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You remember this one: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”
But that’s not what Americans believe any more, if the 2012 election is any indication.
So how should that adage be amended?
How about this? “Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with unlimited minutes, free Internet, cash for clunkers, food stamps, Section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, 99 weeks of unemployment, and/or free medicine, and he will vote Democratic the rest of his life – even after he’s dead.”
Does that about say it?
Is that not the new reigning ethos in Washington – among not just Democrats, apparently, but even among plenty of Republicans?
How about Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Though shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
Just this week a highly overrated and highly overpaid political consultant by the name of Karl Rove stood this principle on its head by announcing his super-pac’s plan to run attack ads against conservative Republicans beginning in the 2014 midterm election primary season, in effect subsidizing Democratic Party philosophy and candidates in their general elections.
So maybe it’s time to revise Reagan’s 11th Commandment. Maybe something like this: “Don’t bother working hard for the candidates who represent true Republican and conservative values. Let the elitist Republican establishment do your thinking for you. After all, look how well they performed with their selections and spending in 2012.”
How about this one? It’s a great quote from the late liberal Democratic senator and vice president Hubert Horatio Humphrey of Minnesota. In 1960, he, like other members of his party at the time, had a perspective on guns shared by few, if any, members of his party today.
“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government no matter how popular or respected, is the right to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used, and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny, which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”
How shall we revise that principle today?
Perhaps along these lines: “Certainly target shooting and hunting are American traditions that must be respected. But right now, as tyranny in America seems more possible than ever, it’s time to remove entire classifications of firearms from the American people, who can no longer be trusted not to misuse them. Therefore, it’s time to ignore the Constitution’s Second Amendment and the express purpose for which it was drafted and ratified, along the rest of the Bill of Rights, and begin disarming Americans so they will not be able to resist further encroachments on their God-given liberty.”
Following the 2012 election, there’s another familiar phrase that needs revisiting.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
You might recall how Karl Rove’s buddy George W. Bush botched that one up so badly. It was apropos for the president who virtually handed Barack Obama the presidency in 2008 with his famous quote: “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”
Here’s how Bush revised the “fool me once” adage: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” (You have to see this one to believe it!)
But, as evidenced in the last election, people can get fooled again – even when they are warned, as my colleague and friend Aaron Klein did so skillfully in his 2012 campaign book, "Fool Me Twice."
So how about this? "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on Karl Rove."