An older man smiling in front of a brick wall.

Jack’s Angle: Thinking through 6 weeks of hospitalization, rehab – John J. “Jack” Partridge

by John J. “Jack” Partridge, contributing writer, commentary

Being bedridden for a long period gives one a respite from many daily cares and duties and is also a rare opportunity to research and think through many issues. I was lucky because of my family and thoughtful institutional care at Miriam and Bethany Home to have weeks to be able to research and focus on issues bothering me:

1. Trump’s New York trial: What is the essential issue? Clearly it has little to do with federal campaign law violations.  It only concerns whether invoices from Trump’s lawyer hat said “legal expenses” and were so recorded in his business books and the checks prepared to cover the “legal expense” were for another purpose such that he knowingly committed or covered up another crime (for which he was not indicted). All else is mere hyperbole and an excuse to make him out as an unfaithful lout just before the presidential election. Clear prosecutorial misconduct, in bringing this indictment. For what crime? The jury has to be tasked by the judge to not let the prosecution get away with it – the judge to consider the larger picture.

2. Trump’s presidential immunity claims: Can a president be prosecuted for actions within his official dutie,s as distinguished from personal acts that are illegal like speeding or tax fraud or first degree murder. I think this is a clear distinction for the courts to focus on and which the public can accept.

3. The Washington Bridge matter: All the finger pointing and allegations of fault are there with partisans on all sides lawyering up. The only questions that really matter now are when do we get a new bridge and what type of new bridge do we need, and its cost, and the source of funds.  These are the questions that matter, “Bridgegate” can follow. The new bridge can be a simple design, since  we no  longer need height for today’s shipping and use of the Seekonk River.  As to the source of funding, our congressional delegation, and former governor and now Commerce Secretary should obtain a large portion of the funding from Uncle Sam. I am waiting for the state to turn on the toll gantries on Route 95 to collect its portion. Seems inevitable to me.

4 . Where do the dimwits and crazies on our college campuses come from? Middle America? Are they the fruit of misplaced educational and moral values? Are they the hard left’s legacy? Do they really mean to support the murderous Hamas? Are they so nestled in naivety that that they cannot see graphic evil, and do they not know what antisemitism is and why it is another evil? Who granted you the right to pitch tents anywhere on your campus? Pack up your tents and get back to your studies in class, for which your parents are paying for out of savings and paychecks, or if you are on scholarship, your school pays for out of earnings on endowments you wish to cripple.

5. The Red Sox are even more feeble this year.

6. More on civility: our public and often private discourse has become more uncivil. People seem to equate sharp elbows with strength of position in argument. Especially when the people who are present are likely to agree with your positions, such as those we see in campus settings. Moral certitude and vocal combativeness do not make right and especially in a democratic country like ours where compromise and respect are necessary to live together. Those with the banners seem intolerant of ideas and rights. We all  owe a  modicum of respect for other views even as we brace for arguments. Thus far, the presidential race where the incumbent calls his opponent a Fascist, and the opponent seems to come up with a new one-word disparagement like “Sleepy”, or any of the other names of the 7 Dwarfs before ‘Joe in every reference to the president these are outrageous o examples of uncivil behaviors. While name calling is baked into our political DNA, this time it feeds into our cultural meltdown and seems more egregious and hurtful when leadership is required to ask citizens for civil public discourse.

7. What was the moronic reason for Biden to announce his belated decision to debate Trump on the Howard Stern radio show? I still believe Biden will avoid a debate. And if there is one, will  the participants agree to stop the name calling? Likely ‘yes’, which demonstrates they know better than what they exhibit daily.


To read more columns by Jack Partridge, go to:

John J. ‘Jack’ Partridge, is a retired lawyer and Senior Counsel to the firm of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, with four offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.A Pawtucket native, Jack graduated from St. Raphael Academy and summa cum laude of Providence College, where he majored in history. After Harvard Law School, he served in the United States Army in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In 1967, he joined the firm of Tillinghast Collins & Tanner. In 1988, he became a founding partner of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

Jack has been engaged in many civic, political, governmental, and business organizations, serving as legal counsel to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce for 27 years and was chairman of the Old Slater Mill Association, Common Cause Rhode Island, and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

He is the co-founder of The Pawtucket Foundation and an officer and director of innumerable not-for-profit entities. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club and was Treasurer of the Ocean State Charities Trust.

Jack has a long history of leadership involvement with Providence College, which recognized him in 1999 with the Providence College Alumni Association Recognition Award for Public and Community Service, and in 2011, with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He is married to the former Regina McDonald and has three children: Sarah, Gregory and David.

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  1. John M. Boehnert on May 13, 2024 at 2:22 pm

    Well said by a sage lawyer!

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