- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 28, 2010

PARTY CRASHERS

Despite the fact that he unceremoniously called President Obama “dude” on camera, Jon Stewart has achieved lift-off for Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity. The National Park Service granted the Comedy Central host the 60-page “final permit” to stage the event on the Mall with only 48 hours to spare. Though the national anthem reportedly is on the schedule, spectacle and political theater are factors, courtesy of agenda-minded opportunists. Indeed, the Democratic National Committee will host a Phone Bank to Restore Sanity; it’s a fundraising enterprise. Then there are the self-described Real Weather Girls. Armed with videocams, the comely 20-somethings will ride Arianna Huffington’s chartered bus caravan from New York to stage their own Rally to Restore Sanity in Dating - not to shake up Capitol Hill, they say, but to “to look for and potentially land a good sane man.”

The rally may not be the best place to do that, ladies, but good luck. Moving right along, Faithful America and Jewish Funds for Justice will march under the moniker People of Faith for Sanity to counter “the politics of fear.” Meanwhile, Reddit.com - where the idea for a parody of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally originated - will stage an After Sanity Is Restored and Fear Is Kept Alive party, with cocktails, at a swank lounge. There are, in fact, countless “sanity” cocktail opportunities - not a fixture in Mr. Beck’s event.

Meanwhile, the eclectic sentiments among the marchers are clever, cheeky, partisan, squishy. See a sampling here: www.saneornot.com. Among signs to watch for as C-SPAN cameras offer cheek-to-jowl coverage: “Dick Cheney just needs a hug,” “I want my country back (if I could only remember where I left it),” “Why don’t we all enlist and really support our troops?” “Sarah Palin 2012 - well, the world is supposed to end anyway,” “Death to nobody,” “No one is Hitler,” “Real patriots can handle a difference of opinion,” “Taxation with representation pays the fire department,” “If you only recite talking points, how can we have a conversation?” “Sanity clause is coming.” And the Inside the Beltway motto for the day? “This is what’s out there, folks.”

NOT TO BE OUTDONE

The Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest “tea party” group, will descend on the West Lawn of the Capitol on election night for some speechifying and to plant American, Gadsden and tea-party flags on the Capitol grounds to “reclaim the Capitol in the name of the citizens of the United States,” say organizers Mark Meckler and JennyBeth Martin.

BASE SUPPORT

Get out the donkey and elephant pennants. “Republicans and Democrats are taking their fight to the World Series,” says Eason Jordan, co-founder of Poll Position, a public opinion group. Indeed, his survey Monday of 1,074 adults reveals that Republicans favor the Texas Rangers to win, Democrats support the San Francisco Giants. The numbers: 44 percent of the Grand Old Party side with the Rangers, 20 percent with the Giants and about a third have no opinion. Among Democrats, 37 percent like the Giants, 27 percent the Rangers and, again, about a third don’t care.

JUAN FALLOUT

“We believe the remark may violate the letter and/or spirit of the Americans With Disabilities Act - risking creation of a hostile work environment, flowing from the top down through National Public Radio and its affiliates, for any employee who lives with mental illness. The remark perpetuated the kind of stigma surrounding mental illness that National Alliance on Mental Illness, Congress and consecutive presidents have worked hard to eliminate.”

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in an open letter to Vivian Schiller, president of NPR, regarding her recent advice to her former employee Juan Williams to consult “his psychiatrist or publicist - take your pick” when he spoke publicly about Muslims.

THE DELICATE DISCOURSE

Political talk has gotten grim and touchy, with the dutiful press chronicling every hand-wringing word while pollsters plumb the depths of voter “anger.” Some employment counselors now warn Americans to stay prudent and be wary of sharing their vitriolic viewpoints in the workplace lest somebody else get offended, threatened or vitriolic themselves.

“You may have a constitutional right to free speech, but you better leave your passion for politics at the door if you like your job,” advises Dallas business attorney Clinton J. David. “In most states, your boss doesn’t even need a reason to fire you. Don’t be stupid. Think of something other than politics to talk about at the company water cooler.”

But Seton Motley, president of the free-market group Less Government, says we’re not really all that angry, not like, say, in 1804, when sitting Vice President Aaron Burr killed former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

“Anger and vitriol this campaign cycle is nowhere near an all-time high. Whining and kvetching about anger and vitriol this campaign cycle most certainly is at an all-time high,” Mr. Motley observes.

POLL DU JOUR

- 65 percent of likely voters say “the entire Congress” should be voted out of office on Tuesday.

- 20 percent would opt to keep Congress, 15 percent are not sure.

- 88 percent of “tea party” members and 82 percent of Republicans say “dump them all.”

- 78 percent of unaffiliated voters and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

- 54 percent overall have an unfavorable view of the Republican party.

- 53 percent have an unfavorable view of the Democratic party.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Oct. 26-27.

- Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com

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