What's Tony Thinking

You May Be Wrong


One of our family stories is of my maternal grandfather, Clarence Booth, stretched out on the couch at the family cabin laughing uproariously at the results of the Truman/ Dewey election in 1948, the year I was born. Everyone was certain Dewey would win. He didn’t. Grandad roared.

So another election that defied predications, prognostications and, for many of us, our worst fears for a further descent into the abyss of craziness and mendacity.

Perhaps the most hopeful story of them all was a local one, the election of Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez over Joe Kent in Washington’s third congressional district. Kent was about as much of a MAGA nut job as any, but was still heavily favored. MGP’s win wasn’t only a message to the GOP/ MAGA crowd. It was also a message to her own Democratic Party.

In what might be considered a shot at AOC and others of the Squad, Gluesenkamp-Perez said people, “want a Congress with a little bit of grease under their fingernails. I think we’re all really tired of clickbait politics, we want people who are in Congress to work, not to get Twitter celebrity.” More power to her.

The fact that nearly every prognosticator, pundit and predictor turned out to be wrong about the 2022 mid-terms is also, for my money, a heartening thing. Humble pie for everyone. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the punditocracy from now explaining to us exactly what the election meant. Take it all with a grain of salt.

I recently related, in a sermon, an Eastern Oregon story from the Imnaha Store and Tavern. Imnaha is a little town to the east of us, population 60. We like dropping in for the Tuesday Taco Night. One of the joint’s features is a collection of wry signage, as for example, “Beer . . . because your friends just aren’t that interesting.” And, “Because of ammunition shortage, warning shots will no longer be fired.”

My favorite is the one that reads, “You may be wrong.”

One of my scriptural touchstones is along the same lines, from the prophet Isaiah. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways are your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8 – 9)

We are creatures, finite, limited and fallible. “You may be wrong.” Thank God, we were wrong about the further swing to the loony right. I like what Tom Friedman wrote about it.

” . . . for the first time in a long time, I now feel some hope for the American political system again. Since Trump came down that escalator in 2015, the G.O.P. establishment has tried to have it both ways: harvest the votes from Trump’s base and avert their eyes from his shameful behaviors, even his denigration of our electoral system. Trump could never go too low for them because they were addicted to the votes of his base.

“Well, a majority of Americans just established a floor. Or as Nick Corasaniti of The Times reported: ‘Every election denier who sought to become the top election official in a critical battleground state lost at the polls this year, as voters roundly rejected extreme partisans who promised to restrict voting and overhaul the electoral process.’”

Praise the Lord!

Yes, Trump, like a horror movie monster that we thought finally dead, has risen up now from the swamp to declare he’s running again in 2024. And, yes, past experience would suggest we ought be cautious about counting him out.

But for now I’m choosing to focus on Marie G-P, Kim Schrier and Abigail Spanberger, the last two of whom won tough re-election battles to Congress against MAGA-ites. By the way kudos and well- done to my friend and Post-Alley colleague Sandy Kaushik, who managed Gluesenkamp-Perez’s campaign. Good job, Sandy!

“The arc of the moral universe,” as Martin Luther King said “is long.” But, for now, it has bent a little “toward justice.” Take heart.




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