SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2012

Smart Bombs: Mormon vs. ‘Muslim’ – really?

It’s astonishing that amid the thermonuclear blowback to the election of Barack Obama, a conservative won’t be on either major party ticket for the presidency. The rise of the tea party, the GOP takeover of the House and the inexhaustible iterations of Obama Derangement Syndrome led me to believe that a rock-ribbed somebody would be cruising to the Republican nomination.

But they all ended up in a roadside ditch, leaving the guy who brought universal health care to liberal Massachusetts – and used a mandate to get there! What’s more, he prays in churches most mainline Christians have never entered.

For those who mistakenly believe Obama is a Muslim and that Latter-day Saints aren’t Christians, this must seem like an election in a foreign land.

A Mormon vs. a “Muslim”? So much for taking back America.

Tax cuts on the house. Remember that moment in the presidential primary debates when the Republican candidates were asked if they’d take a deficit-reduction deal that included $1 in tax increases for every $10 in spending cuts? Every candidate turned it down, showing that tax cuts, not eliminating deficits, remain the holy grail of the GOP.

Predictably, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget plan cuts federal taxes, even though they’re at their lowest point in half a century. If he skipped those cuts, the stated goal of balancing the budget would be much easier. But if he did that, he’d lose his A-list status among party throwers.

The bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which Obama formed and then forgot, called for $3 in cuts for every $1 in new revenue. Then again, former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican, no longer has to run for office.

So let’s repair to the kitchen table for everyone’s favorite budgeting metaphor. The family has been gathered, and you’re discussing how to get out of a jam in which you’ve already spent well beyond your means. You could cut future spending. You could try to increase your income. Both would help. But would it make sense to decrease your income (tax cuts)? How about reopening a previously closed stream of money (ending the Bush tax cuts)? Seems the only reason you’d take that off the table is if the discussion moved from the kitchen to a corner bar.

So what’s behind another round of tax cuts? Sure can’t be deficit reduction.

First wives club. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for folks to respect candidate spouses. Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen spouted off about Ann Romney never holding down a job. Now she regrets it.

Her model ought to be another Hillary and how she’s been treated since bursting onto the national scene. Why does she keep “Rodham”? Why didn’t she ditch it? Why doesn’t she bake cookies? Have you seen those “cankles”? Why doesn’t she dump her husband? Would a little makeup kill her? And that hair – what’s going on there?

Democrats, there’s your model for decorum. So grow up, will ya?

Whereas, Honesty is good. The Spokane City Council should resolve to stop introducing resolutions about issues they can’t control. Otherwise, people will start to believe that these holders of nonpartisan offices are partisan.

Better yet, we could drop the pretense of nonpartisanship and introduce more transparency to municipal elections.

Out of our hands. If everything happens for a reason, then isn’t criticism blasphemy? After all, that cliché is a nod to God’s plan. So how do we explain the noisy intersection of religion and politics?

Evolution is taught in classrooms. Gay marriage is expanding. Lord knows contraceptives are popular. If everything happens for a reason, why fight it?

Yet, religious groups do mount political campaigns against these developments. Is that because they question the reason? Or, is fighting back part of the “everything” that happens for a reason?

Before taking me to task for this column, you might want to consider whether I had a choice.

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter @GaryCrooks.

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