John Ford’s classic, “The Last Hurrah”, celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. It was still very timely and I frequently used a clip from the film during my working years until it was suggested I was riding a dead horse. Considering how things worked out, maybe even more timely than I imagined possible.

I didn’t agree then and don’t agree now.

In the movie, Spencer Tracy, aka Frank Skeffington — in reality, the Honorable James Michael Curley — explains how politics has become a media show — the number one spectator sport in the land.


I knew many of the real life characters from the movie based on the popular novel about Boston politics. “Tip” O’Neill, the late, legendary Speaker of the House, was my friend, confidante, and muse. O’Neill frequently explained how he cut bi-partisan deals while orchestrating “good cop-bad cop” scenarios so no one looked bad on “the hill.”

O’Neill said he used an end-game big picture hand to win big political pots. He knew how to bluff the bully boys who didn’t know when to walk away from the game.

Today, there is chaos on the hill. Madness from the White House. Insanity in the country. Who has the best hand? Some have already folded, walked away, or been pushed out entirely. If we are lucky, more will come. The cards are grimy and I’m pretty sure they need a new deck.

Tip O’Neill urged me to always look and listen beyond the sound and fury. He smiled in recollection of the deals brokered while end-of-days threats filled Congress. Sadly, there are no Tip O’Neills today, but his advice about not yielding remains valid and relevant. I wonder what he would do today?

When the rhetoric abated, it was our job to vote with intelligence and not fold our hand. Doesn’t look to me like we got it right. What do you think?


  1. judyt54 March 7, 2017 / 7:50 am

    I think we were dealt from the bottom of the deck. I also think the electoral college did some fancy footwork, too. Not sure why we still have it, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      It made sense in ultra rural America 1789. Does it make sense NOW? I suppose if they leveled it out so that there wasn’t a clear and obvious disparity by population amongst the states … but WILL they change it? I’m pretty much sure they won’t. It would take a full constitutional amendment and even those is favor of changing it don’t feel like biting that bullet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Judy, it’s beyond anything I saw in my working years — And, I thought I’d seen EVERYTHING!


    • Garry Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      Yes, VERY interesting.


  2. swo8 March 7, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    I don’t think your country is alone in its travail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      No, this is going on all over the world. Which, if anything, makes it even weirder. I don’t get it at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emilio Pasquale March 7, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    I think the only way to get through this current congress and president is to drink heavily. Morning, noon, and night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong March 7, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      Well, let’s not forget sniffing glue or taking heavy drugs. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


      • Emilio Pasquale March 7, 2017 / 5:11 pm

        I’m not into heavy drugs, though I did experiment in the sixties with one or two. As for sniffing glue, I understand that destroys brain cells which…, hey…, maybe that’s why He who shall remain nameless acts the way he does. Too much glue sniffing as a child.


        • lwbut March 8, 2017 / 1:07 am

          From what i understand his brain cells were not so much destroyed as re-programmed by his father! Would be unwise to mistake inbred tendencies for stupidity and underestimate the low down cunning of the man. He is a master at manipulation and understands us (people) probably better than we understand him.



    • lwbut March 8, 2017 / 1:01 am

      Alcohol does NOT solve problems…. but then again neither does milk! 🙂



  4. tomcurley1 March 7, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    Mayor Curley. A guy who got re-elected while he was in jail. Now that’s comedy.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s