For decades John Ford was a feared and powerful force in Tennessee, yet these days he plays more the role of wayward uncle to nephew and U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr.
Under indictment for bribery and facing more legal woes for his years of womanizing, John Ford was back in Juvenile Court on Tuesday, battling a North Carolina woman's demand for more child support.
. . . .
His lawyer argued that while Ford had fallen $50,000 behind on his child support, he deserves a break because of the "extraordinary circumstances'' brought on by his criminal prosecution.
For his part, Ford, 64, declined to talk about the case.
"Don't harass me. No comment means no comment,'' Ford said after the hearing, calling over a deputy who used a Juvenile Court vehicle as a shield to separate the ex-lawmaker from reporters.
I remember standing in the hallway of the Legislative Plaza in Nashville one afternoon when John Ford physically attacked a camera crew trying to get a statement out of him. Steve Cohen and I went to a nearby television shortly thereafter and watched coverage of the incident on a local station, shaking our heads in dismay.
But if you get elected based on an obsolete blind loyalty to the Ford name, you can pretty much do whatever you want to, huh? Until the feds bust you, anyway.
John punched me in the ribs once, just for a joke, right? John's got a pretty hard fist, or at least he did those 20-some-odd years ago. More from Perrusquia's story:
The Ford family tree has become a subplot in Democrat Harold Ford Jr.'s tight and heated race with Republican Bob Corker....
In a debate this month in Memphis, Corker referred to the many members of the Ford family in public office, asserting that his opponent, a congressman from Memphis, is part of a "Ford political machine.'' Ford responded, "Let's stick to you and I...."
Groan. It should have been,"to you and me," Harold. You do this over and over again. This is what grammarians call overrefinement:
Between you and I or between you and me?
According to The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style, "Because the pronouns following between are objects of the preposition, the correct phrase is between you and me. Yet the phrasing between you and I is appallingly common--'a grammatical error of unsurpassable grossness,' as one commentator puts it. The Careful Writer notes that "Most of those who say or write between you and I, Shakespeare excepted, are guilty of overrefinement. They have been corrected when they used 'It is me' or 'You and me ought to get together,' and have become gun-shy about the word 'me.' In addition they are confused because the word 'you' is the same in the objective case as it is in the nominative; therefore, although they would not dream of saying or writing between him and they or between her and we or between us and she, the phrase between you and I does not sound bad to them. But bad it is, and indefensible grammatically. Between is a preposition and it is followed by the objective case: me. To say between you and I is a needless, pointless, and ignorant exception to a good rule".
To tell you the truth, I got a little worried for Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt when Harold Ford, Jr., ran yelling down the aisle toward her during her "John Murtha is a coward" speech.
Now it seems Jake Ford is made of the same cloth, as Jackson Baker and Chris Davis chronicled recently.
It's gotten so bad that even cousin Joe Ford, Jr. -- the real shining light in this generation of Fords whom we're just getting to know around here -- has blogged about Jake and about a member of Jake's posse, one Tyrone.
If you really want a Ford to vote for, I personally recommend Joe, Jr. I've observed him, met him, and talked with him. He's smart, enlightened in his world view, and gentlemanly. He's also a real lawyer, licensed in California (and their bar exam is one of the hardest). Joe, Jr., is the real Barack Obama of the Ford family -- not Harold, Jr.