by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles

The danger of the Tea Party movement, a movement I very much applaud, is that they will insist on litmus tests for GOP candidates, while ignoring geography and constituencies.  The problem is that if you insist on comparing every Republican to, say, a Paul Ryan or a Michele Bachmann, and withholding your support if they don’t quite measure up, you make it easier for Democrats to be elected.

This year, we need to win an additional 41 seats in order to wrench the speakership away from Mrs. Pelosi, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West, and if some of those 41 aren’t exactly clones of Ronald Reagan, I’m here to remind you that if you had tested the Gipper for conservative purity, even he would have failed!

As the governor of California, Reagan twice raised taxes, cut funding for mental hospitals — which led to California streets and parks being inundated with more and even crazier people than usual — and, for good measure, signed the most liberal abortion bill in America.  Then, as president, he signed the amnesty bill that opened the floodgates a quarter of a century ago through which have poured millions of illegal aliens.

Whenever I mention that I’m not religious, but that I respect those who are, just so long as they’re not Muslims who’d like me dead, I hear from a number of Christians who want me to see the light and by a smaller number of atheists who wish I’d share their hatred of religion and those who practice it.  Between the two, I happen to prefer those hoping to save my eternal soul.

Although I prefer not being sent Biblical verses, I find it rather touching that these strangers want me to share the peace they’ve found in Jesus.  They are certainly easier to deal with than atheists, who are typically arrogant and far less tolerant.  In fact, the one thing that both groups have in common is the firm conviction that they’re right.  The main difference is that one group believes in God, while atheists believe in nothing except their own intellectual superiority.  From my vantage point, I find it far easier to believe in the existence of God.

On those occasions when I’ve devoted an article to demeaning Barack Obama and his atrocious policies, I know that a few readers will feel compelled to remind me that I should always respect the office of the president, no matter how I feel about the current resident.  On the chance that they may be speaking for many of you, I’ll state here and now that I very much respect the office.  I especially respect the big desk and that beautiful carpet.

Finally, I want to confess that I got very excited when I first heard that we were firing drones at the Taliban.  I recall thinking it was high time that we put those expensive things to good use.  But then I found out they were talking about unmanned aircraft and not liberal congressmen. CRO

copyright 2010 Burt Prelutsky

Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.

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