Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Primer for GOP Candidates

By Burt Prelutsky
[Previously published in the July edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
I get very discouraged when I come across polls that show Barack Obama’s job approval rate as high as 43.9% and a generic congressional ballot that has Democrats leading Republicans 43% to 42.3%, even though the percentage of those thinking that America is headed in the right direction stands at just 29.8%.
Apparently, about 14% of us are incapable of connecting even two or three dots. So much for public education!
Still, being an eternal optimist, I take some comfort from the fact that Obama is the only two-term president who ever received fewer votes the second time around, and that since 2008, the GOP has won most of the elections, whether it was Senate and House seats, or a governor’s mansion, that was up for grabs.
We Republicans would have done even better if we had kept just a few simple rules in mind. First off, no matter how enticing you, as a candidate, find a TV lens or how much you enjoy having reporters hang on your every word, never answer a question unless you happen to be appearing on Fox. Just about everyone else in the media is your mortal enemy.
Also, never go off script. Even Bob Hope didn’t become Bob Hope by ad-libbing. He had a stable of very expensive writers.
If you can’t avoid answering questions, learn from the opposition. On those very rare occasions when Democrats find themselves being asked a question they don’t wish to deal with, they pretend they were asked an entirely different question and that’s the one they answer.
So, whenever a reporter asks how you feel about some social issue, such as same-sex marriages, abortions or the legalization of marijuana, ask them how they feel about it. If the reporter replies that how he feels is unimportant because he’s not running for the Senate or the House, point out that you are, and the reason that you are is because you want to do something about ObamaCare, the EPA, taxes and unemployment, and finish up by mentioning that you intend to do everything in your power to restore America’s military might. By the time you stop talking, he’ll have probably forgotten his own silly question and so will everyone else.
Obama has been so badly damaged by the scandal at the VA and his pretense of knowing nothing about it until he read about it in some newspaper -- even after we saw footage of his talking about the problems at the VA as far back as 2009 -- that he was forced to don a military jacket and put his golf game on hold while he flew to Afghanistan for a photo op with the troops, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and gave a commencement address at West Point.
I know some people are put off by Obama’s obvious contempt for the military, a contempt shared by Secretary of State John Kerry. I, on the other hand, am more deeply offended when the alleged Commander-in-Chief feigns respect for those in uniform. At least the contempt has the saving grace of being sincere.
On the other hand, as much as I admire those who put their lives and limbs on the line in defense of America, the time has come to acknowledge that once they put those uniforms in moth balls and enter political life, as often as not they tend to show themselves to have feet of clay, if not something even grungier. I mean, everyone from John Murtha, Charley Rangel, Colin Powell and David Petraeus to John Kerry and Eric Shinseki, have worn the uniform with greater or lesser distinction, and all have proven themselves as civilians to be the moral equivalent of draft dodgers.
It seems that Mariel Hemingway is outraged because the brilliant muckraker, James O’Keefe, caught her and fellow pinhead Ed Begley, Jr., having lunch with an actor pretending to be an oil sheik looking to finance an anti-fracking feature film.
Even though the faux Arab confessed that he was only interested in the production because fracking would help make America energy-independent and would therefore cut into his oil profits, Hemingway and Begley seemed to be okay with it. At least neither of them skipped dessert and stalked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, as I suspect they might have done had they known they were on camera.
I’m sure that the two Hollywood drips had no problem tarring Donald Sterling or Mitt Romney when their private conversations were transmitted to the world at large, but it was quite a different matter when it was their own oxen being gored in the public arena.
After listening to Ms. Hemingway bemoaning the invasion of her privacy to Fox’s Howard Kurtz, it’s obvious she doesn’t grasp that sting operations are often the only way to nail drug dealers, child porn producers and arrogant, self-congratulatory, Hollywood hypocrites, who put their own nutty environmental agenda ahead of the nation’s essential energy needs.
The irony of the situation is that in 2012, Matt Damon co-wrote, co-produced and starred in a stinker titled “Promised Land.”
The sole purpose of that film was to propagandize against the alleged evils of fracking. The movie was financed at a cost of $12 million by Image Productions, but was such a dud that apparently even a pair of loony tree-huggers like Hemingway and Begley avoided it.
Image Productions, by the way, is solely owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.