Mitt Romney Fails Again

The first public thing Mitt Romney did in the year 2019 — on Jan. 1 — was publish an attack on President Trump in the Washington Post, which, as we know, has not lacked for attacks on Trump.

He did not even wait until being sworn in, two days later.

I campaigned for Sen. Mitt Romney when he ran for president, including a closed-door meeting with him to raise funds among wealthy Los Angeles Republicans. As it turns out, I worked to elect a somewhat foolish man with few identifiable convictions. (For the record, I would do so again, since just about any Republican president will do less damage to the country than any leftist — and Democratic politicians are now all leftists.) Life is filled with disappointments, and I will survive this one. But I should explain why this Romney column is so disappointing.

First the foolish part. What did Romney seek to achieve by publishing an attack on his own party’s president? Did he think he would persuade one supporter of the president to stop supporting him? If he did, he failed, not because none of us can be persuaded to change our minds but because the piece was so intellectually and morally shallow.

So, why did he write it? And why did he publish it in the Washington Post, a Trump-hating newspaper? Does he share the Washington Post’s political, social and moral values? Did he think he would enlighten Washington Post readers, the vast majority of whom already loathe the president, the Republican Party and the half of the country that voted for Donald Trump?

Of course not.

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than addressing whether the United States has borders secure enough to prevent millions of people from coming into America illegally?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than the left’s suppression of free speech at virtually every American university and the left’s suppression of free speech on the internet?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than the left’s ongoing attempt to abolish male and female identities among children?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than attacking the left’s goal of weakening the American military?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than attacking the gargantuan size of the federal government, which undermines the unique American ideal of limited government?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than attacking the left for essentially destroying the Boy Scouts, from which his own LDS church has now withdrawn support?

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than the dramatic decline of religion in American life? He is, after all, a religious man.

Does he believe attacking Trump is more important than preventing the left from dominating the country’s federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court?

If he does, he may be more than a fool. And that something more may involve character defects. I try to avoid directing comments at the character of those I differ with, but since Mitt Romney deems it of national significance to publicly attack the character of the president of the United States, and given that he considers character more important than policies that affect the nation and the world, he has invited consideration of his character.

Given his attack on the president, rather than on the nation- and civilization-destroying policies of the left and the Democratic Party, character issues may explain his Washington Post column. While we have every reason to assume Mitt Romney is personally honest and faithful in marriage, a public figure’s character is far more than his or her personal honesty and marital fidelity. Plenty of honest men and women and plenty of faithful husbands and wives have helped ruin societies. And in those more important areas of character, Mitt Romney is apparently quite lacking.

One character issue is lack of courage. In today’s environment, it takes no courage to attack Donald Trump, especially in the Washington Post. Sen. Romney is now the darling of the elites of this country. He will be showered with praise by the elite newspapers and all the news networks (except Fox). He will be invited to give talks at universities throughout the country. He will be feted in Europe. And no one will scream obscenities at him when he dines in Washington, D.C., restaurants.

Another character issue is pettiness. It now seems very hard to deny that Romney resents Trump for doing what he failed to do: win the presidency.

A third character problem is a lack of conviction. Does anyone reading this column know what Mitt Romney stands for aside from winning elections? Can one reader name one strong conviction Mitt Romney holds? I can’t. He appears to be essentially conviction- and ideology-free. The New Republic wrote in 2012, the year Romney ran for president, “In his various incarnations as a candidate, he has campaigned as a progressive, a conservative, a technocrat, and a populist, suggesting his deepest attachment is to winning.”

When Donald Trump sought the Republican presidential nomination, I was convinced he had no ideology. And I could not identify any convictions. I therefore opposed his nomination. But I vigorously supported his campaign for president and hoped my original assessment was wrong. Lo and behold, Trump turns out to have the most solid conservative convictions of almost any Republican politician since Ronald Reagan — and an almost preternatural amount of courage to put them into practice.

In 2012, the Wall Street Journal wrote of Romney’s campaign director, Matt Rhoades, “People who know him say he isn’t inspired by ideology …” And Fox News host Chris Wallace described Romney’s chief campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens, as “not big on ideology.”

Just like their boss.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in April 2018, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Exodus. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Jan 07, 2019 16:51:29 -0800




The Five’s ‘Mitt Derangement Syndrome’

A wise man once said, “Friends don’t let friends watch Fox News’s The Five when Dana Perino is on vacation.”

Well, I’m not sure how wise that man actually is. He’s a guy I follow on Twitter, and he at least seems to have a good head on his shoulders. The two of us commiserate from time to time over the current state of the conservative media.

The joke (though it’s not really a joke) is that Perino, who’s been co-hosting The Five since its debut in 2011, is the only levelheaded voice that remains on the nightly panel. And when she’s not there to balance out the commentary with some reason and a healthy dose of intellectual consistency, her heavily partisan colleagues (with the exception of whoever happens to be sitting in the liberal seat that night) tend to use the opportunity to engage in a no-holds-barred competing display of slobbering Trump sycophantism that would make even Sean Hannity blush.

That was certainly the case last Wednesday, when morbid curiosity led me to tune into a Perino-less episode just to see how four fifths of the panel would spin Trump’s extraordinary public statements from earlier that day, in which the president ripped General Mattis’s performance as Defense Secretary, and offered a bizarre defense of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Twitter hot-takes from Trump’s cabinet meeting were pretty amusing:

Unsurprisingly, the show’s producers chose to lead the show with a different story: Mitt Romney’s Washington Post op-ed from New Years Day, where Romney (in addition to laying out his plans as a freshman U.S. Senator) criticized President Trump’s lack of character.

The Five knows its audience, and political feuds with Trump are always a much hotter topic with that crowd than the president’s typically hard to follow (and even harder to defend) foreign policy ramblings. And as is usually the case in regard to those who publicly criticize Trump, Romney was portrayed as the villain. But not just any villain, mind you… A super-villain.

The fervor that accompanied the segment was really something to behold. Someone tuning in late might have mistakenly believed, based on the hosts’ reactions, that Romney hadn’t criticized an elected leader, but rather penned a piece endorsing child abuse.

Still, there was indeed some value to Wednesday’s A-block, and it came in the form of a visual outline describing the symptoms of a partisan disorder suffered by many on the political right. It’s been around for about three years now, and it will assuredly worsen in the coming months. It’s called Mitt Derangement Syndrome.

Totally original name, right? Don’t judge me too harshly.

Anyway, one of the key symptoms of MDS is Media Bargaining, in which sufferers contend that when Mitt Romney criticizes Donald Trump (which he has done on a handful of occasions now), he’s not doing so because he sincerely believes what he’s saying, but because he wants to seek acceptance or approval from the Mainstream Media.

“It’s tempting for Mitt. It feels good to get hugs from the media…” explained The Five’s Greg Gutfeld. Illustrating an amazing ability to read Romney’s deepest inner thoughts, he addressed the senator directly: “…this attention is just strange new respect that’s gone by tomorrow. The media may pretend to like you because you hate Trump, but they’re just using you.”

Gutfeld added, “So Mitt, that warm glow you feel from the left isn’t true love. It’s a bug zapper. They’ll pull you in as long as you dis Trump, but only until it’s time for them to fry your ass.”

“Burn!” some teenager from a decade ago might have said.

Now, there’s no doubt that the liberal media loves it when top-tier Republican leaders are criticized by other Republicans. This has been true for a very long time, and it goes without saying that the “new respect” liberal journalists claim to have for such folks is almost always disingenuous and short-lived.

What’s amusing is the notion that Romney (who took more abuse from the liberal media during his 2012 presidential run than Gutfeld will in his lifetime) doesn’t already know this. Anyone who’s been the victim of as many unfair political attacks as Mitt Romney obviously understands how media bias operates. And if he were truly interested in feeling a “warm glow” from those who previously portrayed him as evil, he would adjust his political positions to accommodate their liberal beliefs.

But Romney hasn’t done that. In his op-ed, he expressed the non-partisan importance of character in American leadership, as well as support for conservative policies that the liberal media fervently opposes.

What’s interesting is that Gutfeld himself was actually a frequent Trump critic up until election night of 2016, when it was clear that the Republican party and Fox News programming was committed to a new direction. Were his criticisms back then done to seek favor with the liberal media? I sure didn’t think so at the time, but by his current logic, they were.

Speaking of irony, it’s fun to watch Trump supporters point out that the media now likes Romney only because he’s critical of Trump, as they themselves trash Romney… only because he’s critical of Trump. After all, the media-conservatives that have been coming after Romney for his op-ed haven’t been refuting or challenging anything that he actually wrote. They just don’t like the fact that he had the nerve to write it.

The Five’s Jesse Watters covered a second symptom of MDS: Political Projection.

Again, rather than taking issue with Romney’s thoughts on Trump, Watters defended Trump by hurling a list of political criticisms at Romney.

“He just has awkward political instincts, and he does things in self-serving ways,” said Watters. “I think, remember how he changed his position on abortion, the individual mandate, immigration? In the 1980s, he says he wasn’t a Reagan Republican.”

So let me get this straight… Watters, who is one of Fox News’s most shameless and consistent Trump flatterers (the president even tweets quotes from him on occasion), has principled objections to self-serving politicians with awkward instincts, who weren’t lockstep with Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, and have changed their positions on abortion, universal healthcare, and immigration?

Back in the old days, when breathtaking hypocrisy was readily mocked, Watters would have been laughed out of the studio.

This brings us to Breathless Name-Calling, which Dan Bongino was thankfully on-hand to illustrate. Bongino, who was reportedly banned from at least one other Fox News show for issues related to his temper, is allegedly one of President Trump’s favorite political pundits (which would explain why the network has kept him on other programs).

“I’m pretty pissed about this. What a fraud,” said Bongino. He described Romney’s criticisms (past and present) as being disingenuous, and he described Romney himself with the following names: a big phony fake, a total hoax, the biggest fraud in politics, an idiot, a swamp rodent, a clown, a joke.

You won’t find this level of crack political insight on CNN, folks.

And frankly, you would have had a hard time finding it on Fox News in the pre-Trump era, even in a discussion about President Obama.

How did Bongino qualify his hatred of Romney? Again, it wasn’t related to the content of Romney’s op-ed, but rather Romney being insufficiently appreciative of Trump. You see, Trump endorsed Romney for president in 2012 (which Romney solicited) and for the U.S. Senate last year (which Romney didn’t solicit). Bongino also believes Romney owed Trump his gratitude for considering him for Secretary of State early in his administration.

Conservative commentator Guy Benson, did a good job of laying out the loyalty component of Bongino’s argument in his column the other day:

“Trump loyalists who call Romney an ingrate are mostly missing the point.  It’s true that Romney welcomed the president’s endorsement shortly after announcing his bid to replace Orrin Hatch, and that he entertained the president’s consideration for Secretary of State after the 2016 election.  It’s also true that Romney has sought or accepted Trump’s backing at various moments in his political career, particularly when he perceived Trump’s blessing to be useful to his own interests.  But it would be absurd to suggest that Romney somehow owes his Senate seat to Trump.  He was already going to be the odds-on favorite to win both the primary and general elections in Utah (whose citizens are not exactly Trumpist Republicans) in 2018; indeed, he prevailed by massive margins in both contests, having issued a handful of Trump denunciations along the way.  And the Secretary of State gambit appeared to be Romney exhibiting a willingness to serve the country, despite harboring suspicions that his very public courting may have been an elaborate and vindictive act of retaliatory humiliation.

In short, Trump and Romney owe each other virtually nothing at all at this point.  But both have been chosen by Republican voters, then general election voters, to represent them — so they owe it to those constituents to work together as much as possible to achieve worthwhile ends.”

It should also be noted that President Trump, despite not being in politics all that long, has a significant history of throwing fellow Republicans under the bus, including people like Jeff Sessions who endorsed and supported his presidential campaign and even served in his administration. I’m sure, in the interest of consistency, that Bongino was quite upset with the president on those occasions.

Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

This brings is to our final symptom Mitt Derangement Syndrome: Selective Word Sensitivity.

There’s a popular pro-Trump narrative often repeated on The Five (usually by Greg Gutfeld) that what President Trump says really doesn’t matter. The argument is that people in the media (and beyond) always transfix on Trump’s often outrageous language, when they should instead be paying attention to his deeds. It’s an interesting thesis, but for some baffling reason (as in the case of MDS), those same folks never apply that same standard to individuals who criticize President Trump.

I mean, if we’re supposed to judge elected leaders by their policies and not their rhetoric, why do the proponents of this narrative reliably get worked up whenever an elected leader says something negative about Trump? Aren’t we supposed to judge those representatives exclusively by their policies? And if so, what exactly is the policy complaint about Mitt Romney?

It seems that were it not for double standards, some news-commentary shows would have no standards at all.




Mitt Romney Owes No Apology

romneyAs everyone knows by now, President-elect Donald Trump is considering Mitt Romney to serve as his Secretary of State. This development is not sitting well with some of Trump’s most vocal advocates.

Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, and even former Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, have made public statements against the idea. They’ve mirrored the sentiment of much of Trump’s base, in believing that Romney’s public remarks against Trump’s candidacy (back in March and beyond) should disqualify the former GOP presidential nominee from being part of the administration.

Romney’s high-profile, scathing Utah speech was viewed by many Trump supporters (and even non-supporters) as act of treachery. Romney called Trump “a phony” and “a fraud.” He said Trump’s promises were “as worthless as a degree from Trump University.” He claimed that “dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark,” and pointed to his “bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”

It was by any measure a brutal critique — one that could have easily derailed a presidential campaign in any other election year. But it didn’t. Trump won, and the notion of Romney being rewarded with a spot in his administration strikes many among the Trump faithful as absurd. In fact, a member of Trump’s transition team recently told Fox News’s Ed Henry that people within the president-elect’s inner circle want Romney to publicly apologize to Trump, before being seriously considered for the job.

Some suspect, based on the vindictive nature that Trump displayed at times during the campaign, that Romney isn’t really under serious consideration in the first place. They think that Trump is building Romney up, just to tear him down — revenge for what happened back in March. But if that’s not the case, and Trump is holding true to his promise to put capable people in important positions in his administration, should Romney apologize?

The answer is no. Maybe even a hell no.

Back in March, I believe Romney was standing on principle when he spoke out against Trump. Like many, he witnessed Trump’s outrageous conduct, resented his dishonesty, and felt that the candidate was a potential danger to the country. Unlike many, however, he actually did something about it. He spoke out. He sounded the alarm. He refused to endorse or normalize a man who he honestly didn’t believe was fit for the presidency. That’s not treason, as some have suggested. That’s patriotism.

If the interest in Romney is sincere, Donald Trump is also demonstrating patriotism. Trump said countless times throughout the campaign that, as president, he would put America First. What better way of proving that than overlooking someone’s personal feelings toward him, and putting that individual (who’s a highly competent leader and manager) in an important position of power, from which to serve his country?

It’s even possible that, on some level, Romney’s show of principled opposition actually earned Trump’s respect. Trump may have not appreciated it at the time (in fact, I’m sure he didn’t), but he might have admired it. Maybe that act of defiance has even been a factor in his consideration for Secretary of State. After all, if you were running a business, who would you have higher regard for: a loyal friend who would say whatever you wanted them to, or a conflicting, competent voice who isn’t afraid to tell you that you’re wrong?

If that’s the case, an apology from Romney should be the last thing Trump should expect or even want. And if Trump’s supporters have a problem with that, aren’t they the ones not putting America First?

Of course, I could be wrong about where this arrangement is headed. If the condition of an apology is placed on Romney, it would only validate the widely held belief that Trump’s ego always come first. And if Romney were to actually extend an apology, it would reveal him to be a man of deep insincerity, who indeed had ulterior motives for opposing Trump in the first place.

If either of these things happen, add me to the list of people who don’t think Romney should fill the position.




“The Midterm Miracles” and “Axes Of Evil”

Perhaps because I define myself as a optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist, I was blindsided by the election results. As much time as I devoted to poring over the Senate races, I just couldn’t see how the GOP could wind up with more than 51.

Perhaps, best of all, the liberals can’t carry off their narrative, which was that they lost the Senate only because of the map. Anticipating defeat, they wanted to pretend it was simply because they happened to have so many Senate seats at risk in certain Republican-leaning states. But, thanks to God and in good part to Barack Obama, who has done so very much to destroy the Democratic brand, we even won gubernatorial races in Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts.

In the end, it wasn’t the map that defeated the Democrats, it was the American people. It was as if the Democrats went to a doctor for a physical and were told they had a terminal disease. And when they said they wanted a second opinion, the doctor told them they were also stupid.

One of my favorite races took place in Florida where Charlie Crist lost in his race for governor, meaning he can now get back to doing what he was born to do; namely work on his year-round tan and romance rich elderly widows.

But the list of great things that happened on November 4th is endless. For instance, political legacies took a thumping. In Georgia, where Sam Nunn’s daughter and Jimmy Carter’s grandson were running for the Senate and the governorship, they both lost. In Colorado, Udall lost. In Louisiana, Landrieu will lose in the December runoff. She always was going to lose, but thanks to a Tea Party candidate sucking off votes from the winner of the GOP primary, she will now be running when everyone in the state knows she will be a complete nonentity in the minority party. Even when she chaired the Senate Energy Committee, she was unable to get Obama to sign off on the Keystone pipeline, so who needs her keeping a seat warm in a GOP-controlled Senate?

Certainly among the priceless memories of the election was seeing Illinois electing a Republican governor in spite of both Obamas showing up to campaign for loser Pat Quinn, and seeing Arkansas elect a Republican governor and senator in spite of the Clintons campaigning for losers Mike Ross and Mark Pryor. As the four of them have shown in the past, their coattails are even shorter than those of Batman’s arch nemesis, the Penguin.

On Election Night, one of the highlights was listening to the various Fox News contributors, including Charles Krauthammer, Bret Baier and Steve Hayes, taking turns ridiculing Juan Williams after he insisted it wasn’t a wave election for the GOP. Come to think of it, I don’t know who took the final results the hardest – Barack Obama, Harry Reid or Juan Williams.

Speaking of Fox, I sometimes amuse myself by imagining what the Fox males would look like if, like their female colleagues, they all had to dye their hair blonde. I guarantee that even Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes, Juan Williams and Bob Beckel, are a lot easier to take if you can pull it off.

Although I’m sure the Democrats will try to play down the results, insisting as they have all along, in concert with the NY Times, that the elections were about nothing. But they were actually about quite a bit. For one thing, it was about stopping Obama in his tracks before he succeeded in totally destroying America. By all rights, the voters should have come to that conclusion a lot sooner – preferably when they had the option of Mitt Romney – but better late than never.

It was also about the GOP learning how to come up with candidates who didn’t embarrass themselves or the Party. This time around, unlike 2012, we weren’t stuck with anyone insisting she wasn’t a witch or a couple of nincompoops who tried explaining the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape.

After guaranteeing that Rob Maness would be the shocker of the evening by defeating both Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy for the Senate seat in Louisiana — and his winding up a distant third, Sarah Palin proved that allowing one’s ego to trump reality is a really dumb idea whether you’re shooting elk or trying to elect unelectable candidates.

One of the major takeaways from the elections was that even low-information voters don’t like being lied to, whether it’s Obama’s claiming we could keep our doctors and our medical insurance and that Republicans hate women or his stooges in Congress, all of whom have had their lips glued to his rump for nearly six years, suddenly claiming they couldn’t pick the schmuck out of a police lineup.

For my part, I have been euphoric ever since the 4th. Living, as I do, in California, jubilation is not an emotion I’m accustomed to experiencing in the aftermath of elections.

In spite of the fact that I don’t drink and I don’t smoke pot, I feel as if I’m floating on air. I’m not even on Cloud 9, people, I’m on Cloud 78. The truth is I can barely see Cloud 9 from this high up.


 

“Axes of Evil”

In New York City, yet another black convert to the Religion of Peace named Zale Thompson went after a few cops with an axe, which mirrors the way Mohammad, himself, went about converting infidels. It also suggests that Mr. Thompson might have misunderstood those two cheerleaders for Islam, George Bush and Barack Obama, and thought he was converting to the Religion of Pieces.

No doubt Obama will label the event workplace violence rather than Islamic terrorism because it was, one, violent and, two, the cops were working. It should remind us that while Obama may not be a Muslim, as some people insist, he certainly has a soft spot in his heart and his head for those who are.

It also serves as a segue to a debate I recently had with one of my readers. In one of my articles, I had written a defense of capital punishment, and he took exception to it. His initial objection was based on the fact that over the years, a number of innocent people have been executed. I argued that the number has been inflated by those who oppose capital punishment, and who feel that their morality trumps the facts. Moreover, with DNA used so often to convict or acquit, I expect miscarriages of justice are even less likely.

Lest I think he was a typical sob sister, he let me know that he believed a life behind bars was worse than an execution. I disagreed. Perhaps if a life sentence meant solitary confinement, he’d be right, but it doesn’t, so he’s wrong. Prisoners get to play basketball, work out in the gym, watch TV, read books and even engage in conjugal visits. The last I heard, Charles Manson’s friend Tex Watson had sired four little Watsons while behind bars.

He also pointed out that execution tends to be painful. I honestly don’t care about that, and see no moral reason why those who have tortured and murdered people who have done them no harm should be provided with the same painless deaths we offer to our beloved cats and dogs. Besides, those engaged in the anti-capital punishment movement are always bringing the pain factor into the argument, using the electric chair, hangman’s noose, firing squads and even the gas chamber as reasons to get rid of the practice. As a compromise measure, I am willing to let the painless Guillotine do the job for which it was invented.

I concluded by pointing out that polls indicate that a majority of people approve of capital punishment. But trial lawyers, left-wing judges and Eric Holder, have chosen to emphasize the notion that it is often poor defendants and blacks who make up a majority of those executed. That’s intended to prove the system is weighted against them, while the rest of us are supposed to ignore the inconvenient fact that those are the very people who commit most murders.

The hypocritical lawyers even try to use the fact that many defendants spend decades on Death Row, never knowing when their time will run out, as an excuse to eliminate the penalty. A more sensible solution is to limit the number of appeals to one, and insisting that the basis of the appeal involves new evidence.

I heard from another reader who agreed with my take on the so-called Noble Savage, which is that more often than not the native North American tribes were certainly savage, but rarely noble, and could literally be described as blood-thirsty, based on their cannibalistic diet.

His sarcastic conclusion was “If only we could all live in peaceful harmony with nature…” To which I replied in kind: “Ah, yes, where only the animals slaughter each other, and where Mother Nature sometimes wakes up cranky and unleashes a tidal wave or an earthquake, ignites a volcano or introduces some version of the Bubonic Plague.”

Speaking of plagues, proving that she is a worthy successor to Obama, who once famously said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build it,” Hillary Clinton told an appreciative audience of liberal loons, “Don’t let anyone tell you that businesses create jobs.”

That reminds me that someone sent out a hoax message announcing that Deanne Favre, the wife of former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, was going to be the new Packers coach. She based her qualifications on the fact that she has been married to a Hall of Fame quarterback, even though she has never played a single quarter of football. The point of the hoax was that Hillary is essentially seeking the presidency based on her own marriage license.

What else qualifies her? As First Lady, she tried and failed to push through HillaryCare. As a senator, she did nothing but manage to add an elective office to her resume. As Secretary of State, she pushed a re-set button with Russia, oversaw Obama’s military withdrawal from Iraq and was at least a co-conspirator in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and the subsequent cover up.

At least Mrs. Favre is a looker!

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at Noon Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




“Lincoln Was Mistaken” and “Red Coats, Blue Coats & Turncoats”

When Lincoln delivered 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.

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©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.