NEWS AND OPINION:
There’s a new word which has registered on the media’s radar, and that is “unresign” — or “un-resign,” depending on the news organization.
The inspiration behind the popular new noun — or verb, depending on your point of view — is the evolving status of Sen. Al Franken, who vowed to leave office a dozen days ago over claims of sexual misconduct . The Minnesota Democrat did not mention any specific date. As the clock ticked, Mr. Franken’s ambiguous status prompted observers to wonder about his true intent; after all, most accused of harassment were gone in short order.
Four fellow senators now say they’ve reconsidered the Franken matter, and advised the lawmaker to stay the course on Capitol Hill. And voila — “unresign” was born. Is this strategery that was originally part of someone’s game plan? Inquiring minds want to know, particularly those who wonder if somehow, in some way, the activities will prompt the voting public to revisit negative reports against President Trump, particularly as his positive accomplishments accumulate. It’s complicated and curious.
“Now that the Roy Moore election is over and there’s no more need to posture, Democrats who called for Al Franken to resign are changing their minds,” observes Glenn Reynolds, founder of the popular Instapundit blog on PJ Media.
“Far too many people in politics have developed a simple but reassuring approach to accusations of improper sexual behavior: they believe the accusations against the members of the other party, but refuse to believe the accusations against their political allies,” writes National Review columnist Jim Geraghty.
And about the unresign/un-resign phenomenon. In the realm of lexicology, there is an “unresigned” afoot in the English language. But it doesn’t apply to the Franken situation, functioning as an adjective according to the Oxford Dictionary, and means “not resigned” — as in not resigned to the perils of a challenge or situation. Multiple learned readers, meanwhile, have contacted Inside the Beltway to advise that unresign is a verb, not a noun. The term made the headlines, though:
“Could Al Franken un-resign? Sure.” (Washington Post); “Just kidding! Senators tell Al Franken to un-resign” (Breitbart News); “Manchin calls on Franken to unresign” (NBC News); “Dems now want accused groper Al Franken back” (New York Post); “Franken urged to reverse his resignation” (Politico); “Senators starting to regret demanding Franken resign (Townhall), and “The senator who wouldn’t leave” (National Review).
“With recent news reports and e-mails showing anti-Trump bias by several senior level FBI and Justice Department officials, nearly half of voters now believe there was an illegal effort to deny Donald Trump the presidency,” says a Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters.
The poll found that 48 percent agree with this statement: “senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency.”
Another 41 percent disagree and 11 percent are undecided.
TRUMP’S BANNER YEAR
Once again, the Republican National Committee has offered a handy-dandy review of President Trump’s accomplishments to date — this time homing in on the undeniable advances the president has made on the economic front. The GOP bases their conclusions on 46 citations from the Department of Labor Statistics, the New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and other sources.
‘Over 1.7 million new jobs have been created since January, including 159,000 new manufacturing jobs, and the unemployment rate has decreased from 4.8 percent to 4.1 percent. Encouraged by a Republican agenda of tax reform and eliminating burdensome regulations, the stock market had a ‘banner year,’ with the Dow Jones increasing by 5,000 points in one year -— the first time in its 121-year history — and surpassing a record 24,000,” says the committee.
“The economy grew by over three percent for two consecutive quarters in 2017, which was greater than analysts expected and reflects the resilience of the U.S. economy even after debilitating hurricanes. Consumer confidence and investor optimism are both at 17-year highs while unemployment is at a 17-year low,” the organization said. “President Trump’s engagement with business leaders and emphasis on keeping jobs in America has spurred hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments and companies have announced tens of thousands of new jobs.”
THIRD PARTY RELIGION
“With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be interesting to do a survey asking ‘What religion are Libertarians?’ In religion, as in all things, Libertarians are a diverse group. I think this is one of the great beauties of Libertarianism. We have devout Christians working side-by-side with staunch atheists working side-by-side with Jews and Muslims and pagans and people of every other religious conviction,” says Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party, in a message to his third party clan, asking that they participate in the poll.
“Obviously, these religious groups disagree on many things. But, as Libertarians, we all fundamentally respect each other’s rights to worship and live our lives as we choose and to make sure the government stays out of it,” Mr. Benedict adds.
He is indeed polling the party on their spiritual leanings, providing 27 choices for respondents to consider — from Eastern Orthodox, evangelical and Unitarian to Sikh, Wiccan, Druid and pagan. So far, 6,000 people have replied to the survey — and the most popular designation, cited by 22 percent, is atheist.
Second in line is agnostics with 14 percent, third-most cited is “other Christian” and Catholic — both with 10 percent — followed by Baptist (5 percent) and Lutheran (4 percent), with Methodist, evangelical, Presbyterian, Jewish, Mormon and “none of the above” — which each garnered 3 percent.
“If we didn’t list a category here that you feel expresses your preferences, please reply and let us know,” Mr. Benedict advises the respondents.
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 81 percent of American say their U.S. citizenship is “very meaningful to them personally”; 91 percent of conservatives, 79 percent of moderates and 73 percent of liberals agree.
⦁ 80 percent overall say the U.S. Constitution is very meaningful to them; 91 percent of conservatives, 76 percent of moderates and 78 percent of liberals agree
⦁ 70 percent overall say the American flag is very meaningful; 86 percent of conservatives, 66 percent of moderates and 56 percent of liberals agree
⦁ 65 percent say the national anthem is very meaningful; 85 percent of conservatives, 61 percent of moderates and 49 percent of liberals agree.
⦁ 65 percent say the Pledge of Allegiance is very meaningful; 82 percent of conservatives, 62 percent of moderates and 49 percent of liberals agree
⦁ Ballyhoo and balderdash to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at email@example.com.
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