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PERFECT VILLAINS

“‘Tis the season for Frank Capra movies, and not just ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin writes.

“The schmaltzy tug-of-hearts dubbed ‘Capra-corn’ gets me every time, especially the populist politics of ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ (right) and ‘Meet John Doe.’ Both were on Turner Movie Classics the other night, as was ‘State of the Union,’ a Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn gem,” Mr. Goodwin said.

“Alas, the films don’t do any favors for President Obama. Seeing his actions through Capra’s all-American prism adds to the disappointment in his presidency.

“In fact, inserting modern Washington into the plots leads me to conclude Capra would be the scourge of Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Their big-government, special-interest-driven schemes, cloaked in the misleading rhetoric of reform, mark them as perfect villains for his worldview.

“The health care debacle alone would make a classic Capra morality tale. The naked vote-buying that enabled Reid to get 60 was the very sort of insider corruption the three-time Oscar-winner despised.

“His reel heroes, including Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, would be denouncing the bill as crooked and stacked against honest, ordinary Americans.

“Yet there was Obama, who promised to change the culture of Washington, heralding the sleazy outcome. How fitting that the end of his first year also marks the end of any pretense he is a reformer.

“He is now the very opposite of what he promised. To support the health payoffs is to support corruption.

“Ditto for Obama’s signing a defense-spending bill containing over $4 billion of earmarks. His promise to eliminate the rigged practice is soooo last year.”

PARTY SWITCHER

“News from the Obama re-alignment watch: Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith announced [Tuesday] that he plans to switch parties and become a Republican,” the Wall Street Journal observed Wednesday in an editorial.

“At a press conference, the oncologist-turned-politician said he could not continue to align himself with a Democratic Party pushing a health care bill that is ‘bad for our doctors … bad for our patients, and … bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health-care field.’

“Other than that, how do you like the bill?

“Party switching often happens after a big election, as lawmakers try to retain legislative clout or join a new majority (Arlen Specter). A small boatload of moderate Democrats flipped to the Republican party after the Gingrich Revolution in 1994, including such Democrats as Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and Southern Congressmen Billy Tauzin, Nathan Deal and Mike Parker.

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About the Author
Greg Pierce

Greg Pierce

Greg Pierce grew up in Indiana and Illinois, and graduated from Illinois State University, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He worked at newspapers in Indiana, Florida and Connecticut before coming to The Washington Times in 1984. Before compiling “Inside Politics,” he covered federal agencies for the newspaper. Mr. Pierce also compiles “Washington in Five Minutes” and edits ...

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