Sage Leopard News Read Roundup: Mock Convention & C’mons!

Mock Convention, 1992, Washington and Lee
The floor of the 1992 Mock Convention at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia

Happy Mock Con! What is Mock Con, you ask? No, it’s not “mock conservative,” as a friend incorrectly guessed. It’s Mock Convention, a tradition stemming back to 1908, where Washington and Lee University students host a presidential year nominating convention to mimic, in advance, what the party out of power will do. Because Mock Con’s projection usually gets it right, the event – being held as I type this weekend – is often covered by the national political press. You can learn about the event and its history here. As a W&L student, I participated in the 1992 Mock Con. At the time, George H.W. Bush was president and we had to pick who the Democratic Party would end up selecting and we got it right: Bill Clinton, who was then the governor of Arkansas. There was a tradition within the tradition of the real candidate calling into the Mock Convention floor to say thank you and we were so pumped when the phone line was connected to the P.A. system. Much to our chagrin, it was the voice of Jim Carville, representing the Clinton campaign, who greeted and thanked us. I think. I’m not positive because there might have been some bourbon flowing that weekend. At our 30-year class reunion, an alumnae brought a commemorative bottle of Jim Beam with the ’92 Mock Con label and shared it at dinner. What a blast from the past! Well, the alumni association shared pictures from the Mock Convention parade this morning and that spurred me to scan and post my pictures from our parade lo those many years ago. I was in the New Jersey delegation and in lieu of a little float, we rented an 18-wheeler flatbed and built a mockup of the Garden State Parkway. Our delegation chair dressed up as Bon Jovi. Many of us were dressed up as Dance Party USA partiers. There was a lot of big hair. (If you are from New Jersey, like me, you can make fun of New Jersey. If you are not from New Jersey, fuhgettaboutit.) My favorite picture from that day was of a student from the Illinois delegation. Enjoy. The rest of the pictures are visible on The Sage Leopard’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Viewers along the parade route
Et tu, Abe Lincoln?

Oh, c’mon! That was my reaction to reading that the Defense Secretary is pulling the budget out from under Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of the armed services. Sure, the president calls the press “the enemy of the people,” but that now extends to the paper put out by members of the military for the military? Don’t believe it? You can read all about it in a Stars and Stripes article. Next, Mom and apple pie face budget cuts in FY-2021.

Oh, c’mon, part deux. A group of lawyers is contending that travel restrictions by countries meant to curtail the spread of coronavirus are violating international law and norms. Because nothing says free trade like the unfettered spread of a deadly disease. The lawyers, according to a Washington Post story, argue that bans on Chinese travel would, among other things, limit the flow of aid. That seems more hypothetical than real, especially as aid and technical assistance have been offered to China by other countries, including the United States.

Oh, c’mon again. When I first read yesterday that Attorney General William Barr said that Trump’s tweets on DOJ cases made it “impossible” for him to do his job, I mistakeningly thought he was resigning. Nope. Just grousing. I guess I could hold my breath waiting to see if he would resign. Meanwhile, now people are speculating he said to put on appearances that he is independent-minded in making legal decisions and not swayed by politics. This has become a parlor game, as you can see in the New York Times opinion piece.

Happy Valentines Day to my boyfriend, Mr. B. We met almost 11 years ago and very much enjoy our time together. Valentines is not the easiest of holidays, whether you are in a relationship or not. Remember, the first person to love is yourself. Then you can truly love others and be loved. And, generally speaking, if there’s a rotten tomato, well, you may have to toss it.

Katharine Fraser and Byron Black
Me and Mr. B.

The Sage Leopard, thesageleopard@gmail.com