Dan Corkery: National columnist on lengthy recovery

Dan Corkery: National columnist on lengthy recovery

The last we read or heard from Charles Krauthammer was early August.

On Aug. 4, the Washington Post Writers Group columnist wrote that "the sinews of our democracy held against the careening recklessness of this presidency." Given the overlapping plot lines of the Donald Trump Reality Show, it's hard to remember which reckless week that was.

A refresher:

Remember Anthony Scaramucci? He was White House communications director for 10 days when Chief of Staff John Kelly, on his first day, canned "the Mooch."

That little drama was preceded by 1) the military brass deflecting Trump's tweet about banning transgender people from serving; 2) the Senate Judiciary Committee defending Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Trump tried to humiliate the AG into resigning; 3) senators nixing a slimmed-down repeal of Obamacare; 4) the Boys Scouts' CEO apologizing for the president's politics-laden speech; and 5) police chiefs chafing at Trump remarks about cops roughing up suspects.

Krauthammer's point: Due to the good judgment of others, "the institutions of both political and civil society are holding up well." That column contains the sort of analysis — one part perspective, one part "life isn't that bad" — that readers have come to expect from the psychiatrist-turned-commentator.

Since then, 11 weeks later, not a word from Krauthammer, whose weekly column The News-Gazette has been publishing since 2011.

In mid-August, Krauthammer underwent a planned surgery.

"Unfortunately, his recovery is taking longer than anticipated. But he is continuing to make progress," Gabriella Ferrufino of the Washington Post syndicate told me by email on Friday.

Earlier this month, Bret Baier of Fox News, where Krauthammer is a political analyst, told his viewers the same story.

"He desperately wants to come back to the panel as soon as possible," Baier said Oct. 5. No details on the type of surgery or the complications.

For readers wanting to send get-well messages, Krauthammer can be reached at letters@charleskrauthammer.com. Letters can be mailed to Washington Post Writers Group, 1301 K Street, NW., Washington, D.C. 20071.

Readers may not be aware of one aspect of Krauthammer's life. In the early 1970s, he broke his neck diving into a swimming pool during his first year of medical school. He has been paralyzed since. While his disability is mostly out of sight, his abilities are not. Based on my reading, that's the way he wants it.

Not having his column on Fridays has allowed me to use other columnists — and to publish more letters. That's what happened two days ago when letters filled more than half the page.

The flow of letters is rarely steady. We have lean weeks, typically summertime and Christmas, and fat weeks. During times of plenty, keeping up is nearly a full-time job.

Not that I'm complaining.

Columnists may come and go, but the letters remain the editorial page's centerpiece. It has been and remains an effective way to talk back. I know I appreciate the feedback.

And speaking of feedback, a number of readers have shared their opinions about the "Vietnam War" series that recently aired on PBS. The comments have mostly been positive. Most of us who lived through that era knew parts of the story, but not all. I think we all appreciate the thorough airing of the issues, decisions, secrets and events from those years.

And the parallel of that acrimonious time to today's world is inescapable.

Linked in the top right of this column is another Vietnam story, this one by Ed Fitch (one of my tennis acquaintances). His story is one of preparation and not war itself. Like the two other stories preceding his, Ed's recollections fill in another chapter of that period.

I have another story or two in the works, but I'd like to have more. Feel free to share your experiences, whether they happened in Vietnam, the U.S. or somewhere else.

Dan Corkery is a member of The News-Gazette's editorial board. His email is dcorkery@news-gazette.com, and his phone is 351-5218.

Sections (2):Columns, Opinion