A little meditation on grief. When you lose a child, it is unfathomable. It is a different kind of grief. We had people come up to us and say, "I know how you feel, I lost my cat last month." Or "I know how you feel, my 93-year-old mother just died." At first, I was taken aback.
How can people be so obtuse or insensitive to think those things are comparable? Then I realized that people are trying to be understanding and empathetic, and don't know how to react. Of course, the most common is "There are no words."
My wife and I went to Compassionate Friends, an organization with chapters around the country of people who have lost children, and some meetings there were very comforting. Some had stories that were truly horrific, losing more than one child, losing an only child, worse
We also learned more about sibling grief, which is often given short shrift (people who would say to our surviving son, "We are so sorry for your loss, how are your parents?") But my greatest comfort came from talking to other men who had lost children.
We could share our experiences, our ways of processing grief (different in many ways from women) and talk about the arc of grief-- it actually gets more intense in the second and third years, comes in unpredictable waves thereafter, of course is intense on holidays, birthdays,etc
Of course, not everyone is going to react the same way to others who try to comfort and empathize. But there are likely literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have found immense comfort over decades from Joe Biden. That some do not is not a big news story.
Every family that loses a child, including especially those who lose their children as they serve their country, deserves empathy and respect. Not everybody is going to react to an expression of sympathy with appreciation, and Biden's way may well offend some.
But the effort on Fox et al to go after Biden on this, including claiming that he was so insensitive to the loss of the families of Marines that he looked at his watch over and over, is a common tactic-- attack his strength, his empathy, to undermine him. Don't get taken in.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Norman Ornstein

Norman Ornstein Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @NormOrnstein

7 Sep
In the mid-1970s I had the great honor of working for and with Adlai Stevenson III on a committee he chaired, and for which I was staff and later staff director, reforming the Senate's committee system, and then as he created a structure for Senate ethics. I saw him up close 1
as he navigated the intense pressure from every Senate powerhouse when he tried to eliminate their committees and subcommittees and take away some jurisdictions. He did not bend and ultimately prevailed. 2
I watched him take on tough and unpopular issues, with intelligence and integrity. He was not just a model of public service and a model of what a senator should be. He was a decent, warm and kind human being. 3
Read 4 tweets
24 Jun
. @ChrisCoons A story about Jack Markell, nominated to be Ambassador to @OECD. I saw him at the Dem Convention in 2016 in Philadelphia. I told him my son Matthew had died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a motel in Newark, DE-- & there was no law in DE requiring detectors 1
in hotels, motels, or places with underground garages that would be vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. He said to send him info. Ten days later, I got a call from the governor in my office-- asking why he had not received anything from me. I immediately sent him a packet 2
with info about other states, the incidence of poisoning, etc. His legal assistant called, we visited, but before we could get anything done, the legislative session ended, as did his term as governor. 3
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun
. @billscher @ThePlumLineGS I knew Robert Byrd well. Testified in front of him on the filibuster in the Rules Committee. Talked to him one-on-one about the Senate and its rules. He had a very different attitude by 2009 than he had in 1975. As did Republicans in the Senate. 1
A super-majority then, in both parties, wanted to work on a compromise. Different now. When he was wheeled into the chamber from his death bed to provide the 60th vote on the ACA, he was angrier than I have ever seen him, shaking his fist and shouting, "Shame, shame" at McConnell
As leader he regularly looked for workarounds, sometimes pretty impressively devious, to make the majority have its say, including against nemeses like James Allen. He did not believe the rules were cast in stone. 3
Read 4 tweets
31 May
@gelliottmorris gives us the money quote on whether the Framers thought the Senate should be governed entirely by minority rule via a filibuster or other means. Here is the quote from Federalist 65:
In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority
Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.
Read 5 tweets
4 Apr
. @Nate_Cohn makes some good points in his piece on GA. But there is more. Looking at a presidential election, including looking at it through the lens of the barriers provided by the pandemic, does not necessarily translate into what could or would happen in a midterm contest. 1
Some research shows that more convenience matters in lower turnout elections. The evidence is not entirely one-sided. And as more people get familiar with absentee voting, more are likely to employ it. 2
At the same time,Cohn ignores the increased capability of state and local figures to cut selectively the number of polling places and create long lines, including in the early voting days, and the ban on water is very important if there are long lines. 3
Read 6 tweets
17 Mar
Memo to mainstream journalists: Stop treating Mitch McConnell as an institutionalist. No one has blown up more norms. Stop taking everything he says at face value. Do you really think if he employed obstructionist tactics to blow things up that the majority would be helpless?
Use unanimous consent to bring the Senate to a complete halt? The majority can bring back a motion on the previous question to override, or use other rules changes to obviate. Delay every confirmation? Majority can find many ways to expedite. 2
Go to DEFCON 1? Majority can schedule votes and sessions with scant notice, can schedule votes when majority of Rs are going to be back home, telling Ds in advance to organize their schedules. In other words, McConnell's threats are idle. 3
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!