Surprise! Surprise!

In the old days, I don’t recall a lot of things surprising me. I’m not saying I could predict Kentucky Derby winners, but I don’t remember saying things like “Who would have guessed?” or “Imagine that!” or even “I never saw that coming.” Now that I’m an old guy, hardly a day goes by that I’m not surprised by something. And rarely, I hasten to add, in a good way.

I’m not just referring to Obama’s re-election, either, although that certainly knocked me for a loop. In spite of the pollsters predicting his victory, I refused to accept their conclusions. It seemed to me those guys weren’t reading tea leaves; they were smoking them.

To this day, I’m still asking myself what happened. In fact, if someone had assured me that Obama was going to receive some ten million fewer votes than he had scored in 2008, I not only would have been convinced that Romney was going to win, but that it would be a landslide. But who would have guessed that Romney would receive two million fewer votes than John McCain, who ran a campaign that reminded most people of the one waged by Michael (“Hey look at me, I’m sitting in a tank and looking like a major doofus”) Dukakis?

In the aftermath, a lot of people have suggested things that Romney could have done differently. But that’s typical of those folks known as Monday morning quarterbacks; you know, the guys who put on the team jersey and hoist a few brewskies, but who are never intercepted or sacked because they never leave the Barcalounger.

In my opinion, Romney ran a perfectly fine campaign. The fact that he did worse than McCain, even after Obama spent four years destroying the economy, gutting the military, antagonizing our allies and emboldening our enemies, has convinced me that the two main reasons he lost were because a large number of Republicans are religious bigots who couldn’t get past his Mormonism in spite of his getting endorsements from Mike Huckabee and Billy Graham, and because more Republicans than we’d like to believe are among the 15 million additional recipients of Obama’s food stamps.

Something else that surprises me is that at this late date, abortions continue to be an issue. The other day I found myself wondering how we can possibly expect our young people to actually learn math, science, English and civics, when after all the sex education classes that seemingly begin in kindergarten, they’re still knocking each other up.

I mean, with all the birth control pills and devices readily available for the sole purpose of preventing pregnancy, how is it that Planned Parenthood, all by its lonesome, performs over 300,000 abortions a year? And even that is only the tip of the bloody iceberg. Since 1973, it’s estimated that at least 50 million have been performed in this country. For the mathematically-challenged, that works out to roughly 1.3 million a year. Speaking of which, it’s no surprise that American kids score so badly on standardized math tests when they can’t add, subtract or do long division. It seems the only thing they can do is multiply, but they’d rather not.

One of the results of the presidential election that didn’t surprise me is that young voters, whether white, black, Hispanic or Asian, went overwhelmingly for Obama. And why wouldn’t they? For one thing, they think he’s cool. That means he panders to them, gives them free stuff and gives every sign that he dislikes working every bit as much as they do. Instead of sticking to the boring business of governing, he plays a lot of golf, likes to party and goofs around with celebrities every chance he gets.

The only thing about America’s youth that surprises me is that their thumbs still appear to be normal-sized. When you see how much texting they do, you’d think their thumbs by now would be the size of their biceps. As it is, this perpetual activity shows itself in other ways. One, they are unable to decipher any message that runs to more than 140 characters; two, they believe that “4” is how you spell “for.”

I’m not yet ready to make any New Year’s resolutions, however I am willing to predict that in 2013, Fox will expand Bill O’Reilly’s show to two hours. That’s in order to allow Bill sufficient time to sell his books; promote his appearances with Dennis Miller; peddle Factor gear; read letters from people wanting to ensure that their letters get read on TV by raving about “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy;” and still leave a few minutes for shmendriks like Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera and Alan Colmes, to remind us how dumb liberals can be when they really put their minds to it.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

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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  • Walter Mattson

    I agree with most of the article except for why Romney lost. He lost because he did a poor job of explaining and selling his ideas. Even I recognized it during his campaign when he stated that he was going to make the US energy independent. That is what Obama also stated. Thus both the Obama and Romney plan sounded almost alike. Romney should have stated that his plan of increasing existing energies would save the country $387 billion by reducing gas and oil costs by $2 per gallon. That $387 billion would mean another $800 per year in the pocket of every car owner and $20,000 to $60,000 more in an independent trucker’s pocket since they drive many more miles than the average car owner. Those type of savings where only the tip of the iceberg since all segments of the economy would benefit from the savings such as food manufacturing etc. I even email the Romney campaign of my findings but I guess they ignored it.

  • Larry B

    Burt, don’t forget Blob Bechtel, who also infests “The Five,” along with his exciting “mano a mano” appearances with the world’s tallest munchkin.

  • artlouis

    Burt, I always enjoy your posts, but you ought to check out the final election totals. Romney got more votes than McCain, and Obama lost only about 5 million votes.

  • Wheels55

    I too am more surprised as I get older. Just when you think you have something figured out, unpredictable human nature takes over. After all, people may not change in general, but the nature of groups of people do. America has changed and the GOP is trying to figure it out. They need to go with the flow because we have become a nation of irrational tip-of-the-iceberg thinking people.
    By the way, O’Reilly really has become one big marketing machine. He is quickly becoming less interesting to me.