The Breakfast Table

Who Speaks for the Walleye?


What makes Fitzgerald vote that way is that the sentiment back home is firmly in favor of gun control, despite the skepticism of at least one Chicago newspaper columnist. Illinois conservatives have been trying without success for ages to elect one of their own to the Senate or the governorship, and in recent years, guns have been their undoing, specifically with independents and Republicans in the Chicago suburbs. So, when Fitzgerald decided to run against Carol Moseley-Braun in 1998, he inoculated himself by endorsing the Brady law and the assault-weapons ban. And that was enough to defuse the issue, notwithstanding his support for a permissive conceal-carry law while in the legislature. He’s obviously decided that if he gets beat in 2004, he’s not going to let it be on that issue. How about Gorton? Is he asking for trouble at the polls?


Sorry to say, we in this part of the country don’t pay much attention to whaling controversies, until such a time as Moby Dick makes his way into one of the Great Lakes. We have our own version of your controversy, which involves the right of Indian tribes in Wisconsin to engage in their timeless tradition of spear-fishing. That infuriates some local non-Indians, who say they deplete the stocks for everyone else. Unlike the whaling dispute, however, no one speaks up for the poor walleye.

I note that you deftly avoid answering my question about the biggest jerk your board has ever interviewed–no doubt because your kind spirit prevents you from speaking ill of your guests. So, I’ll ask another question: Who’s your favorite of all the pols, think-tankers, community activists et al. who have trooped in to enlighten you and your colleagues? While I’m waiting to hear back from you, I’ll try to think of mine. It won’t be easy, my spirit being less charitable than yours.

Maybe you’re right about Griffey, but try not to destroy my fantasies–they’re about all a Cubs fan has. Besides, being an American Leaguer, Junior lacks one big disincentive National League hitters have to signing with the Cubs–which is that they no longer get to hit Cubs pitching. But if you insist on keeping him, could you take Rod Beck too?

Speaking of baseball, I won’t be able to write again today because I’m off shortly to coach my Little Leaguers. Maybe a future Ken Griffey Jr. will show himself.