You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TRUTH OR TRUTHINESS

He landed Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a guest on Wednesday, Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, for Thursday. Comedy Central's svelte crackpot host Stephen Colbert appears to be on a profile-raising mission to best such friendly rivals as Jon Stewart. But Mr. Colbert also has become obsessed of late with Fox News host Glenn Beck. Maybe Mr. Colbert wants to be Mr. Beck. Or play him on TV. Or host a big, fat Beck-style rally. Which brings us to something called "Restoring Truthiness: 10-10-10."

Yes, Mr. Colbert may stage his own satirical rally "at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial" on Oct. 10, thanks to a miasma of interest from his giddy fans. There's a website (www. colbertrally.com), a Facebook page with 42,000 followers and a designated "founding father" - Sam Mercer, a Reddit.com blogger who originally suggested the notion. Buzz grows. Reality beckons. The spoof rally already is being billed as "an answer to the tea party" in press accounts.

Ah, such truthiness. Mr. Colbert himself coined the term on the premiere episode of "The Colbert Report" almost five years ago, telling viewers, "We're not talking about truth, we're talking about something that seems like truth - the truth we want to exist." His concept was endlessly discussed by pundits; "truthiness" was ultimately named the word of the year by the American Dialect Society.

But wait. Is the rally really happening on the hallowed ground of the National Mall? Only Mr. Colbert, the National Park Service - which grants permission for such things - and a higher power know for sure.

"Glenn Beck proved it. Only God decides about rallies," Mr. Colbert quips. "Should I have a rally? Or should I stay home and drink all day?"

TRUTH OR TRUTHERS

The anniversary of 9/11 means many things to many people. Former Alaska Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel and Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, appear at the National Press Club on Thursday to present new evidence, they say, "that all three of the World Trade Center skyscrapers" that fell almost nine years ago were destroyed by controlled demolition, not hijacked airliners.

"These findings corroborate the determination by more than 1,270 architects and engineers who have closely examined the characteristic features of the destruction and who are calling for a new investigation," says Mr. Gage, adding that his group has had no luck in their challenge to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for a public debate about the controversial, persistent issue.

"Critically important evidence has come forward after the original government building reports were completed," Mr. Gravel adds.

Curious? Vexed? Alarmed? Amused? See for yourself. CNN and other news organizations are sending crews, a spokesman says; the live press conference will be webcast at 2 p.m. EDT at www .ae911truth.org.

BARE NUMBERS

For the first time since 1930, more Republicans than Democrats are voting in statewide, midterm primaries, says Curtis Gans, director of American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

"It isn't surprising that Republican turnout increased. But what's likely to prove telling is the lower participation of the Democrats, the first tangible demonstration of what polls have been showing - a distinct lack of enthusiasm among the Democratic rank and file," Mr. Gans says.

His proof? A new analysis of 35 statewide contests held before Sept. 1 revealed that of 30 million ballots cast, more than 17 million were in Republican races and fewer than 13 million were for Democrats.

JOURNALISTS AT WORK

"Pool cooled its heels in motorcade after speech while Obama sat for interview w/George Stephanopoulos. Some poolers asked that the record show they're disgruntled."

From the White House press pool report of President Obama's appearance in Ohio on Tuesday, as told by Linda Feldman, the Christian Science Monitor.

HOPE THEN CHANGE

"Our president is a fad," declares marketing expert John Tantillo, convinced that President Obama's personal "brand" no longer woos the fickle public.

"Does our president have more in common with the Hula-Hoop than anyone might guess? The answer is a resounding yes," Mr. Tantillo explains. "Sudden and unjustifiable adulation and excitement for the product and the person. Overnight a piece of plastic becomes something everyone must have. Overnight a junior senator from Illinois becomes the man to beat in the race for American president."

Overnight fame often is followed by overexposure, characteristics once seen as virtues become shortcomings, Mr. Tantillo continues.

"The next stage of the fad product life is tragic and inevitable: rapid brand decline," he adds, noting that even liberals admit that Mr. Obama's air of potent potential has been replaced with the sense that he is overwhelmed.

"President Obama is an extremely likable man and a very smart one, but somehow he's not really presidential," Mr. Tantillo adds.

POLL DU JOUR

  • 85 percent of U.S. voters say it's likely Democrats will attempt "lame-duck legislation" should Republicans win control of Congress on Nov. 2.
  • 63 percent oppose such legislation, 27 percent support it.
  • 47 percent say it's unlikely Congress will pass major legislation before Nov. 2.
  • 44 percent say it's likely such legislation will pass before that date.
  • 41 percent oppose such legislation, 36 percent support it.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 6 and 7.

Truth and half-truths to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

© Copyright 2015 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.