Outsider

Headed for the big time

| September 15, 2005
Headed for the big time It's gotta be a source of local pride to learn that our own Congressman Tom Tancredo has emerged as the GOP's No. 1 skank-dog spinmeister. Here's an excerpt from a letter he sent Sept. 7 to House Speaker Dennis Hastert:

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the house will refrain from directly appropriating any funds from the public treasury to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans. Instead, reconstruction and relief funds dedicated to the people of New Orleans should be administered by a private organization or a select committee similar to the historic Truman Commission.

You can see the emerging line here, can't you? "Why, it's all their fault, those corrupt Louisiana Democrats! We tried our best. We said, 'Hey, watch out for hurricanes,' but they ignored us. Just too busy taking bribes, eating beignets, getting drunk and having exotic sex. So now it's time for the grown-ups to take over. Yup, we'll clean up that wretched cesspool, at great cost, and then let those libertines back in to party down once again. Are we compassionate conservatives, or what?"

But maybe, Congressman, there's another way of looking at things. Here's a rough draft, for your consideration, of a follow-up letter you might wish to send.

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Given the abysmal failure of the federal government to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the present administration's long history of self-serving deceit, incompetence, cronyism, and corruption, I hope that the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds from the public treasury to the United States government, or any agency thereof. Instead, reconstruction and relief funds dedicated to the people of New Orleans should be administered by a multinational organization led by France and Holland.

The Dutch, after all, know about dams, levees, and dikes. Their entire country is below sea level, and they've had experience with disasters. The French, ruthlessly efficient in colonial administration (if in nothing else), are linked to Louisiana by history and culture.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, a grave and troubling matter has come to my attention. It seems that the terms of the Louisiana Purchase include a reversionary clause, allowing France to rescind the contract should the United States fail to "adequately govern, maintain, and protect" the city of New Orleans.

Some may claim that, by allowing the city to be destroyed, we've breached the contract. That's nonsense, of course, but I need hardly remind you that my constituents, good churchgoing Republicans one and all, are not prepared to learn French, lose weight, smoke Gauloises and go naked on the beach!

Meanwhile, it was interesting to note that Focus on the Family acolyte Amy Stephens is the anointed candidate for Lynn Hefley's seat in the legislature. Summoned by their master's voice, most of the local GOP elected officials lined up obediently to endorse her.

Stephens served for 10 years as "sex education and youth culture specialist" for Focus, which puts her right in the mainstream of know-nothing ideologues at the Capitol. True to form, she launched her campaign by proclaiming her opposition to Referenda C and D, cementing once again the bizarre alliance between know-nothing taxophobes and know-nothing religious conservatives.

And finally, heartfelt thanks to Jerry Heimlicher and Richard Skorman, two transparently decent individuals who give honor to our community. In creating a focal point where Colorado Springs residents can help the survivors of Katrina, and using their voices as elected officials to help, rather than posture, they are serving us well.

-- johnhazlehurst@earthlink.net

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