Two, Four, Six, Eight, Let Us All Tergiversate


Mitzie, our friend from upstairs, reads the blog and thinks I use too many fifty cent words. “You intend to amuse, but instead you confuse,” she claims.

A few days ago, Mitzie asked if I knew the meaning of “tergiversate.” I replied—truthfully—that I did not. But I promised to look it up, and then to use it in a sentence.

This morning, I awoke to find the pundits in full-throated cry to the effect that, in Joe Biden, we have finally found the Bernie Slayer. Well, we will just have to see.

So here’s my sentence: My best guess is that, after Super Tuesday, progressive voters will still be tergiversating over who is most electable.

And here’s something else. If you, like so many, including myself, are inclined toward tergiversation, here are some things to bear in mind.

Thing Number One

All of our prospective candidates have flaws. In some cases, their main flaw appears to be that they can’t get anyone to vote for them. But that’s still a flaw, and a rather big one at that.

Thing Number Two

Every member of the human race has flaws.

Thing Number Three

Though I was fond of Clinton and Obama—and still am—they, too, had flaws.

Bill Clinton’s flaw was that he couldn’t keep his pants zipped, which is a pretty big character deficiency.

Obama’s flaw was that he thought his superpower was sweet reason and willingness to conduct a rational discussion with the other side. That the other side was amenable to sweet reason and rational discussion was a delusion. Delusion is a major flaw, especially if you are the President of the United States.

Thing Number Four

We must not search for the flawless candidate, because we will not find her. We must, instead, find the candidate whose flaws are not disabling, and whose strengths are right for our time.