Right Opinion

Harpies & Hypocrites

Burt Prelutsky · Oct. 22, 2018

Whenever I hear reasonable people claim that the political rhetoric in America needs to be toned down and that Democrats and Republicans need to start listening to each other the hope of finding common ground, my initial reaction is always to nod like one of those dashboard dachshunds. But, after a moment, I come to my senses. The problem isn’t that the folks on opposite sides don’t understand each other. The problem is that we do.

On the Left, they believe that the government should become as big as possible and take control of not only the schools, the media, the banks, industries, but health care and providing everyone with a living wage, whether or not they work.

They believe that anyone who wants to enter the country should be allowed entry without having to deal with paperwork. They think we should surrender our sovereignty to the United Nations.

Those on the Left have no respect for the Constitution. That is why maintaining a majority on the Supreme Court is so important to them. Because most Americans don’t agree with their agenda, they require judges to dictate legislation, whether that requires discovering such things as “separation of church and state” or “privacy” that don’t actually exist anywhere in the Constitution in order to rule that abortions and same-sex marriages are civil rights.

They also believe that in any disagreement we might have with another nation, because of our history of mistreating blacks and so-called indigenous people, we should concede. In short, if Barack Obama had not been born, they would have had to invent him.

Because they have no idea how economics works, they believe that everything can be paid for by raising taxes and soaking the rich. If you point out to them that if you keep raising taxes, people will quickly lose the incentive to work; and where will the money then come from? Half of them would suggest it would come from the magical money tree. The other half would insist it be taken from the billionaires, although because they don’t know the difference between a billion and a trillion, they’d never believe you if you told them that if you confiscated every single dollar from every billionaire in America, including their political allies in the Silicon Valley and Hollywood — folks like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Steyer — you’d barely make a noticeable dent in our $21 trillion debt.

Even if a sensible dialogue is impossible to have with people who don’t possess an ounce of sense, things of late have taken a noticeable turn for the worse. When party leaders like Hillary Clinton state that Republicans don’t deserve to be treated civilly, civil discourse is officially out of the question.

We have Maxine Waters telling her storm troopers to attack anyone in Trump’s administration wherever they find them. 2020 presidential aspirant Eric Holder, once upon a time the nation’s Attorney General, told a crowd: “Michelle said when they go low, we go high. I say no; when they go low, kick ‘em.”

One only has to look at the way that Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal and crazy Mazie Hirono, went about smearing Brett Kavanaugh to recognize the truth in Lin Yutang’s observation that “When small men [and women] cast big shadows, it means the sun is about to set.”

Whether or not the division eventually leads to armed conflict, I see no apparent way for the two sides to live together. As Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot long stand.”


Although I am grateful that Mitch McConnell, against all odds, was able to push through Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I keep wondering why he seemed to learn so little from Harry Reid. When Reid wanted to get things done, he tossed aside precedent and Senate protocol and moved Obama’s agenda. The man didn’t hesitate to use the nuclear option to get Obama’s federal judges confirmed with 51 votes instead of the usual 60.

But even two years into Trump’s administration, the President still has 198 people, including ambassadors and Justice Department officials, waiting to be confirmed. But the Democrats, obstructionists to the end, keep calling for cloture. That means there has to be 30 hours of debate on each one of the nominees.

All McConnell has to do is get rid of cloture, which he has the power to do. We keep being told that McConnell doesn’t want to ignore Senate tradition, but he has to be a lot dumber than I think he is if he doubts that Chuck Schumer will do in 2019 if the Democrats regain control of the Senate.

It’s time that some Republican besides Donald Trump stopped trying to set a good example for Democrats. It doesn’t work. Republicans simply come off looking lame and ineffective.


Someone sent me a photo of Judy Garland and Ray Bolger in their most famous roles as Dorothy and the Scarecrow with a caption reading: “As a kid, I used to watch 'The Wizard of Oz’ and wonder how someone could talk if they didn’t have a brain. Then along came Facebook.”


Dan Parker called my attention to a photo of Hillary Clinton, commenting “Man is she ugly! But so are Pelosi and Maxine Waters. Have you noticed how liberals age? I think the evil comes out more and more.”

In response, I wrote: “I suspect you’re right. It’s the reverse of the Dorian Gray syndrome. Their portraits stay the same, but the subjects age horribly.”


Peter Wick sent me a list of enigmas, beginning with “Isn’t it weird that in America, our flag and our culture offend so many people, but our social benefits don’t?”

“How can the federal government ask U.S. citizens to pay back student loans, when illegal aliens are receiving a free education?”

“Only in America are legal citizens labeled ‘racists’ and ‘Nazis,’ but illegal aliens are called ‘Dreamers.’”

“Liberals say: "If confiscating all guns saves just one life, it’s worth it. Well, then, if deporting all illegal aliens saves just one life, wouldn’t that be worth it?”

“I can’t quite figure out how you can proudly wave the flag of another country

but consider it punishment to be sent back there.”

“The Constitution: It doesn’t need to be rewritten, it needs to be reread.”

“Florida has had more than 120 hurricanes since 1850, but some people still insist the last one was due to climate change.”

Which reminds me, it wouldn’t hurt to say a prayer for our friends in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. If all this were happening back in biblical days, I suspect people would assume that God was punishing these poor people for some major moral shortcoming. But I think it’s safe to say that their only mistake was deciding to live in a tropical zone where hurricanes, for some odd reason, are christened with first names, although their first cousins, cyclones, never are.


Something else that has long mystified me is the protocol for tipping, particularly as it is applied differently, depending on whether the service is provided on the ground or in the air.

Why is it that we tip waitresses for serving us food at the local beanery, but not when some other person does the same thing at 35,000 feet? Why do landlocked bartenders get tips, but the guy who hands us a glass of hooch as we fly over Kansas doesn’t?

Some mysteries, I guess, aren’t meant to be solved. But I’d still like to know who came up with the rules. Was it some guy who suffered from air sickness and was just looking around for someone to blame?


I just wanted to let you know that I still have several DVDs of “Angels on Tap,” starring Jamie (“MASH”) Farr, Marion (“Happy Day”) Ross, Ed (“Mary Tyler Moore”) Asner, Ron (“Murder She Wrote”) Mazak and Alan (“L.A. Law”) Rachins, available. Just send a $20 check to me at 16604 Dearborn St., North Hills, CA 91343-3604.

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