When Lincoln was delivering the Gettysburg Address, after referring to the blood of the fallen soldiers having consecrated the ground of that Pennsylvania pasture, he concluded his brief remarks by saying that because of their ultimate sacrifice, “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
What Lincoln could not foresee was that a century and a half later, we the people would elect and then re-elect a despot who would usurp the role of Congress simply because it refused to do his bidding and would make a practice of ignoring all the constitutional limits on the executive branch with such regularity that even those who voted for him less than two years ago have begun to experience buyer’s remorse. A recent poll has disclosed that if they could do it all over again, a sizable number of those who gave him another four years in 2012 now wish they had voted for Mitt Romney.
I happen to be one of those people who voted for Romney. I still believe he would have been a great president, but he wasn’t a great candidate. But it wasn’t entirely his fault. For one thing, the Democrats knew that he would eventually beat out Santorum and Gingrich for the nomination, and therefore spent months attacking him and his connection to Bain Capital while he was kept busy beating out Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum.
Once he was a candidate, he was stuck debating Obama in what was never a fair fight because the referee – a liberal moderator named Candy Crowley -- kept working Romney over with a blackjack.
He also suffered from either not possessing or not having the opportunity to display a sense of humor. His writers didn’t help. Even after running for the nomination in 2008 and running for president in 2012, the only two things anyone ever remembers his saying was that illegal aliens should self-deport and that 47% of the people would never vote for him. Compare that to the number of lines we continue attributing to Ronald Reagan.
Speaking of humor, a reader sent me the following definition: A Hillionaire is a woman who is worth millions of dollars, but claims to be dead broke.
I would like to know who it is that hires those who speak for the State Department. You only have to look and listen to Jan Psaki and Marie Harf, two supercilious young women who come off like a pair of teenage brats, address the press corps to suspect it was Barack Obama himself who signed them up. He has, after all, made a practice of surrounding himself with such obnoxious louts as Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, Lois Lerner, Jay Carney, Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones and John Koskinen. I swear, if you could convert arrogance into electricity, you could wire up those weasels and make America energy-independent for the next century.
Because I believe that a progressive income tax is socialistic and therefore unfair, I would like to see it replaced. Some favor a Flat Tax, some a Fair Tax. I am open to persuasion, but what I do know is that the current system is far too cumbersome and is at its core un-American.
Liberals are always calling for the rich to pay their fair share. But what’s fair about their having to pay at a higher rate than other people? If a person makes a million dollars a year and pays, say, 10%, he will pay the taxman $100,000. Someone earning $50,000 will have to cough up $5,000, and someone making $20,000 will owe $2,000. But why should the rich guy have to pay at, say, a 20% rate? What’s fair about that? Besides, he’s already paying much more in sales taxes because he buys more expensive stuff than the rest of us.
I don’t often quote members of the entertainment industry because they are generally pinheads and never say anything bright or amusing unless someone else is writing their dialogue. But the star of my favorite TV series, “Doc Martin,” a rather odd-looking Englishman named Martin Clunes, had the wit and candor to describe himself thus: “Jug ears and child-bearing lips.”
Finally, I would like to speak up on behalf of those people among us who are generally described as mentally-challenged. I used to live next door to a home that housed half-a-dozen young men whose collective IQ probably didn’t top 450, but they were unfailingly polite, kind and, to the extent of their ability, helpful neighbors.
Where I now live, I often see vans conveying similarly disabled young men and women to and fro between their homes and their jobs. They often wave when they see me walking my dog Angel and seem delighted when I wave back.
What got me to thinking about them was seeing a segment on TV about the government finally deciding to only buy American flags made in America, and not in China or Indonesia. One of the American workers they showed was just such a woman. But when she was asked how she felt about sewing the flags, she smiled proudly and said, “It makes me feel just like Betsy Ross.”
I can’t help wondering how many college students, who are drowning in debt so that left-wing professors can live high off the hog, have ever even heard of Betsy Ross.
Red Coats, Blue Coats & Turncoats
When Barack Obama swapped five Taliban commanders for one U.S. Army deserter, he said with his customary arrogance, “This is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington, that was true for Abraham Lincoln, that was true for FDR. That’s been true of every combat situation, that at some point you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that’s the right thing to do.”
At the time, I merely pointed out that, one, the war is not over in Afghanistan, and, two, Bowe Bergdahl is not the sort of guy anyone has in mind when we talk about leaving no soldier behind. Especially at that price.
But, thanks to a reader, George Alexander, I now realize that Obama was once again talking through his hat. To begin with, the Revolutionary War ended in 1783 and Washington didn’t become president until 1789.
Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865, and although General Lee surrendered six days earlier, the Civil War continued until May 9th. As for FDR, he died of a stroke four months before the end of World War II.
I suppose Obama’s defenders would point out that his specialty was the Constitution, not American History. I suppose that would also explain his contention that the nation is comprised of 57 states.
It’s not often that we get to hear a story with a happy ending these days. But it recently came to light that a six-month old baby who was promoted by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels as the ideal little Aryan in 1934 was, fortunately unbeknownst to Goebbels, the child of classical musicians Jacob and Pauline Levinson, who were Latvian Jews living in Germany.
Today, Hessy Taft (nee Levinson) is an 80-year-old chemistry professor living in New York. Had the Nazis realized that the baby whose photo they put on magazine covers and postcards was Jewish, they would have killed her, just as the latter-day Nazis whose god is not Hitler but Allah would do today.
Speaking of children, Americans are at a loss over what to do with the tens of thousands of Central American kids piling up at our southern border. With Obama’s policies acting as a magnet, thousands more will soon be arriving. But it’s not entirely his fault. While it is true that Reagan signed the amnesty bill nearly 30 years ago, absolving three million illegal aliens of their crime, he only did so because the Democrats in Congress promised to build a wall. Naturally, once they got their way, they broke their promise.
The Democrats had pulled the same trick on Nixon, who removed our troops from Vietnam because the Democrats swore they would supply arms to the South Vietnamese. As usual, the liberals had their fingers crossed, leaving our erstwhile allies to be slaughtered by Jane Fonda’s nearest and dearest.
But to be fair, the two Bushes spent 12 years in the White House and they also neglected to do anything about securing the border. At least when schmucks like Clinton and Obama promote illegal immigration, they do so in the full knowledge that most of those people will eventually end up voting for Democrats. With the Bushes, it was either pure sloth or sheer stupidity.
I realize it’s become a tradition that whenever a professional sports team wins a championship, the mayor of the city feels called upon to celebrate the event as if the entire town had accomplished some great feat, when in fact it’s 10 or 20 mercenaries who probably don’t even live within the city limits who won the game or the series. Here in L.A., Mayor Gil Garcetti, grabbing for a beer and a photo op, announced that the L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup was “a big f-----g deal.” Only, unlike Joe Biden’s celebrating the passage of the Affordable Care Act by whispering those words into Obama’s ear, Garcetti shouted the words to a crowd that included women and children. Predictably, he received a rousing ovation.
I can only imagine that Garcetti felt he needed to show the yokels that he could be as uncivilized as those who spray paint our walls, flip us the bird as they cut us off on the freeway and neglect to clean up after their dogs. Or perhaps he simply noted what a folk hero Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has become ever since he began exposing his inner boor.
For the VA, things only keep getting worse. Even when they’re trying to share good news, as they thought they were doing recently when they sent a letter to a veteran letting him know his appointment had finally been scheduled, it wound up biting the agency in the butt. But, really, how could they possibly be expected to know that while waiting for the big day to arrive, he had died? Two years ago.
While watching Bill Ayers being interviewed by Fox’s Megyn Kelly, it occurred to me that back in the 1940s, it was countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, that rolled out the red carpet for Nazis trying to escape their just deserts, while here in the U.S., 30 or 40 years later, it was our universities that provided sanctuary and tenure for native-born terrorists like Professor Ayers, his wife Bernadine Dohrn, Kathy Boudin and Angela Davis. Keep in mind these are the very same places where it’s unwelcome mats that greet the likes of Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mitt Romney, John Roberts, Ann Coulter, Dick Cheney and Ben Carson.
Frankly, I used to take it personally that I was never invited to be a commencement speaker. But now that the barbarians have taken over our college campuses, it’s become a badge of honor.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.