Critiquing the Sioux City Debates

As a combined Chanukah and Christmas present, Santa Burt has some bonus articles for you this week. When you finish this one, please be sure to read “Why Isn’t There More Anti-Semitism in the United States?”

In a way, it’s rather admirable that Ron Paul sticks to his guns when everyone knows that his ostrich-like response to a nuclear Iran positively guarantees that he will not be the presidential nominee in 2012. Although I’ve always thought that Rep. Paul has a startling physical resemblance to the myopic cartoon creation, Mr. Magoo, the real life person he invariably brings to mind is none other than Neville Chamberlin. All the man needs is the furled umbrella.

On the other hand, I’d be churlish if I didn’t commend Paul for providing me with my only laugh during the Sioux City GOP debate. That was when he let us know that none other than James Clapper, Obama’s head of National Intelligence, agreed with his assessment of Iran. That would be like my denying that the Holocaust had taken place because no less an authority than Muammar Ahmadinejad said it hadn’t.

The fact is, until Dr. Paul mentioned him, I had assumed Clapper was long gone from the administration. After all, this is the same James Clapper who, in 2010, had been unaware late in the day that a dozen Islamic terrorists had been arrested that very morning in Great Britain. He’s the same fellow who insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular group that had eschewed violence.

In March, 2011, this very same intelligence maven predicted that “Over the long run, Gaddafi will prevail.” Either he was all wet, as usual, or he considered seven months “the long run,” inasmuch as Gaddafi was dead as a doornail as of October 20th.

At the same congressional hearing, in March, he was asked why he’d neglected to list Iran and North Korea among the nuclear powers that might pose a threat to the United States. We’re all still waiting for his answer. That is, all of us who aren’t Ron Paul.

One has to assume that in a President Paul administration, Mr. Clapper would continue to be the head of National Intelligence, although combining Clapper and intelligence in the same sentence is my idea of an oxymoron.

Speaking of the Sioux City debate, I, unlike some others, did not think Newt Gingrich came out smelling like a rose.

For one thing, while arguing for his loony notion of forcing federal judges to defend themselves before the louts in Congress, he said that he would be taking on the judiciary in the spirit of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR. Well, lest anyone leap to the conclusion that I’m on the side of activist judges, let me make it clear that would never be my intention. But anything that a conservative president can do, a liberal president can do. So I’d suggest to Speaker Gingrich that he keep the political showboating to an absolute minimum.

But, more to the point, when he started to explain in what way his cockeyed idea was in the spirit of those four presidents, he said that Jefferson, when asked if the Supreme Court was supreme, replied, “That’s absurd.” He said that Lincoln had challenged the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott decision with his Emancipation Proclamation. While it’s nice to know that Gingrich still opposes slavery, I would have been far more interested in his defense of FDR.

You see, Roosevelt’s major judiciary battle arose when the conservative Supreme Court ruled several portions of his New Deal unconstitutional. FDR decided that nine old guys in black robes should not have the authority to dismantle any portion of his socialistic agenda. He therefore decided to pack the Court by appointing up to six new justices for every sitting justice over the age of 70 years, six months. Even a public enamored of Roosevelt opposed this clumsy ploy to expand the power of the executive branch.

But, then, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that historian Gingrich has stated that the greatest president of the 20th century was FDR, not Ronald Reagan.

Finally, after listening to Newt trying to explain why the $1.6 million he received from Freddie Mac was perfectly acceptable, I have come to two conclusions. The first is that it provides us with yet another excellent reason to rid ourselves of Freddie and Fannie once and for all.

The second reason is equally damning of Speaker Gingrich. If, as he keeps insisting, the services he provided Freddie were the equivalent of dusting the shelves and cleaning out the wastepaper baskets — and not influence peddling in the corrupt halls of Congress — the schmuck is positively shameless.

I mean, how dare Newt charge $30,000-a-month — money coming out of the pockets of the American taxpayer — for advice that, by his own admission, was ignored for five long years!

©2011 Burt Prelutsky.Comments? Write!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • Burt Prelutsky

    Thank you, Glen. How do you and Cmacrider know Clapper? Do you recognize him by his tiny brain or his infantile writing style?

    In any case, Clapper, coming from you, I would assume that calling me a modern day Pravda is your idea of paying me a compliment. As for the difference between Iran and North Korea, the question is where to start. For one thing, Iran has vowed to use its nuke; North Korea has nukes, but has not used them, unlike Iran, which has sworn to nuke Israel once they possess the bomb. For another, North Korea is not a regional power with an eye on hegemony. On the other hand, Iran clearly intends to be the power of the Middle East and has already supported terrorism and insurgency all through the region. And being an Islamist state ruled by mullahs, it’s naive to think their ultimate ambitions are geographically limited.


  • Glen Stambaugh

    Burt, Mr. Clapper further illustrates that to get canned in the Obama administration requires a much lower standard than ill-informed, irrational and incompetent. I always enjoy your take on life. Glen

  • UrAmodernDayPravda

    DO some real journalism. And more people die every year from bee stings or peanutbutter allergies than terrorism. Heck, slipping and falling is more dangerous than terrorism. If you w want to bomb Iran because of a crazy person at the hekm, just realize that there will always be a crazy person in Power. Do you want $10 a gallon gas with 3 mile lines to fill up? Because when we start to bomb Iran the iranian port will colse and no oil will get out. Shouldn’t we bomb N Korea? I mean they already have nukes, and intercontenental missles too. And they hate our guts. So how do you justify going into Iran with out saying a word of nuclear armend N korea? Oh yea, that is right, you don’t have to fight the war. You watch all the war movies and let other men and women fight for you. What does that make you? That is right. A RINO NEO-CON

    • cmacrider

      Quare: Why does Clapper post here under the name UrAmodernDayPravda??