The GOP Has Brought a Knife to a Gun Fight
By Doug Patton
April 6, 2009
"Politics is war conducted by other means."
At a key point in Mel Gibson's epic film, Braveheart, Edward the Longshanks, King of England, sends his daughter-in-law to bargain with Scottish warrior William Wallace, who has been leading a successful rebellion against England. The princess tells Wallace that compromise is the answer to resolving the conflict between England and Scotland. "Peace is made in such ways," she pleads with him. "Slaves are made in such ways!" he snaps back at her, thereby delivering one of the most stirring and truthful lines in the film.
Fast forward seven centuries to last week, when European Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan, who represents Southern England in that body, was addressing British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a recent EP meeting. (In case you missed it on You Tube, Google "MEP Daniel Hannan" and watch it for yourself.) Some highlights of Mr. Hannan's remarks:
Now back to our side of the pond, where House GOP Leader John Boehner and his band of lackluster cohorts presented a halfhearted, 18-page pamphlet they called an "alternative" to President Barack Obama's bloated, Christmas tree budget. Boehner, who should be railing at Obama like Hannan did at Brown, instead read a prepared statement, part of which follows:
My own snoring jolted me back to reality. Some of the lines were interesting, but they were delivered with all the passion of a grocery list. It was like watching the Sharks and the Jets bringing switchblades to a street fight with a 21st century gang armed with Uzis! Barack Obama is arguably the smoothest, most elegant politician of our lifetime. He can sell swamp water in the Everglades and get the buyer to think it tastes like champagne. He proved it last year during the campaign when he took on all comers in his own party and the "my turn" candidate of the GOP and chewed them all to pieces with a smile and an empty slogan.
Scotland had William Wallace. Great Britain has Daniel Hannan. We have John Boehner. I hope I can contain my excitement.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.