- The Washington Times - Monday, February 8, 2010

Ban the bland

The nation has a hankering for spirited Colonial-style political discourse rather than the careful bipartisan sound bites of media-obsessed politicians, some say.

“When congressmen continue to boast on their bipartisanship, it reveals their lack of conviction,” says J. Grant Swank, a Maine pastor who writes a column for the Portland Press Herald and other publications.

“For an elected official to state sweet things to media by continually bragging on how nicely he reaches ‘across the aisle’ makes bland a Congress,” he says, adding that conservatives and Republicans should stop kissing up to the competition and jettison the “limp verbiage” of the political safety zone.

“It’s time that this wishy-washy laudatory verbiage be cut out of congressmen’s giving forth. It does not make points with the grass roots,” Mr. Swank says. “Let feathers fly. Let sparks flash. Let the moralist convictions light up the sky. If not, we have a mush for a Congress.”

And more on a growing case of national elitist fatigue, from someone emerging as a master of the newfound plain-spoken eloquence.

“Tea partiers don’t believe that they need some kind of well-oiled machine, some kind of replicate of the GOP or the Democrat Party,” Sarah Palin told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.

“Instead they remain a movement of the people uprising and saying, ‘Listen to us. We have some common-sense solutions that we want our politicians to consider and to implement, and this is much bigger than a hockey mom from Wasilla. It’s much bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter. It is the people’s movement.”

Palin addendum

Mrs. Palin is also shifting some long-entrenched pro-choice tenets that insist that a woman is “empowered” if she can have an abortion on demand. Her version of strong womanhood is something else entirely.

“I want to empower women,” Mrs. Palin told Mr. Wallace in the aforementioned interview.

“I want women to know that they are strong enough, and they are smart enough to be able to do many things at once — including carrying a child, giving that child life, if they’re in less-than-ideal circumstances.”

She had a distinct description for her son Trigg, born with Downs syndrome.

“This baby is now turning out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me and my family,” Mrs. Palin said.

Snow job 1

Politics does not cease despite bad weather. Indoor confinement, in fact, brings out the innovation.

“Human Events announces its first ever Al Gore Snowman contest,” proclaims the conservative magazine. “Our friend Amb. Fred Eckert suggested that we award a prize for the best snowman made to look like the chief poobah of global warming baloney, former Vice President Al Gore.”

The publication continues:

“With Washington digging out of a near-record snowfall, it’s only appropriate to (dis)honor the principal perpetrator of the biggest fraud since the U.N.’s Oil for Food scandal. (That one, after all, only cost about $30 billion. The global warming “cap and tax” legislation will cost much more.)”

The winner will receive $50 and an autographed copy of Human Events editor Jed Babbin’s “In the Words of Our Enemies.” The deadline is 9 a.m. on Wednesday. E-mail a photo of your coolest Goreman to [email protected]

“Don’t delay. Get out there and commit a gratuitous act of politics,” the magazine advises.

Snow job 2

Yes, President Obama called the relentless snowstorm that blanketed most of the known universe “Snowmageddon.” And in keeping with their waggish ways, the White House press corps cast their peculiar tone on things. Indeed, we already have such convenient acronyms as POTUS (president of the United States), FLOTUS (first lady of the United States) and TOTUS (teleprompter of the United States).

Now add one more, this filed by Alex Leary of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, the White House pool reporter for the snowstorm-struck Obama administration:

“This how the morning began for your SNOTUS pool,” Mr. Leary began.

SNOTUS. As in snow-tus, not snot-us. Well, let’s hope so anyway. The reporter continued:

“If you guys will sit still in this blizzard for 2 or 3 minutes, we’ll be good to go,” a security agent told reporters waiting to get in SUVs lined up by the South Lawn.

“Turns out there was a fender-bender. A black ambulance lost grip and slid into one of the press SUVs. It was minor. We then headed to the Capital Hilton up the snow-packed street where the president will address the DNC. Motorcade, about 15 vehicles deep, departed WH at 10:15 am. Arrived at hotel four minutes later.”

And that was life at the White House, SNOTUS mode, at least for six minutes.

Purple passion

It is a striking announcement from the Military Order of the Purple Heart:

“Wounded warriors march on Washington, D.C.,” the group says.

“Coming by twos and threes from almost every state and territory, Capitol Hill will be awash in a sea of color as some 100 members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart travel the halls of Congress.”

The color? That would be blue blazers adorned with America’s oldest military decoration, the Purple Heart Medal, the organization says, adding that the members will be a presence on Capitol Hill all week..

“It is important that members of Congress hear directly,” says spokesman Hershel Gober, who adds that the group is focusing on such issues as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ claims system, concurrent receipt of military retired pay and VA disability compensation and benefits for those affected by traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Poll du jour

• 83 percent of Americans say the size of the federal budget deficit is a result of unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending.

• 94 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

• 11 percent of Americans overall say the government spends taxpayer’s money “wisely.”

• 90 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats “don’t think the government handles taxpayers’ money well.”

• 86 percent of Americans are concerned about the deficit; 12 percent are not concerned.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted Feb. 2-3.

Big ideas and small talk to [email protected]

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