Ma and Pa Going to the White House?

Bill Neinast

Aaaah!   Take a deep breadth.  Savor that fresh air without a hint of slung mud.

These words are being written before the last votes are cast in the Presidential race.  When they roll off the paper’s press, however, we will know whether a question mark is hanging over the White House or whether FOR SALE signs are being posted in front of the house.

A question mark will indicate that Donald Trump is the President Elect, and no one knows what he will do once he steps into the Oval Office.

For Sale signs would indicate that Hillary Clinton will be moving back into the White House, and that anyone who hires Bill Clinton for one of his half a million dollar speeches gets a night in the Lincoln Bedroom and tea with the President.

Either way, the mud slinging will be over for a few months.  There will probably be a few parting shots from the loser about rigged elections, requests for recounts, and allegations of fraud and other criminal conduct.  These bursts of temper will not be quite as long and loud as the character assassinations that have smothered the air waves for much too long.

As of today, the most pressing concerns will be whether to roast or fry the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and whether to buy a real or artificial Christmas tree for next month.

This means there will be about a three month vacation from political campaigns.  Shortly after the members of Congress get their first pay checks for the new year, however, prepare for a new wave of political propaganda.  The first primaries for the next elections will be just over a year away.

At some point we are going to have to consider seriously the number of elections we have and the amount of money that is spent on those campaigns.

So here’s the perspective.

After enjoying the fresh air for a bit, celebrate an early Thanksgiving.  Regardless of the outcome, we can be thankful that the election is finally over.

As noted in one recent Letter To The Editor, we had only two choices—bad and worse.

If Trump wins the coin toss, there will probably be one good effect.  The Supreme Court will be reconstituted with a semblance of balance between conservatives and liberals.  Conversely, a Clinton win will stack the court with liberals willing to approve every expansion of the federal government.

A Clinton win will also repeat a bit of unsavory Texas history from a century ago.

In the 1920s, the Fergusons dominated Texas politics.  James W. and Miriam A. Ferguson were known as Ma and Pa Ferguson.  During Pa’s second term as governor, he was indicted by a Travis County grand jury and then was impeached on 21 counts by the Texas House of Representatives.  The Senate convicted him of ten of those charges,  including one for accepting $156,500 from a source that he refused to reveal.

Pa resigned before he could be officially removed from office, but then Ma ran for governor on a promise of getting two for the price of one.  She won the election, but served only one term.  

A recurring story about Pa’s reign as governor concerns a bull he kept at his ranch in Bell County.  If you wanted a “favor” from him, you would be shown that bull and asked if you would like to buy it.  Reportedly, the bull was sold many times, but never left the Ferguson pasture.  

That bull might be the unidentified source of that that $156,500 included in the impeachment.

Was that an earlier version of pay to play that we have heard so much about recently in relation to the Clinton Foundation?

Whether Ma and Pa Clinton are to return to the White House should be known as you read this column.

Regardless of who gets the nod for a move to Pennsylvania  Avenue, we will be breathing air free of political mud for about three months.  Enjoy!! 


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