by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles
When the Tea Party had its huge demonstration in Washington, D.C., the Democrats tried to portray the patriots as racists by taunting them, by having the undistinguished members of the Black Congressional Caucus parade up the steps of the House in single file. It was clearly Nancy Pelosi’s plan to use them as lightning rods for well-deserved invective. But in spite of a $100,000 offer to anyone who could supply visual or audio proof of racial epithets being hurled at the congressional boobies, nobody, including Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, has yet stepped forward to claim the dough.
Knowing how much Speaker Pelosi hates to have her plans thwarted, I’m guessing that at the next such event, she’ll have Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Anthony Weiner, march up those steps, so that the Tea Partiers can be condemned as anti-Semites. But once again, she’ll fail, unless, of course, I happen to be in the crowd. Guys like that always bring out the anti-Semite in me, and I’m Jewish!
Speaking of religion, it occurred to me the other day that Islamics and liberals have a great deal in common. For one thing, they regard everyone who doesn’t share their beliefs as not merely mistaken or foolish, but as evil infidels. For another, both groups want their respective governments to impose and enforce their beliefs on everyone. The major difference is that only one of the groups is honest enough to call it Sharia Law.
Although I am hoping that the Republicans trounce the Democrats in November, thereby taking control of the House, I have a couple of major concerns. The first of these is that lame duck liberals will then push through legislation involving illegal aliens, card checks and taxes, things they didn’t dare pass when they were campaigning and vulnerable to blowback at the ballot box.
My other concern is that a Republican House will do for Obama what Newt Gingrich’s House did for Clinton.
It’s easy to forget that in his first two years, Clinton tried to pass what was then called HillaryCare. But after ’94, with Gingrich running Congress, tax cuts and welfare reform were the order of the day. As a result, in ’96, Clinton was regarded as a moderate and, riding the wave of the phony dot.com economic boom, won re-election.
The same scenario could play out in 2012. The danger would be that if the Democrats were then to regain the House, Obama could revert to being the same left-wing demagogue that most of us have come to revile.
Speaking of the dot.com bubble of the 90s reminds me that in 2005, Barney Frank said that there was no such bubble when it came to housing and that, therefore, in spite of Congress insisting that home loans be made to people who possessed neither cash nor credit, there was no chance of a similar collapse. Rep. Frank, who should stick to those things he knows about, such as looking for love in all the wrong places and doing his dead-on impression of Elmer Fudd, also declared his abiding faith in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about a week before the financial meltdown.
Is it any wonder that he continues to chair the House Financial Services Committee? It’s not as if Bernie Madoff, Charles Ponzi or Lady GaGa were available. Comparing Frank’s position to a fox being hired to guard a chicken coop is unfair to foxes, who, to their credit, happen to know quite a bit about chickens and coops.
Finally, I believe I speak for everyone with a computer when I say that things sent out over the Internet should be time-stamped. There are things I receive every day that I first received five or six years ago. I don’t blame the folks who forward them. After all, if they have never received them before, they have no way of knowing the message has whiskers on it that are longer than Rip Van Winkle’s.
So, as a public service, let me say at this late date, please don’t pass along the apocryphal story about the Marine who rescues the little girl from the lion at the zoo, and the way that the NY Times covers the incident when they find out he’s a Republican.
Also, there is no further need to share the dumb quotes attributed to the likes of Mariah Carey, Brooke Shields, Joe Theisman and Miss Alabama of 1994. It would also be advisable that you cease passing around those strolls down Nostalgia Lane that ask us if we’re old enough to remember washboards, Red Rover and Blackjack chewing gum.
Next, when really intelligent remarks are credited to really dumb people, you should be at least somewhat skeptical. Robin Williams is a San Francisco lefty, so why on earth would you believe he said something that sounds as if its source was Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter or me?
Speaking of me, a line I wrote last year went viral. It seemed as if everyone I ever knew let me know they had read my line about Barack Obama’s being more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than a Muslim building a nuclear bomb in Iran. However, I did not write it, as it was claimed, in an article for the L.A. Times. It appeared right here. The Times would no more print something that sensible than Robin Williams would sound off like a conservative.
Finally, be warned, no matter how sincere they come across, those folks in Nigeria are not your friends and they will not be sending you cashiers checks for $32 million, and you will not — I repeat, not! — ever win a lottery you didn’t enter.
copyright 2010 Burt Prelutsky
Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.