Quite a few presidents have loved outdoor pursuits. Teddy, Ike, Jimmy, Cheney, JFK (sunk his nymphs deep), and Bush Uno were handy with a rod or gun. I figure one more wouldn’t be a problem, but Facebook fly anglers said, “no like” to the picture above. Chalk it up to the usual usualness of our political kneejerkapalooza, but still I must wonder why one would fuss.
Obama’s no fisherman. No one can stand it when someone acts like they know what they don’t. It’s like a draft dodging Air National Guardsman going AWOL and later trying to juice his resume by claiming military service.
Obama’s a socialist. According to the dictionary, a socialist president doesn’t have to say, “pretty please” to get government teat-sucklers to return phone calls. The socialism we actually live by, however, simply entails socialized costs with privatized benefits. Along with providing life support to the poor and elderly, this “entitlement” system has been somewhat healthy for Big Oil, Pharma, Military, Retail and Mining, among many. No biggie, it’s been this way since around the presidency of Clovis Man. Maybe what’s irritating folks is Obama’s talk about investing in infrastructure, an idea that proved its worth in the great economic poopstorm of the early 20th century.
Some people just don’t like Obama. In 2008, I heard a guide on the Bighorn yell to another, “You gonna vote for the little niglet?” A commenter on this Facebook photo also suggested that the president fish with a cane pole, bobber, and stink bait. I guess Obama makes people of a certain ilk fall into bouts of lighthearted humor that only people of a certain ilk find funny.
Obama haters know something you don’t. I’m pretty sure which direction the GOP presidential candidates would go on the Pebble Mine, unchecked public land development and a host of other issues with serious ramifications for the quality of my fishing. Maybe Obama detractors actually don’t like the Pebble Mine idea and feel that Romney is our best chance to dig the Pebble Partners a different kind of hole. Heck, maybe Mitt would save us.
Or perhaps, as responsible sportsmen, they fear that Obama might try to push the project through. My most paranoid self thinks that the possibility is there, simply because I have yet to hear the president express how he truly feels about issues that are so critical to hunters and anglers. So he postponed consideration of the XL pipeline. Does that mean he really wants renewables or just doesn’t want to deal until the election?
Sure, he might think it prudent to hold his cards, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the silence. It’s like I’m on a beach with a girl who, after having me massage her with sun lotion, leans into my ear and whispers, “Be a sweetie and get me a pina colada?” Later on her porch, I get a peck on the cheek, some more cootchy-coo whispering, and then she shuts the door in my face.
It’s either her or the floozy giving the back seat tune up for the easy low price of a bologna sandwich. She no longer even pretends to care about me, and when I’m feeling cynical, like I have been recently, I’m almost soothed by her honesty. I’ve grown accustomed to taking what I can get.
Yet if it matters to me at all that my son learns what wild things are, I am obligated to say that I’m tired of taking what I can get. For a change let me take what I, what we, deserve. We deserve elk and ducks and steelhead, and healthy sky, water, and landscapes in which to pursue them. No matter who the next president is, he’d damn well BETTER own a rod, a rifle or a bow, if not a dog-eared copy of A Sand County Almanac. And he’d better know what it means to truly use them.
I am a sportsman, and I approved this message.