A Once-Good Name

In High School, we all learned those famous lines from Shakespeare’s Othello–“Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands: But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.”

Sometimes, a political attempt to “filch” another person’s good name ends up dishonoring the name of the “filcher.”

I was a Republican when the party included principled statesmen like Richard Lugar, William Hudnut, and William Ruckelshaus. I’ve watched with sadness as that party has steadily degenerated, elevating truly evil people like Mitch McConnell, incompetent would-be dictators like Donald Trump, and the racists and spineless hangers-on they control.

In the Indiana legislature, the GOP’s super-majority is split between members of the lunatic caucus and obedient servants of the party’s ever-more reactionary base, but until very recently, I thought one Republican Senator was a refreshing throwback to the party of his uncle, Bill Ruckelshaus. (Granted, John Ruckelshaus has been consistently anti-choice and has just as consistently voted the party line, but he wasn’t obnoxious about it, and he worked across the aisle on things like recycling.)

Bill and his wife Jill were a bit older than I am. They were from Indianapolis, and I knew both of them slightly. Bill served as the first Administrator of the  EPA (Republicans believed in science back then). He later served as acting Director of the FBI and as US Deputy Attorney General. Famously, in 1973 (in what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,”) Ruckelshaus and then-US Attorney General Elliot Richardson both resigned rather than obey Nixon’s order to fire Archibald Cox, the independent special prosecutor. Bill was a man of integrity.

John Ruckelshaus is his nephew, and the incumbent Republican state senator in Indiana Senate district 30. His reputation–until now–has been that of a civil, occasionally bipartisan, legislator. (They’re rare in our state.) This year, he is opposed by Democrat Fady Qaddoura, who must be mounting an effective challenge, because Ruckelshaus’ campaign has started issuing inexcusably vile and thoroughly dishonest television ads and mailers. The mailers have characterized Fady as formerly homeless–an accusation that is neither relevant nor a character flaw but is especially repugnant since Fady, his wife and young daughter were living in New Orleans when they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. 

Fady picked himself up and relocated his family–now with a newborn– to Indianapolis, where he enrolled in graduate school at IUPUI. That is where I came to know him well. He was both a student and a “mentee” of mine, and I was honored to serve on his dissertation committee when he completed his PhD in Philanthropic Studies. I know him to be hard working, intellectually gifted and a person of unquestioned integrity.

In addition to the mailers, Ruckelshaus’ campaign is airing grainy, ugly TV ads accusing Fady of using his position as the Controller of the City of Indianapolis–a position he held during the first term of the Hogsett Administration–to “award a consulting contract to a firm that later employed him” and cutting funds for an educational program and thus causing “children to suffer. “

Rather than asking Fady what this was all about, I did a bit of research. It turns out that Fady “awarded” exactly zero city contracts–although as City Controller, he was obliged to sign contracts awarded by the various city departments–and his current employer never had one, although an unconnected firm with a similar name evidently did. The “children suffering” references a non-renewable education grant that ran out--no one cut it.

If my cursory research was enough to find the real story, Ruckelshaus’ campaign certainly could have–and probably did.

The accusations are an invention by a SuperPAC hired by Ruckelshaus– America Rising, which got its start with  Trump’s 2016 campaign, and which describes its mission as defeating Democrats and brags about its “relentless pursuit of original and effective hits against Democrats.” 

 “Original and effective,” evidently doesn’t include “true.”

Friends in the local Democratic Party tell me the GOP has put a half-million dollars into the effort to defeat Fady and protect Ruckelshaus –an absolutely stunning amount for a state senate seat in a state that is very likely to stay in Republican hands. (Given the number of times I’ve seen the grainy commercial with the phony charges, I believe it. Television is expensive.)

Evidently, the polling shows Fady ahead, and I’m sure his recent receipt of an endorsement from Jennifer McCormick–Indiana’s Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction–was unwelcome  (Ruckelshaus has made education one focus of his campaign, despite poor marks from educators). 

Whatever has  prompted these sleazy ads, and whatever their effect on the election, they have certainly accomplished one thing: by engaging in a  despicably dishonest effort to smear his opponent,  these attacks have besmirched a once-storied Hoosier name, and confirmed that this generation’s Ruckelshaus is a true member of today’s disgraceful GOP.


  1. Sheila,

    It appears that the Republicans have lost the past; But, the Democrats need to remember it.

    Along those lines, I’m looking for a publisher for my new book: “The Algorithm for Racial Justice in America.”

  2. The Trump infection seems to have spread deep into the Republican population. One cannot look at any of them without wondering if they too are diseased with lies, intolerance, and corruption.
    How very, very sad.

  3. Theresa Bowers’ comments can be applied to Bill Ruckleshaus who has fouled his own once proud family name. A name well known here in Indiana and at the federal level; once fouled, that “Blot on the Escutcheon” can never be fully removed.

    Theresa’s use of the term “diseased” fits today’s Republican Trump White Nationalist’s entire administration; it is a disease for which there is no vaccine, nor is there research for such a vaccine. The name “Trump” was fouled by the family long before we became victims of their avarice and greed. We have only our vote as a weapon against the entire once proud Republican party; and due to the corruption throughout that party, we cannot feel secure our votes will be counted…no matter if they are mail-in or walk-in votes.

    Voters here are now aware of the name Fady Qaddoura and can feel secure in their vote going for a “good name”. It will now be a name to watch for in the news thanks to Sheila’s blog today. Hope Republicans reading here today will take heed and research Ruckleshaus before automatically filling in that oval next to his name.

  4. Theresa,

    “The Trump infection seems to have spread deep into the Republican population. One cannot look at any of them without wondering if they too are diseased with lies, intolerance, and corruption.”

    How could they not be? The indoctrination has been going on for 50 years. What do you expect?

    They are much, much, more infected than their present leader is. They infected him. That’s why he is so effective.

  5. This blog just can’t deal with the truth. Racism and anti-Semitism have been preached in the majority of the churches in the Southern Baptist Convention through catchwords [like liberal elite, etc.] for close to 50 years.

    It wasn’t all the churches. Over 30 years ago, a large minority left and formed an alternative perspective.

    The constant denial is mind-boggling.

  6. I started using the F-word to describe most Republicans about a year ago. That’s Fascist, not the other F-word, but I’ve used that one also as an adjective.

    Dems know this is an apt description of TRE45ON and most Republicans but are still too reticent to say it out loud. This is because they still think the game of politics is being played by the old rules of Bill Ruckelshaus. Maybe it should be played that way but it’s not and that’s why we’re going to get a 6-3 fascism-enabling SCOTUS.

  7. Not meaning to upset Marv, but didn’t Nixon begin using the Southern Strategy to stir up the silenced racist base?

    Reagan used it again but with “dog whistles.” Didn’t Roger Ailes hold a spot on Reagan’s strategic inner circle and then transition to Murdoch’s Fox News as top dog?

    During Obama’s eight years, the SPLC said hate crimes increased by 1,800%. That is staggering!

    It also says more about Americans than we cared to admit. The Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s certainly didn’t cure our racist roots. It sure didn’t remove evil and hate from our hearts. Those character defects remained like embers needing to be poked again. Murdoch added more wood and an accelerant. Voila!

    All these harmful character defects of Americans are fear-based, and the GOP has mastered the techniques of propaganda to stoke those fears.

    The problem is the Democratic Party can’t offer the American people anything because they are owned and controlled as well by the same people benefiting from a rigged economic system. The DNC has sided with the oppressors but uses identity politics (the oppressed) for votes offering them very little in return. They use people like Kamala Harris to say, “Look, we love our people of color and women.”

    Sadly, our political duopoly is captured by the Robber Barons, so the only tool they possess for the masses is propaganda. The media and our political institutions are playing the oppressed. I think the young people know this while the Boomers still hold on to what they think they know or old ideas which need letting go.

  8. Todd and anyone of you who are young and looking for an outlet,

    There is possibly no more moribund group on earth than the Indiana Democratic Party. They are ripe for a takeover, so do it. Take over the Democratic Party in Indiana and make it what you know it should be. Just don’t sit there and complain about how corrupt they are. Stop wishing a pox on both our houses. Fix the one you can fix.

  9. Professor Kennedy,

    The “new” Republican party does NOT believe in science and resorts to lies and deceit to win in their political pursuits. I am also troubled by the appointment of a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during early voting after the Republicans 2016 stance against Merritt Garland 9 months before the election.

  10. Marv,

    Good luck with finding a publisher these days. Make sure that your non-fiction book proposal is PERFECT! Any typos or grammar problems, and they won’t even consider it…no matter how poignant and good it is. You may have a good enough platform that some agent might actually read the manuscript… but that’s also a rare event. Google Query-Tracker to find agents and publishers that would suit your work. If you haven’t researched query letters before, I can recommend several books. Still, literary agents are at the mercy of the cost accountants in the publishing houses, so if THEY don’t think it’s a sure thing, they won’t even get back to you. Also, beware of vanity presses. They want to charge YOU for publishing YOUR book.

    As you know, I’ve self-published 5 non-fiction books after going through all these hoops for 10 years. I queried over 1,500 agents – after researching each one to topic and submission requirements. Since 2010 I received exactly ZERO requests to read a manuscript. Same thing with fiction. I queried publishers directly for my 4 novels. The third will be out in a couple weeks, the 4th in November. If you don’t have a website, I can recommend For-Authors to do the work you see on mine for less than $100: http://www.vernturner.com.

  11. Peggy, you are advising young people to waste their time in this state. Not even the national democratic party will waste their time or money on the party within this state. This flyover state is Trump’s country.

    I marvel at the Southern Indiana folk who vote against the demonic plague known as the ‘baby-killing democrats’ while their republican party works diligently for the Polluting Corporations who are killing off Hoosiers prematurely in Southern Indiana so they can profit from selling energy to the surrounding states. It’s not called “Asthma Alley” for no good reason.

    What drives people to vote against their self-interest? Who willingly says, “I’d rather die of cancer than vote for you!”

  12. Todd,

    “Not meaning to upset Marv, but didn’t Nixon begin using the Southern Strategy to stir up the silenced racist base?”

    It started way before Nixon. I was my father’s strategist in breaking the color barrier in college football in the early ’60s. There’s nothing more southern than Jacksonville. That’s for sure. It’s just a few miles away from the southern border of Georgia.

  13. Todd,

    You, along with everyone else including Sheila, weren’t going to listen to me these past five years, as I was contradicting the misleading intelligence that was coming from the SPLC/ADL partnership.

  14. Todd: Don’t forget the famous “Willie Horton” ad that Bush 41 pulled out to beat Dukakis. Nixon was the first to use Madison Avenue to run a racist campaign, but Marv is right, it really started after WWII as a backlash to the push for integration, starting with the US Army under Truman and leading to the nomination of Goldwater in ‘64. After that humiliating defeat the leaders of various evangelical Christian groups began to lay the foundation for a whole new kind of conservatism over the next 10-15 yrs. It’s
    Never been the same since – for politics OR Christianity.

    Peggy: As far as taking over the state Dem party, Todd is correct – It may be a lost cause. The problem is that it’s only as powerful as the sum of its parts – and the parts are the County-level parties. There are only a handful in the state where Dems are competitive in local elections. In my County the real election is conducted in May, between Republican candidates. The issues of anti-abortion, anti-gun-control, and low taxes are the pillars of its grip on local power. But the town of Fishers elected its first (and female) Democrat to its city council and the races for Indiana State Rep and US House are both competitive in that area so It’s definitely worth investing time and money in Hamilton County.

  15. Not only do bipartisan politics no longer occur, now the only issues raised by campaigning politicos are lies and denigration of their opponents. I seem to remember when, during a campaign for re-election, or election, the candidates advised the public as to what they would do about issues affecting the American public in order to make their (the Americans) lives better. I feel very strongly that this practice will never, ever occur again in this country. I shake to think what our country will look like if Trump wins again. I envision the United States of America will become different pockets of countries no longer connected. And I find that scary, indeed, for my children and grandchildren. It certainly will no longer be the United States of America in which I grew up.

  16. Marv; this is an open forum, we do listen to you but we are not required to agree with everything you say or believe in. Nor are we required to share your views of what we are doing which we believe IS helping or share your views of any national organization. pro or con. We all have minds of our own; and they all appear to be intelligent, inquisitive, mostly open-minded and caring deeply about the trouble this country is living with today and seeking ways to get out of this mess. You are also not required to agree with anything any of us say or the organizations we support.

    Your comments at 9:57 a.m. this morning are very revealing about your lack of ability to “listen” to others on the blog without correcting them for not agreeing with you.

  17. “History repeats itself but men will not listen. They refuse to learn by experience the lessons history repeatedly teaches. History has shown that in unity men survive, in disunity they die, and it is repeating this far more loudly and insistently and disastrously than ever before. The problem of unity has become acute. Either men will solve it or it will dissolve men.”

    How true! A quote from history, probably never given much thought by anyone because of self absorption! That being said, it’s an extremely accurate and truthful statement.

    ” Again and again this old world goes through cycle after cycle of bloody war and hateful crime, as her sordid history repeats itself upon each generation; but from all this experience she learns nothing, even this generation fighting two fruitless world wars and now girding herself for a third one. Like a sow returning to her wallow, like a dog going back to its vomit, the world learns nothing from experience, though it says experience is the best teacher.”

    Another accurate quote from history! This one from a forlorn minister and conscientious objector.

    It isn’t that we are not aware of history, we just don’t care! Like Sheila’s thread yesterday, erase history from education, and that will make an entire generation of automatons indoctrinated and patriotic stupidity!

    The other day, I was listening to a particular news outlet for a short period of time, and they brought up a justice that I had quoted frequently, and his ruling has never been overturned! Supreme Court Justice Robert H Jackson! A man with a spine unlike most. I believe him and Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably along with Thurgood Marshall were of a different sort! Much stronger than most.

    Justice Jackson stated and I quote,

    ““If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

    So, for individuals to sign a confidentiality agreement to any political leader, is against the Constitution! If I known that for all of these years, why does it seem these self proclaimed superiors, not know this?!?

    In overruling “Minersville School District v. Gobitis” during litigation of “West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette” the Court (led by Justice Jackson) primarily relied on the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment rather than the Free Exercise Clause.

    Unfortunately, there is very little knowledge of history that would make a difference. There have been some good things done in history, but when you hear on Fox, may be descendents of African slaves should never have been free in the 1st place, because it seems they function better as an enslaved people!

    I’m sure the Israelites never felt that way about themselves, but Israel seems to have forgotten the Mosaic law concerning foreign residents and resident aliens, something that was brought out in the Mosaic law! It didn’t take long for Israel to take it to their enemy so to speak after forming their new nation, but the hypocrisy is nonetheless obvious concerning their conduct.

    No different than the conduct of the British and Portuguese concerning slavery, no different than Nazi Germany and their concentration camps and mass executions! No different than the Chinese imprisoning millions of Muslims in concentration camps right now! No different than Myanmar murdering minority citizens in their country.

    Politics, “We The People” when that was penned, we the people were not African slaves, nor women, nor Native Americans i.e. the 1st Nations, nor the Muslims, nor the Jews, which by the way Muslims were in the United States as a religion before the Jews, because many of those slaves brought the United States were Moorish, and they were Muslim. Of course then they were called Abrahamists.

    And of course we have George Washington’s letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport which was to be held up as a definitive statement concerning religious freedom! Of course, those letters between Pres. Washington and Warden Seixas gave hope to the Jews in the United States, but they still didn’t have the right to vote until the middle 1800s.

    So, historical hypocrisy, and historical bigotry still exist. It swings back every generation or so, because there is always a new group willing to demonize their fellow man for an advantage! To the point of the original quote, man will self-destruct well before most could ever do the right thing!

    There are good people throughout history, there are people who understand history, there are people who wish history could be indelibly stamped on the brains of all mankind, but man is an extremely stupid creature, and just like the African tribes who catch monkeys by putting a piece of delicious fruit in a clay jug, the monkey reaches into grab it and can’t pull its hand out. The monkey tries to get away as it’s trappers are closing in, but it refuses to drop that delicious piece of fruit. The trappers take the monkey, putting it in a restraint with the top of its skull exposed, then it’s hit on the skull until it cracks like an egg. While the monkey is still alive they eat it’s brain. All because that piece of fruit was so delicious he couldn’t let go! And that’s about the best explanation I think you could have concerning the times we are in right now.

    Truthfully there will be no recovery from this, even if the currant POTUS is removed from office, the die has been cast and everyone is aware of how easily an evil person can run roughshod over a government that was never meant to be fair in the 1st place!

  18. We HAVE to get money out of politics. A partial fix–if you cannot vote for a candidate, you cannot contribute to his or her campaign. A corporation cannot vote. Neither can SuperPACs like America Rising.

  19. I’ve been – somewhat – in Ruckleshaus’ shoes. So I suspect I know what is going on with the negative advertising now hitting Fady.

    In 2000, I ran for the House on the NW side of Indy. It was a formerly GOP district which the Democrats had won in 1998. But it had been trending heavily Democrat for years and was not a top target for the Republicans to win back.

    I worked my rear off and won the GOP primary over the son of the State Treasurer. Then I worked my butt off going into the general election. A month or two before the general election (back then not much early voting, if any), the House Republicans polled and found to their surprise I was running even against the Democratic incumbent, Jeb Bardon. (Honestly, I never believed the poll. In particular, African-Americans were polling as independent, but I knew they would probably vote D on Election Day). Not only was my district competitive, it polled as the No. 1 chance for Republicans to pick up a seat. (Back then the D’s had a majority in the House.)

    So at that point the House Republican Campaign Committee basically took over my campaign. They started sending out, ostensibly on my behalf, horribly biased and unfair mailings slamming Bardon. One of them I remember was a black and white mailer which showed a man leering at children, an obvious suggestion of pedophiliac urges. Supposedly Bardon supported this b/c of his vote for the budget bill, which contained an item that the HRCC twisted to make the claim. Ridiculous.

    I complained to the HRCC and they assured me that this was a tried and true technique and that they knew what they were doing. They said if I could veto what they were doing but then I would lose all my funding. So I didn’t stop it.

    I should have. Not just b/c what they were doing was wrong, but also because the HRCC did not know what it was doing. My campaign was hit with a backlash and instead of getting 50% of the vote on Election Day, I got just under 40%. Honestly that wasn’t the only reason I lost. The Year 2000 featured heavy African-American turnout on the northwest side of Indianapolis, and no matter how hard I tried to win those votes during the campaign, I was overwhelmed by the heavy turnout against Bush.

    I probably wouldn’t have won anyway given the turnout But the HRCC’s strategy did not help and its something I regret to this day.

    I know John Ruckleshaus pretty well. He’s a great guy. But he is probably facing the same dilemma I faced. Play the game the Senate Republican Campaign Committee wants to play, or walk away from the money he needs to retain his seat.

    Honestly, I doubt Ruckleshaus has a chance to win re-election in that district. The northside of Indianapolis is solidly Democratic now and Democrats have made huge inroads into Hamilton County. (Trump is very unpopular up there.) Ruck should never have run for re-election and he should not let the SRCC soil his reputation with the strategy being employed on his behalf.

  20. Not much surprised to learn the “Dark Money” group America Rising is running ads containing blatant lies against Fady in Indiana. What is truly surprising and very curious, as Prof. Kennedy notes, is the huge amount of money this “Dark Money” group is throwing at a race for a single state legislative seat that, no matter whether Fady might upset and win over Ruckelshaus, is extremely unlikely to effect the Republicans’ control of the Indiana Senate. Would be truly interesting to know what’s behind a “Dark Money” group pouring that amount of money into a race for a single state legislative seat. Got to be something “there!” Those groups are always expecting a direct return on their investment.

    But the fact Republican campaigns, all over the Country, are running personal, ad hominem attack ads against Democratic candidates filled with nothing but ugly, blatant lies is not a surprise. That’s all the former Republican Party and its candidates have left. They have no real policies to run on other than supporting Trump or trying to stoke racist fears.

    It wasn’t so very long ago that the attack ads paid for by the candidates’ own campaigns were at least somewhat circumspect about outright lying, leaving the blatant lies and disgusting personal attack ads — with their scare tactics and grainy unflattering photos of the other candidate — to the “Dark Money” groups. But this year, it’s not only the ads from the “Dark Money” groups. The Republican candidates don’t even bother to run ads stating what policies they are for other than whatever Trump tells them to do. It’s nauseating and insulting.

    Here in Arizona, very much similar to the ads against Fady, both appointed — not elected, “Senator” Martha McSally (she lost the election for a Senate seat in 2018 only to be immediately appointed by our esteemed Republican Gov. to fill John McCain’ seat) and the “Dark Money” groups are running ad hominem attack ads against Mark Kelly that are filled with absolute lies accusing him of becoming a millionaire by stealing taxpayers’ money and companies he has invested in cheated people out of money.

    Ads being run by both McSally’s campaign and the “Dark Money groups are claiming Kelly personally stole and pocketed $15 million dollars from taxpayers in what the ads claim was a “sham” and failed economic development deal with Pima County, AZ (Kelly helped found, once worked for, and still has a small investment in a start up space exploration company that agreed to locate In Pima County after being offered an economic development incentive from Pima County). None of which is true or accurate. The deal wasn’t a sham (as declared by the Arizona Court of Appeals after the Goldwater Institute sued to try to stop it), isn’t failed, and most importantly, neither the Company — let alone Kelly personally, has stolen$15 million. Pima County invested $15 million in infrastructure and is still on track to receive $20 million back from the company (part of which has already been paid back).

    That’s not even mentioning McSally’s outright, blatantly false ads claiming she has always and will always protect the right to be able to get health insurance even if you have pre-existing conditions. In fact, she has voted to repeal the ACA at every opportunity. But, on the bright side, we have had the opportunity numerous times to see her in a flight suit climbing into what looks like a military fighter jet (but not the type she actually flew). I feel safer already.

    Fortunately, at least so far, her ads don’t appear to be working. It appears a majority of Arizonans have seen enough of McSally’s lies, hiding from the voters, and are on to her. Virtually every one of the polls show that Kelly has been holding a steady 6 to 8 point lead over McSally (I hope the polls are right. The Dems need that seat. We are just 2 weeks before early voting starts in Arizona). And I’ve heard that some of the national Republican groups trying to influence the outcome of the Congressional races have stopped spending money on McSally, and instead are redirecting it to other races where those groups believe there is a better chance for a Republican win.

    While it wouldn’t end the practice entirely, somehow getting rid of Citizen’s United would help somewhat.

  21. Irvin,

    Well, that didn’t take long! And, I don’t think I you are quite the Apple Polisher extraordinaire that you see yourself as!

    Sheila probably is not going to like me saying this, but, there’s a lot of things I could’ve said, I’ve restrained. Although this I will say, there is not enough umbrage to cast in your direction on this thread or any other.

    You know what you are Irvin, and you should be ashamed!

  22. Paul Ogden:
    Very interesting and elucidating post. I’m still wondering why America Rising has targeted the race for that particular State Senate seat?

  23. Todd, I agree Nixon’s Law and Order was aimed at the Civil Rights protestors who were in the process of toppling legalized Jim Crow. You can change a person’s heart. However, the Nixon Southern Strategy validated Jim Crow of the heart. The Neo-Confederates did not have to change – Just join the Republican Party. Nixon also took aim at the anti-war demonstrators.

    As I have written here before and on other Blogs – FEAR is the heart of the Republican Strategy going all the way back to Joe McCarthy.

    The Club for Growth has a hit piece on Christina Hale. Paid for by Club for Growth Action and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. The Club for Growth is a PAC Per Wiki – According to Politico, “The Club for Growth is the pre-eminent institution promoting Republican adherence to a free-market, free-trade, anti-regulation agenda.

    These types of PACs or SuperPacs will place a hit piece and the Republican Candidate has plausible denial concerning the contact.

  24. Trump came into the Presidency with a deserved business reputation for destruction. He had a long trail of bankruptcies and shenanigans that also bankrupted suppliers. There’s nothing surprising about the Republicans hiring of him to destroy government which was standing in the way of unimpeded wealth redistribution up.

    If anything, Trump with unimpeded power by ignoring rules and traditions and common sense and astonishing world record lying, exceeded in government his business failures. There is scarcely a government institution that hasn’t gone far backwards in both local and global credibility and capability as a a result of his destructive approach to life.

    That’s simply where we are. We’re standing among the wreckage like millions of hurricane and wildfire victims wondering if we should move on or rebuild. Is it even possible to rebuild?

    I don’t know if Biden and Harris are up to the job or not, but at this point they have it. They’ll have to decide next year if there’s enough left of what was in 2016 regarded as the greatest country in the world to rebuild.

    Who can be counted on to help them?

  25. I knew the Ruckleshaus brothers way back when before Bill went to Washington and I went to law school with “old” John. I was active in Democratic politics and they were, of course, Republicans, but this was in the days when Republicans were sane and we talked issues, not how immoral our opponents were. Both of these people were good folks and I appreciated their inputs, inputs with which I frequently agreed. Bill showed us political morality with his However, there is a huge difference between the Eisenhower Republicans of that day and so-calledTrump Republicans of today, as Lincoln Republicans constantly remind us on twitter night and day. Huge! Those bearing the title today are enabling their leaders to steer our ship of state over the fascist cliff and the destruction of our democracy, and have to be stopped. Vote!

  26. mea culpa – I goofed. The sentene beginning with Bill showed should have read Bill showed us political morality with his resignation in refusing to follow an order from Nixon.

  27. Prof. Kennedy, thank you for doing the research on my behalf. I’ve met John R a number of times, leaving me w the impression that he is an honorable, decent man.

    It is disheartening to see such vicious lies from his campaign . Makes my life simpler, I’m voting a straight Dem ticket.

    BTW, I very much enjoy your daily posts AND the comments. Thanks for your voice of reason.

  28. Paul Ogden, what you describe is what I am wondering about these ads and mailers. I believe it’s possible that the senator has not sanctioned the PAC ads, but is not able to stop them. My first clue—the TV ads mispronounce his name. If Ruckelshaus has any say, you would think he would insist on a correction. Seems strange…

  29. To those who think it does no good to take action to change the Dems: Let me quote Yoda, “There is no try. There is do or not do.” I would be willing to bet that more people in Indiana agree with Democrats on the issues, when they aren’t labelled as Democratic or Republican. The problem with the Democrats is that they don’t understand the long game. That’s why it takes young people to start the take over. It won’t happen in this election or the next, but it will happen if you put in the work to make it happen. If you do nothing, nothing changes.

  30. John Ruckleshaus was equally as vile in his mailers toward me, his opponent, in the 2016 election. He didn’t just become vile this year.

  31. Thank you, Ms. Kennedy, for publishing this very honest and insightful expose regarding Mr. Ruckelshaus. With his surprisingly vicious and dishonest attack ad on Fady, he lost all remaining respect I ever had for him. His very decent uncle would be extremely ashamed of this reprehensible and desperate attack. Keep up the good work and much respect to you Ms. Kennedy.

  32. I briefly worked with Ruckelshaus years ago…….. HE WON’T BE GETTING MY PRECIOUS VOTE. That’s all I have to say on the topic except I wish Fady would hurry up with some commercials to counter this nasty vile from Ruckelshaus.

  33. You are a treasure Sheila- a breath of fresh air. I wish there was a way to expose this info to all the folks who will be affected by this integrity-free politician if he wins. Thanks for trying.

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