For your talking dog, the first such Fathers Day following the death of TD Dad last December falls into the realm of somewhere between confusing and surreal; I've spent the day at Stately Dog Manor with Mrs. TD and the Loquacious Pup, but of course, there's definitely something missing. There's no question that I grew up with my Dad, and now, an irreplaceable part of my life has moved on.
The last two Democratic Presidents have some issues with that sort of thing. Tragically, Bill Clinton's biological father died three months before the future president was born. And similarly, Barack Obama's father left the future president as an infant, and at least according to the President's book "Dreams from My Father," he only met him face to face after his infancy one time. Both Clinton and Obama had other male figures in their lives, as their respective mothers remarried, but nonetheless, it makes me wonder. A lot.
For his part, President George W. Bush, son of uber-politician George H.W. Bush, often did not see his father for lengthy periods when his father was on government or other business... well, in any event... Dubya had his own "Daddy issues."
I say this as I ponder what has happened to us as a nation, as our three Baby Boomer "commanders in chief" all seem to have had something other than the classic paternal relationship. No requirement that they do, and each of the three certainly has their supporters. I just wonder if, maybe... something... grown-up might be missing from the gestalt of this country, particularly as the last twenty-four years have, to all but those peddling fiction (Barack)... seen a rather precipitous decline in a great many areas... we can start with the mother of all economic statistics, the workforce participation rate if you like. BTW, I'm not blaming my college classmate Barack for what I view as structural problems largely caused by the policies of Bill Clinton and then exacerbated by Dubya-- although Barack didn't help much, and Obamacare has basically been a stake in the heart of full-time employment. Then again... I assume that the real people who run this country (that would be a consortium of agents for the fabulously rich-- not all of whom are even from this country, of course-- running their games via Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex/Deep State) prefer to have man-children (or, if Hillary is elected, woman-children) as their front-persons, as, well, pliability is good.
There all too often doesn't seem to be a "grown-up" in the room, and the country is desperately craving one. Yes, the presumptive Democratic and Republican candidates are, respectively, going to be 69 and 70 on Election Day (Hillary sharing my birthday, albeit she was born 15 years before me). But neither is remotely a grown-up, and Mr. Trump does not seem to have advanced much beyond the narcissism often displayed by pre-schoolers, and wherever Hillary is, we're not sure it's "adulthood," so much as the cloying high school student body president you voted for... but didn't like. Of course, Bernie Sanders, btw, will be 75, and I suspect a huge part of his popularity such as it is derives from the perception of many that he seems to be the only adult in the room, not counting either Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Dr. Jill Stein... and our old friend Bill Scher says "Just you wait Hillary" about Dr. Stein.
That said, I take a minor diversion into this N.Y. Post hit-piece suggesting that the reasonably attractive Monica Lewinsky freaked out when Bill Clinton was having an affair with the drop-dead gorgeous Eleanor [Walter's daughter] Mondale. Sure, it comes from supposedly leaked excerpts from former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne's upcoming tell-all book (among other things, he depicts Hillary as... quite violent... gun control advocates might wonder about Hillary's own propensity for firearms... just saying). I don't know why I'm so interested in the goings on of
Mephistopheles Caligula Bill Clinton, but hey... it's Fathers Day (and after all, Chelsea just gave Gomez and Morticia Hillary and Bill their second grandchild Aiden Clinton Mezvinsky.)
Mazel tov, Chelsea and Marc... I'm sure you're kvelling.
Where was I going? I don't know... it seems we have a whole series of predicaments coming up-- structural in nature. Environmental seems quite serious. The possibility of nuclear war with Russia because, among other things, Hillary's friends at the State Department think World War III is a good idea... seems serious. The overall economy seems to be treading water at best, and not exactly at a good level. And, regardless of whether we start WWIII, we are certainly military engaged all over the place at a calamitous cost. Europe is being overrun by migrants (some of whom are refugees from the places we are militarily engaged), and is in its own economic doldrums. China-- the supposed savior of the world economy-- is rife with corruption, environmental problems almost beyond comprehension, and its own under-reporting of bad economic news.
All that said... seems to be that a grown-up-- someone fitting the, dare I say it, role of the effective parent (I'll go gender neutral here)-- is what is called for as our notional leader. And of course, is exactly what we're not going to get.
Happy Fathers Day, such as it is.