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Will Ensign Pulver Show Up?


If you have not watched the movie Mr Roberts, then you won’t get this unless you do. In today’s world, though, it would be easy to call it up for viewing. Mr. Roberts was the Executive Officer on a Navy supply ship in the Pacific during WWII. He was played expertly by Henry Fonda as the effective foil to terrible management behavior by the Captain, James Cagney. Cagney’s character, by the way, was a former Merchant Marine sailor that had been brought into the Navy as a result of the outbreak of war.

Mr. Roberts hated being on the supply ship, but was good at getting the most out of the crew by skirting the desires of the Captain, even to the point of giving up his attempts to get off the ship in exchange for fair treatment of the crew. Ensign Pulver was played by Jack Lemon and was a farcical character, that actually hid from the Captain.

Eventually, Mr. Roberts got transferred to a fighting ship, thanks to the efforts of the crew. When the ship learns that Mr. Roberts was killed by a bomb dropped on his particular location on his ship they don’t know what to do, but Ensign Pulver steps up and confronts the Captain by throwing his prize of a palm tree overboard and announcing to the Captain that he was there to challenge him (much in the tone of Mr. Roberts).

So, the point of my title to this piece: Who will stand in for John McCain and take the steps of Ensign Pulver to become Mr. Roberts. Who will be the man of character in the Senate?

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