Political Hay

Political Hay

Rush Limbaugh Saves the Pilgrims

By 11.26.13

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the time-traveling horse and Rush Revere

No, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow didn’t really write the above first two lines.

But Henry Wadsworth Longfellow doubtless would have loved Rush Limbaugh’s idea.

Longfellow was the fabled 19th century American poet who inspired generations of children by telling a famous story from American history in the lyric poem "Paul Revere’s Ride." The poem’s memorable lines — which my fifth grade class in Massachusetts was required to memorize — began:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

As with Longfellow’s ability to transform American history into popular rhyme, writing Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims wasn’t just a good idea.

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Political Hay

Obamacare Won’t Kill Liberalism

By 11.21.13

Could the failures of Obamacare extirpate American liberalism? That question has been the subject of much heavy breathing this week.

The health law “has put the reputation of Big Government progressivism at risk for at least this generation,” according to Todd Purdum. “At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama,” surmises Charles Krauthammer. Our own Josh Shnayer compares liberals playing defense to the bumbling protagonists in the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, propping up a corpse.

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Political Hay

Dear Dr. Krauthammer

By 11.19.13

November 12th. As the O’Reilly Factor begins, host Bill O’Reilly gets the ball rolling with a talking points discussion about the divide in the Republican Party, saying that politics are getting “even more bitter ” and that “Tea Party conservatives, as well as the hard right, continue to reject the moderate wing of the party.” O’Reilly segues to a clip of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin praising Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and saying among other things that the two were asking for debate and that “when you stand in the middle of the road you’re going to get hit on both sides of the road.”

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Political Hay

Washington’s Chuckleheads

By 11.18.13

In 1995 I spent a month in Georgia with Newt Gingrich to help him write his book, To Renew America, shortly after he had been elected Speaker of the House. At the time Newt was promoting the idea that a large part of the healthcare problem could be solved by setting up a national repository of computerized medical records.

Computers were just coming in at that point and we also spent a lot of time with word processing. It turned out Newt was completely at sea with the new technology. Every time he saved a file it would disappear into the ether. I was one step ahead of him in learning the trade and got to pose as the expert, patiently retracing his steps through the directories until we found the missing file. I also had to show him how to use his microwave. It was all good fun but I couldn't escape the irony — here was Newt posing as a tech genius ready to solve all the nation's problems with computers and he didn't have the faintest idea how they worked.

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Political Hay

Jurassic Government

By 11.14.13

“You're going to engineer a bunch of prehistoric animals and set them on an island. Fine. A lovely dream. Charming. But it won't go as planned.”
Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park

Call it Jurassic Government. The place where the dinosaurs of centralization, supposedly under tight control, break loose, roam freely — and breed. The place where Barack Obama stars as rich, eccentric dinosaur enthusiast John Hammond.

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