Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let's Not Knock Yesterday

Marco Rubio got an ovation when, while announcing his intention to run in 2016, he took a swipe at not only Hillary Clinton, but Jeb Bush, by pointing out she represents yesterday while young Rubio represents tomorrow or even a week from next Thursday.

The problem is that George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan, all go back even further than Mrs. Clinton. Her problem isn’t that she’s been around Washington for a quarter of a century or that she’s in her late 60s, but that all she has to offer is the same liberal drivel which states that the federal government is the fount of all wisdom and that politicians and bureaucrats spend our money more wisely than we do and are in the best position to determine how the rest of us live our lives.

In her own announcement, Mrs. Clinton insists she wants to be the champion of the middle class. Well, as a member in long standing of the middle class, I want to tell her that if it weren’t for the likes of people like Barack Obama and herself, we’d be doing just fine on our own. It is liberal policies that have cost us millions of good-paying jobs, saddled us with a loony tax code and $18 trillion in debt.

The big laugh is that Mrs. Clinton and her $200 million poses as one of us. The charade involves her demanding that the minimum wage soar from $7.25-an-hour to $15 and that some draconian measures be adopted so that CEOs no longer be paid 300 times more than the average worker. What she doesn’t mention, as the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, is that when she’s paid $300,000 to deliver a 90-minute speech, that works out to $200,000- an-hour. That means she is making roughly 25,000-30,000 times as much as the low-wage worker at that venue.

And that doesn’t include the private jet, the presidential suite and all the other sweeteners, she demands as the price for her royal presence.

When I watch Hillary trying to show her softer side to the folks in Iowa while wearing her shades indoors, I keep wondering if she is channeling her inner Jack Nicholson. As for the reporters who go chasing after her black bus, they remind me of those dogs who go chasing after cars. You wonder what the heck they plan to do when they catch it. Bite its tires?

Having already suggested that Rand Paul is too short to be elected president, I don’t want to pile on, but I can’t help noticing how much his curly locks makes him resemble his number one nemesis, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. It makes you think that their dust-up over abortions might be nothing more than sibling rivalry.

When I hear schmucks like Eric Holder and Al Sharpton complain that young black males are arrested a disproportionate number of times, I keep waiting for someone in the vicinity to point out that, by a strange coincidence, they also happen to commit a disproportionate number of crimes.

A reader, dissatisfied with my explanation for the disparity between what Hollywood producers pay their female stars compared to what they pay males, accused me of being a sexist. “The fact is,” I explained, “the marketplace makes these determinations. The ladies, after all, have agents who would love to pocket 10% of $25 million rather than 10% of $10 million. But it all comes down to what audiences are buying. Today it tends to be movies featuring violent action and technical effects or dumb, scatological, comedies, which call for guys like Robert Downey, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

The bottom line is that women are more than happy to see dumb movies aimed at guys in their teens and twenties, but men are reluctant to sit through films that used to be called women’s pictures in the 1950s and starred young Rock Hudson romancing the likes of post-menstrual ladies like Jane Wyman, Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck, and today are dismissed as chick flicks.

Another reader, who had once lived under Soviet tyranny, wrote to ask how Communists had ever gained such a stranglehold in Hollywood. I reported that back in the 30s, the Reds had garnered control by waiting out everyone else at the union meetings. Whereas normal working stiffs wanted to go home and get some sleep, the leftists would prolong the meetings by bringing up pointless motions and delivering speeches so boring they could make your teeth ache. Then, once everyone else would get up and leave, they’d vote and elect each other officers.

These days, when rank-and-file Democrats are what Communists used to be, the bums can hold their elections much earlier and forego all that stalling around.

A third reader asked me if I agreed that this was the worst decade in American history, mainly thanks to Obama. I agreed this one was bad, but felt the decade of the 60s was worse. Once parents decided that their teenagers were smarter, nicer, braver and more tolerant, than they themselves were, and that they needed to look to their offspring for spiritual, political and cultural guidance, all was lost. Moreover, it made Obama’s election not only possible, but inevitable.

Finally, I received the latest in the ongoing series of “Dear Burt” questions from my readers. Puzzled in Pittsburgh wrote: “Dear Burt: Recently you mentioned the barbarism of Romans who sat in the Coliseum noshing on popcorn and Jujubes while they watched lions devour Christians. Today we have extreme fighting. Is that really much better?”

“Dear Puzzled: It is unless you’re a lion. For one thing, the guys in the cage are there by choice. For another, the loser gets beaten, not eaten.”

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.