Thursday, August 19, 2010


Burt Prelutsky

I don’t really want to sit on a throne or even in the Oval Office. But I would certainly like to see a few of my notions become reality.

For openers, I don’t like the way we put people on the Supreme Court. I don’t approve of the partisan grandstanding and I don’t like the way the nominees are forced to parse their answers in order to avoid providing the opposition with ammunition. I am not pleased to see Sonia Sotomayor or Elena Kagan sitting on the bench, but I would have voted to approve them. That’s because I believe the president is entitled to appoint whomever he wishes, whether it’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Robert Bork. If you’re a conservative, it’s a crying shame that within 18 months, Obama got to name two judges, but it’s time we all learned that elections have consequences, and that only those lunkheads who believe that Kagan and Sotomayor are the same as Roberts and Alito will continue to parrot the mantra that there’s no difference between the two political parties.

The other change I would inaugurate is to limit a Supreme Court justice’s term to 10 years. There is no good reason for it to be a lifetime job. Why on earth should a judge be provided with tenure of three or four or even five decades when the person who put him there is long gone after, at most, eight years? On top of which, we get to actually vote for the president. It makes as much sense that a justice gets to determine when to call it quits as it does for politicians to decide how big a salary and how large a pension to give themselves.

Next, I would make it a crime for an elected official to ever call anyone a racist. It is outrageous that the Democrats get to condemn Tea Party members as racists simply because it’s such an easy way to deflect legitimate criticism. I say if you apply that epithet to an individual or a group of individuals, you had better be ready to make your case in a court of law.

Most recently, we had Rep. Maxine Waters accuse the members of the Congressional Ethics Committee of being racists because they had the effrontery of accusing her and Charles Rangel of violating House rules. It didn’t matter to her that half the members of the committee are liberals; all that mattered to her was the color of the two defendants. In spite of the fact that over the years it has most often been white politicians who have been targeted for ethics violations -- people like Newt Gingrich, Barney Frank, Thomas Dodd, Joe McCarthy, Austin Murphy, Bob Packwood, Daniel Flood, Gerry Studds, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham and, most recently, Eric “The Tickler” Massa -- it only takes one black politician being accused of malfeasance to bring the race card to the top of the deck.

The most aggravating aspect of these congressional investigations is how minor the sanctions are. They range from mere reprimands to censures to expulsion. The last one sounds ominous until you realize that these people are so arrogant they actually think that expulsion from office is the harshest penalty imaginable. If a civilian were guilty of half the charges that have been leveled against inveterate tax cheat Rangel, he’d wind up in the poky, not catching the rays at his Dominican villa.

The thing that has always amazed me is the impunity with which black politicians lie, cheat and steal. Even when I was a kid, I found it mind-boggling that the voters in Harlem would continue re-electing a guy like Adam Clayton Powell. So, was it any wonder that when those voters put a new man in office, it would be none other than Charles Rangel, who, like Powell, loves living it up in the Caribbean and hates paying taxes?

After serving time on drug charges, Marion Berry was welcomed back by his constituents, who apparently couldn’t resist his campaign slogan, “He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for D.C.”

I suppose, according to Maxine Waters, it was white imps who stuck the $90,000 worth of bribes in William Jefferson’s freezer.

This isn’t to suggest that white voters are a lot better. After all, when it was discovered that one of his former roommates was running a gay prostitution ring out of their townhouse, Barney Frank was actually censured by his colleagues in the House. But that hasn’t prevented the numbskulls in his Massachusetts district from re-electing him every two years like clockwork. Even when it was discovered that his latest boyfriend was raising marijuana at their Ogunquite, Maine, getaway, all Barney had to say was that he didn’t recognize the flora that was being raised and harvested in the backyard. Nobody thought to ask him if he ever suspected that the cigarettes Jim Ready stunk up the house with weren’t Camels or Marlboros. Still, if I were Barney, I think I’d stop looking for my significant other on bathroom walls and consider spending a few bucks with eHarmony. He could fill out their famous questionnaire by saying he likes white wine, moonlight walks on the beach and ObamaCare.