Four vice presidents: L-R, outgoing President Lyndon B. Johnson (the 37th Vice President), incoming President Richard Nixon (36th), (Everett Dirksen administering oath), Spiro Agnew incoming vice president (39th), and outgoing Vice President Hubert Humphrey (38th), January 20, 1969

I’m thinking of making a haiku: Nigh is Night.  But then I remembered Spiro T. Agnew’s famous phrase…
“In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.” Speech in San Diego (11 September 1970).

I don’t know which path to follow. On one hand, there’s a chance to create something spiritually lifting, on the other hand, I can write a poor facsimile of a haiku. First, the haiku.

Nigh is night

Print 30

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

See how I wove those two threads together? (Aren’t I special? 😜 Okay, shutting up now.) But they do work together. Night is coming. Print 30 means to put something to bed, as in send the final copy of a newspaper to the guys in the printing room, usually around midnight. And the NNoB suggests shutting up the writers of said newspaper, at least for a few hours.

Which brings us back to Spiro. At some point in the country’s history, the role of VP turned into a running joke. I posit that occurred around the time modern medicine started developing better drugs and surgical procedures. 

Let’s see. Ike had Nixon, which was a marriage of convenience. JFK had LBJ, another marriage of politics – and you can have your own opinion on how that administration turned out. LBJ didn’t have a VP until the next election (2 years!) when he got Hubert Humphrey. Nixon came along with dear Spiro, who resigned just before Nixon. Then the juggling act with Ford, Rockefeller, and Mondale.

But back to Spiro’s famous quote. In his position as cheerleader-in-chief, one of his duties is to support his president – by distraction when necessary. He did this quite eloquently in this case, which went over very well with Ma & Pa Cornfield in Nebraska. Not so much with the coastal effete (where the dogs of the media roam).

Bringing us to today. The dogs still roam, in much the same numbers. But the dogs – sorry, media – have become gargantuan. Through connections, ownership, or donations/bribes the best they can offer up is a blowhard real estate mogul or a former First Lady & Secretary of State of arguable repute.

Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame in the song ‘Aqualung’, said it well.

“…salvation a la mode and a cup of tea…”

Translated into American equals “disenfranchisement and a crap sandwich.”