“Gimpy” strikes me as a potentially more useful word than is acknowledged in our language. According to my online dictionary the primary meaning is “cripple.” It also indicates that gimpy did not exist until 1925 and may have been introduced by Damon Runyon as a substitute for “limp.” Why this should matter to me I do not know. However, I am led to it because of a deer. Living as we do in a semi-rural area we have quite a few deer around most of the time. Somehow there are more of these creatures this year than usual. They seem to be rather intelligent in that during hunting season (now) they tend to congregate more often right around our house (they apparently know they are less likely to be shot here). Anyway, one of them, a small and quite lovely doe, is gimpy, and has a difficult time getting around on only three legs. We do not know what happened to her but we suspect she may have been shot in one leg but escaped the hunter. I give him the benefit of the doubt that he may not have known she was wounded rather than assuming he was simply too lazy to follow up on his attempted kill. Of course she may have been damaged in some other manner, hit by a car perhaps, or escaping the coyotes or something like that. Although we know we are not supposed to feed the deer, and do not ordinarily do so, my wife has been unable to resist helping Gimpy, and puts out small amounts of cracked corn from time to time where she believes the poor creature will find it. We notice with some satisfaction that today, for the first time in three weeks, she has actually been able to place her injured foot on the ground albeit quite tenderly. We have hopes for her.
I am sad to say that I do not hold out the same hopes for John McCain who is, I believe, gimpy in another way, crippled, that is, by what I think must be increasing senility. I have no other way to understand his strange behavior when it comes to DADT. As I recall he was once more or less for it (I think), then he was against it, then he said he would be for it if the military was for it, then when they were for it he still wasn’t for it but wanted a study, then there was a study that was for it but he was still not for it and wanted still another study, and now, even though the military has emphasized they are almost overwhelmingly for it (except mainly Marines) he is still not for it. I don’t know how to explain this shifting but stubborn opposition, either he will not allow Obama a victory of any kind, or he is mentally handicapped (crippled). The fact that he now compares Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan does little to change my suspicion of his mental condition. This is another example of behavior that leads me to believe there should be a mandatory retirement age for all public servants, Senators and Congresspersons, as well as Judges and whomever. Being “elderly” myself I realize there are many older people who continue to be alert and productive even into their dotage, but I believe that even one seriously handicapped elder can potentially do great damage to the country (as in the case of McCain selecting Silly Sarah to be his running mate).
I suspect that the adjective gimpy should truly be used to describe our current Congress that seems to be crippled almost beyond belief. Aside from an occasional relatively innocuous bill passed, our Congress seems to be terribly dysfunctional, riven by partisanship, and rendered almost inoperable by the Republican party of “no.” This means that nothing of any particular importance can be passed at all unless there is some form of forced “compromise.” Compromise for Republicans means getting their way or nothing. As I have previously mentioned, even in the best of circumstances, if you govern by eternal compromise this means the best outcome can never occur because the compromise always waters it down to a less desirable result. Look at what happened to the stimulus bill or health care for perfect examples of this problem. While I hold out hope for Gimpy, our deer, I have little hope for our gimpy Senator and even less for our even gimpier (if there is such a word) Congress. I heard a bow and arrow hunter once complain that when his arrows fell harmlessly at the feet of a herd of deer he felt they were laughing at him. They must certainly be laughing at us now.
The world before my eyes is wan and wasted, just like me.
The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered.
No spring breeze even at this late date,
Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut.