“Well, well! What next?... Brother Mycroft is coming round…It is as if you met a tram-car coming down a county lane. Mycroft has his rails and he runs on them...What upheavel could have possibly derailed him?”
It is with these words that Sherlock Holmes announces that his brother, Mycroft, is going to do something very out of character: leave his stodgy club and pay a visit to the detective and his friend.
I recalled them because today struck me as a day in which a lot of people did things that were out of character.
First of all, Rip and Read did something out of character: we actually went to a newsworthy event rather than simply engaging in our usual style of, well, rip and read “journalism.”
The event in question was the “Victory Rally” hosted by Senate Candidate Bernard Sanders. If you are one of the faithful, as I am, it was great. Rousing speeches, enthusiasm, cheering, and a heartily expressed wish on the part of all present to see George W. Bush become the lamest of all lame duck presidents that ever were.
So, at a gathering headed by Bernie, and showcasing Patrick Leahy, Peter Welch, Gaye Symington, and a host of other Democrats, what did I find that was out of character?
Well, the fact that it happened at all really.
In his Freyne Land entry, Peter Freyne described the new dynamic duo, Leahy and Sanders, Vermont’s new U.S. Senate delegation: They move well together. Smoothly. Like an old couple.
He's right, they do. And, while it is encouraging to an old faithful Democrat like me to see such a powerful and coordinated show, it is also odd. See, I’ve been in Vermont long enough to remember another Bernie. A Bernie with wilder hair, dirtier sweaters, and no idea how to tie a tie. And that Bernie used to thunder on endlessly, castigating us who had faith in the Democratic Party (the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and, yes, Patrick Leahy) lambasting us as mere Democans and Republocrats.
Used to set my teeth on edge.
And while I am grateful to have him on our side for a change... I still have to wonder when and why Bernie, who used to have his rails and run on them, jumped the track.
Did he sell out? Or did he just grow up?
In either event I, for one, am grateful for the change.
Oh, and the other out of character happening? Well, this is more a wish than a fact, but I hope it is going to be this: Karl Rove chokes (figuratively- I write, just in case the Justice Department is reading) on Election Day.