You watch. Obama’s visit to his ailing grandmother will be portrayed by the right-wing loonies as a campaign stunt.

Background: I was very, very close to my grandparents. My grandmother and my mother were pregnant at the same time (I was not the product of planned pregnancy) and my Aunt A. was born a month before I was. I have an uncle who was born near 2 years after me, and another uncle born about a year and a half earlier. We all lived in the same chaotic and fabulous house until Mom remarried and we moved an hour south when I was about 4.

Being 1959, my “parents” married and moved in to my grandparents’ basement, and I was the 4th generation and 12th person in the house. Said house with one bathroom, and 3 teenage girls, Mom the second in line.

After college, I moved in with my grandparents, and lived with them for near 10 years while I paid off my self-financed college education, and selfishly, LOVING the fact that I had a full course meal on the table every night when I got home from work, a bottomless cookie jar (since I was a baby), and an excellent political argument with dear old Grandpa in front of the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS every night, the only news show Grandpa thought worth watching, way ahead of his time.

When I finally moved out, it was with my 1.5 year-older uncle, and we bought a townhouse, with Uncle C’s money.

Grandpa was a union organizing lefty youngster, who turned into a rabid libertarian Rockefeller Republican by the time I was born. Grandpa was true to his GOP principles; no one in my life has ever had more integrity and honesty when it came to “small government.” And everything else.

My grandfather was Mr. Magoo, personally, a crotchety, near-blind, bad driving, opinionated asshole who even looked like Mr. Magoo, slight, bespectacled, and vocal. And when he said “small government,” he meant it, all the way to the personal lives of not only his children and grandchildren, but all United States citizens.

Riding with him in a car was a perpetual white-knuckle nail-biter of legendary lore among my “siblings,” in this case my aunts and uncles near my age.

He prepared us for his death from as early as I can remember. He was a mortality expert, a life insurance Underwriter, and he took his job very seriously. He had to, he was supporting a gazillion people. I learned very early in life how to cope with a diabetic crisis, there was Grandpa going from completely coherent to insanely “drunk” in the span of minutes, Grandma patiently and often forcefully having to jam some sugar down his neck while he fought it with a blood sugar in the 30’s or 40’s. By his later years, I had taken him to the ER with blood sugars as low as 13 and as high as 500.

So the reason he prepared us for his own mortality was primarily because he was a very, very brittle diabetic since the 1930’s. He was always “uninsurable,” from a life insurance perspective, and being the most left-brained person ever to walk the planet, he made no bones about it. The whole family knew he was living on borrowed time. It just turned out he did it for about 40 years.

He outlived my generally healthy grandmother, much to our distress. We wanted grandma to have a few years of freedom, not making sure meals were made every day at the same time, not watching out for his blood sugar, not nursing him in every way you can think of the quintessential 40’s-60’s “housewife” doing (laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping, et al), instead nurturing her beautiful plants and garden and birds, all of which loved her as much as she loved them. It just didn’t work out that way.

Of course we all figured he’d die within a year or two of my beloved grandmother’s death, but true to form, he was just too tough and smart to give in.

He made it to his healthy-person life expectancy, and finally gave up at age 77. It was fitting.

The point is, if I read Obama’s relationship with his grandmother correctly, this is no fucking campaign stunt, and people who claim it is have a special place in Hell reserved for them.

Update: Right on cue, The Gateway Pundit obliges. If you really want to see the cesspool, touch the cesspool, and smell the cesspool, venture into the comments.


Update 2: I hope with all my heart that Barack’s grandmother can hang in there until Nov. 5. What a wonderful moment for her to go out on. Godspeed.