Stories, Music and Film

I’m Your Huckleberry, Lawrence O’Donnell

I saw where you challenged Tagg Romney to a fist fight, Lawrence. And from the quiver in your voice, I assume you meant it.

Had you been a Southie, I might have understood your rage a little better, Lawrence, for a kid raised on the streets, no fodder, no Hopper, that sort might look at a kid of privilege with a certain level of understandable, if not justifiable anger. But your father was an attorney. You did all right for yourself in the parent, affluence and education departments. Harvard, even.

All the Romney kid did was stand up for his dad. I think a kid’s loyalty to his father is admirable, even if dad is sitting in stir for having knocked over that Piggly Wiggly in Yazoo.

Don’t you?

It speaks well for any son to stand up for a parent under almost any circumstance, and to at least wistfully want to punch in the nose anyone…ANYONE…who would speak ill of his father. Especially if he believed those statements to be untrue.

Now Tagg is 42 (same as my oldest) and you’re 56, and unless you’re in excellent health, or have some experience in street brawling, he may have the advantage of you. Maybe you think you’re meaner, more tested, or he’s a cream-puff, but beware of the power of moral outrage, sir, for his is, by nature’s law, far greater than yours. Science and Nature both agree, all other things being equal, you lose in such a fight. Moralists call it the “blink factor”.

So, on reflection, I’m sure you didn’t really mean that challenge to Tag. But how about me? I’m 67, a heart patient, but with passable skills at biting and gouging and brawling. My daddy was a coal miner.

I’m your huckleberry.

As I said, I can forgive anyone for being just a little annoyed at a kid of privilege talking down my favorite candidate. In this political season I can even overlook the fact that Tagg was entirely correct about the lies being told about his father, and on the general integrity of his father. Tagg was correct about the nature of those lies. They weren’t based on misinformation, but real bonafide lies.

If you don’t agree, maybe you should hire a hall and you and Tagg can bring your fact-checkers and compare notes in front of cameras. If you do, I’ll postpone all other forms of entertainment to attend. Maybe we could meet backstage? Or back alley. You can even invite the entire liberal arts faculty and student body at Ohio University. I hear they’re the bright new voters you and Mr Obama are trying hardest to attract.

But the Tagg Team would win on the facts and you know it, so there’s no real ratings boost in that, is there?  A fist fight makes better headlines, only Tagg won’t bite, and you knew that, too. Only in the eyes of the cretin-corpse (sic) at OU and other Occupy locations, will you be able to walk away as a man.

We all knew it was just theater, Lawrence, only, the tremolo of your voice told me you’d actually like to have a real shot at that kid.

Well check out the tremolo in my one good finger as I type this. I’m your huckleberry.

You see, what I cannot abide is a naked threat of violence against any person, at any time, for merely supporting his parent, even that poor soul who’s rotting away in jail. For me, this is a whupping offense. Worse for you, between the two of us, this even makes me the more liberal in the truer sense of the term.

So, I mean it. I’m your huckleberry.

Pick the parking lot. Hell, we could meet right out behind the debate venue you set up with the Tagg Team.  Bring the camera crew if you like, only no gloves, just bare knuckles, no Marquis of Queensberry. No cops, no lawyers. And no knives, chains or tire irons. But if you can find a loose stick laying on the ground, have at it. You’ll need it.

And I’ll bring me.

Or you can apologize. Say it was all the stress of the election. Or the stress of being associated with the least regarded news network since Lord Haw Haw. Just tell people you skipped your meds for a few days.

Then take a trip to Lourdes.

Laiseer les bons temps rouler!

Your Pal



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