Monday, December 21, 2020

How to Spot a Lame Duck?


One tends to take common expressions for granted. A lame duck president is one who remains in office until a newly elected commander-in-chief takes over on January 20th. But have you ever thought from whence the expression derives. How do you spot one?  Ducks usually waddle to begin with so a lame duck is going to really be quite lopsided (and there have been moments in the current president’s tenure when he has been reported to be shaky on his feet, "Trump's Halting Walk Down Ramp Raises New Health Questions,NYT, 6/14/20). A lame duck is also by, definition, a duck that falls behind the flock and is in danger of being poached. Thus, in the 18th century it was used on the London Stock Exchange for stockbrokers who fell behind in their debts. Talking about originalism to which the current lame duck has demonstrated a distinct predilection, President Trump literally lives up to the term. He's by all accounts facing a mountain of debt which is liable to catch up with him the moment he returns to his civilian status. His cries of a faulty election are explained as driving his fundraising. Apart from the pardoning of himself and his family members, the paying of future legal expenses and servicing his debt may turn out to be two of the most significant accomplishments of his final days in office. In any case Trump is likely to be remembered as a lame duck who leveled many canards.

Read "Trumpty Dumpty's Great Fall" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

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