Tag Archive: Patrick Purdy


“If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs, and blaming it on you.” — Poet Rudyard Kipling’s, “If” (1865-1936)

One thing is certain when it comes to any crisis — earthquake, floods, fires, pandemics — the media will hyperventilate and will be totally out of control.

Another is that no good deed goes unpunished.

And an absolute truth in politics: You have a finite number of friends and the same is true for your enemies. Your enemies will never change; your friends can change.

Finally, the public wants and needs to see its president, governor, mayor, CEO … whoever is the elected/designated leader … that individual must be there repeatedly, visible on the front lines.

The images of President George W. Bush with the bullhorn at Ground Zero, Rudy Giuliani being designated as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in response to the brutal attacks on 9/11 are illustrative of leaders immediately present and active in response.

President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina is less of a text book example. The failure of Exxon Valdez CEO Lawrence Rawl to visit the 1989 Prince William Sound spill site for three weeks or maybe worse, BP’s former chief executive Tony Hayward lamenting about the impact of his company’s 2010 Gulf Spill … on his personal life.

“I’m sorry. We’re sorry for the massive disruption its (Gulf Spill) caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I’d like my life back.”

Sorry to say Tony, this song was not about you.

Crises present opportunities and perils. Some succeed in the face of unprecedented challenges, others fail miserably. There are few who just for lack of better words, screw up.

When asked at an emergency site to characterize what he was seeing with his very eyes, former California Governor Pat Brown didn’t realize what he was saying until he said it: “This is the worse disaster since my election.”

During the course of any political lifetime, there will be crises. You are not judged when all is well, but defined when all are losing their heads.

And besides keeping your head, a public sector team should always operate under the philosophy that good government always takes precedence over good politics.

Almost DailyBrett believes for any incumbent, regardless of whether it’s an election year (it is) or not, the “What is the good government response?” question should always be answered first.

If the answer is good government, then the question of good politics should address itself.

Invoking The Wrath Of The NRA

“There’s no logical reason for anybody to own an assault weapon.” — California Governor George Deukmejian (1928-2018)

As a Republican governor in a blue state, Governor Deukmejian recognized immediately the political landscape changed when troubled Vietnam vet Patrick Purdy took an AK-47 onto a Stockton schoolyard, filled with happy playing Korean children, in 1989.

The good government response immediately following this senseless massacre intended for the protection of innocent children and the public at large was to ban assault weapons in California. This responsible action predictably triggered (pardon the pun) an immediate vitriolic response from the NRA.

Good government, won. Good politics came along for the ride.

As President Donald Trump directs the nation’s emergency response to the global Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, he and his team must be mindful that anything and everything will be viewed in terms of the electoral season.

No action taken by the administration (i.e., blocking flights from China and Europe, teaming with private sector on mobile testing, relaxing and suspending burdensome federal regulations) will meet with universal approval, not this year in particular. There are those who cannot and will not be positive. So be it.

The nation needs to see its leader. The leader of the free world cannot be perfect (impossible standard to uphold), but he must be confident. Some have said we need more teleprompter Trump and less tweeting Trump. Politics needs to be left to others, particularly those out of power.

Instead, good government must rule … good government must take precedence. This is a time for message and political discipline. Can Trump and his team do it?

Let’s give them a chance.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-05-19-mn-112-story.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/the-governor-who-changed-my-life/

 

“Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed his fate … (bin Laden would have used his signature Kalashnikov).”

Watching Bill O’Reilly’s interview with ABC religion commentator Father Edward L. Beck last Wednesday just days after the Navy Seals sealed the fate of Osama bin Laden, my parochial school experiences came roaring back at me…and not in a good way.

FatherBeck

Beck with his sanctimonious and holier-than-thou-art attitude reminded this product of 12 years of Catholic school of how obstinate the nuns and the priests were to any and all new game-changing information that flew in the face of their entrenched orthodoxy. Certainly, it is important to have core values that should stand the test of time…but there are circumstances that can alter the philosophical and political landscape and can alter it rapidly. The shooting of bin Laden is a perfect example.

Father Beck has a problem with Americans publicly celebrating the victory of good over evil in the form of the ultimate demise of bin Laden.

O’REILLY: “Was bin Laden evil?”

BECK: “That’s not for me to judge. His actions were certainly were evil –“

O’REILLY: “Not for you to judge?”

BECK: “His actions certainly were evil and they caused a lot of harm and disruption.”

O’REILLY:” So you can’t as a human being make a determination on good and evil? You cannot do that?”

BECK: “No, I think that’s up God to ultimately decide who’s evil.”

Sorry Father Beck, but you just reminded me why I am a fallen Catholic. I paid my dues and have the scars to prove it listening to people just like you, who are just better than me. If I didn’t believe that, I would just ask you…You would tell me, wouldn’t you? Sure you would.

In my humble opinion, a game changer is one of those few-and-far-between moments that you remember where you were, and what you were doing when you heard the news. I remember where I was when JFK was assassinated, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, when the airplanes hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon and last week when the news flashed that the Navy Seals had taken out bin Laden. These were all game changers in my life.

Another game changer (at least a political game changer) involving a Kalashnikov occurred on a Stockton (CA) school ground back in 1987. A man by the name of Patrick Purdy had a fully loaded Chinese-made AK-47 in his hands. Within minutes he fired at least 106 bullets, killing five school children, and wounding one teacher and 29 other students. He then killed himself.

wsshoot5

A game changer for California, wouldn’t you agree? I was serving as California Governor George Deukmejian’s press secretary. The former attorney general-then governor asked the state Legislature to fast track him legislation banning assault weapons, such as a Kalashnikov, in California. The Republican governor told the media that “I see no reason why anyone needs an assault weapon.”

The reaction from the National Rifle Association was predictable as it was doctrinaire. A camel’s nose was sniffing around the edges of the Second Amendment tent. This Patrick Purdy case was being used as the backdrop to ban sacred assault weapons. For some reason, the NRA leadership and its disciples couldn’t see that Purdy and his deplorable actions were a game changer. Orthodoxy yesterday. Orthodoxy today. Orthodoxy forever.

Yes, yes there are more differences than similarities between the Catholic Church and the National Rifle Association. I get that. But what I don’t get is when a game changer occurs, some individuals and some groups will systematically refuse to consider that their world just changed. The death of bin Laden and the Purdy outrage are just two examples.

In politics many cower in the face of the label of being a flip-flopper, but there comes a time when reality simply changes. And are you thoughtful and flexible or close minded, stubborn and unyielding? Alas, I know where Father Beck and the NRA fit in this equation.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,151105,00.html

http://thepassionists.org/whats_new/tag/bill-oreilly/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47

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