squib, the pharmaceutical company that recently decided to bolt Connecticut for more promising opportunities in other states. Like Mr. Castro’s boat people, businessmen across Connecticut – from Aetna, Travelers, General Electric, Stanley Works, Sikorsky,  just to mention a few -- are threatening to leave the state, perhaps in their yachts.

Ms. Klarites recently stumbled into the politically-correct tar pit when she said of Connecticut prickly governor and his relationship with Democrats in the General Assembly, “Every Democrat up there distanced himself from the governor the whole session. And then the governor tried to distance himself from the legislature. It's like a battered spouse support group."

This “story,” first reported by Neil Vigdor in the Danbury News Times, has produced a backlash from offended groups such as the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence whose chief executive officer Karen Jarmoc remarked, “To compare a political body that is divisively debating a budget to a domestic violence support group completely negates the effectiveness of this element of service, which helps thousands of victims in shelters and communities across the state.”

Actually, no.

Here is Mrs. Smith, my ninth grade English teacher in Windsor Locks presiding over the proper understanding of metaphors: “The word 'like' does not signify identity but similarity, and similarity, like love, is in the eye of the beholder."

What a pity that members of groups attacking Ms. Klarides did not have Mrs. Smith as one of their teachers. Governor Malloy is a bully; domestic abusers are bullies, therefore one is LIKE the other in this narrowly stated respect. One need not be insensitive to domestic abuse victims when pointing out a similarity between A and B, remembering always that A is NOT B.

Pray tell, when Colin McEnroe compared Mr. Malloy to a porcupine – bristly, hard to the touch, quick in throwing quills at his largely inoffensive political opponents, a bully and a political ruffian too – did Mr. McEnroe intend to say Mr. Malloy WAS a porcupine? Does Mr. McEnroe’s comparison adversely injure the reputation of porcupines? Should porcupines, resenting the compassion, have complained bitterly to Mr. Vigdor that Mr. McEnroe had failed to perceive the usefulness and good works of porcupines? And how – please tell us how – a reporter in whom a sense of humor is not dead as a doornail could fail to see the humor in such absurd associations?

Surely the too easily offended among us owe Ms. Klarides an apology for suggesting, however tenuously, that she favors domestic violence, a slur one might expect from Malloy the porcupine – but not from groups that have yet to protest that Mike Lawlor’s Get-Out-Of-Jail-Early program does NOT exempt from early release  convicted rapists and arsonists.

Along with most other Republicans in the General Assembly, Ms. Klarites --   a volunteer with The Umbrella Domestic Violence Group, working to assist victims of domestic violence and providing volunteer legal assistance to women and children at the shelter for victims of domestic violence -- has strenuously opposed including convicted rapists among prisoners awarded early release for having participated in Mr. Lawlor’s seriously flawed program.

It is still not too late for women across the state to add their voices to that of Ms. Klarites and other Republicans who are courageous enough to IDENTIFY rape and domestic abuse.

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