In his most recent citizen's view column, Noel R Wolfe wants, 'We, the people,' to 'consider the real issues facing this country,' to 'debate these issues no matter how uncomfortable it makes us,' and 'not merely focus on 'jingleisms' and 20-second soundbites,' because 'America is at the tipping point' and 'Sometimes the truth hurts' and 'Our world is changing,' and 'it is no longer acceptable merely to attack the messenger' with 'cheap shots,' like, for instance, calling a respondent to a previous column of yours a 'pseudo-intellectual coward,' because 'resolute compromise can be achieved among reasonable people' -
Excuse me, Mr. Wolfe? If you're finished with the soundbites and cheap shots I'd like to discuss the issues ...?
' - this election will determine what kind of country we want to live in -'
Noel? Your first issue?...
' - we can have honest debate without questioning intent, intelligence, compassion -'
Actually, Mr. Wolfe did eventually introduce a discussion issue - Entitlements. Noel?...
' - this is still America after all, and if America doesn't get its arms around these concepts -'
OK, I'll summarize: Wolfe believes entitlements are bad. Really bad. Because, as he says, 'In my family, government welfare was known as charity and not a right.' Well, you can't argue with that (except to blurt 'Yay! What?'), because your mind is busy imagining this typical Wolfe family dinner-table conversation:
'Daddy, do we know government welfare as charity or as a right?'
'Why, charity, Billy, of course, you pseudo-intellectual coward.'
'Sometimes the truth hurts, Billy.'
Wolfe's solution to entitlement spending is the same as most Republican solutions - just make stuff up. Like, 'When drug testing is initiated the welfare census plummets.' It sounds truth-y, and nobody will fact-check it to find that recently only 2 percent of welfare recipients in Florida tested positive for drugs. Entitlements problem solved!
Wolfe's next issue - Social Security. Wolfe believes 'Social Security is, in fact, a Ponzi scheme.' His solution? Call Social Security a 'Ponzi scheme'! Problem solved!
Another big problem for Wolfe is 'progressives.' Solution? Add sarcastic quote marks around the word 'progressives' whenever possible: When 'progressives' use the term... but 'progressives' would like us to believe... yet 'progressives' rail against the idea...' etc. Problem solved!
What about the nation's poor? Again, making stuff up, Wolfe claims America's poor are poor because 'they failed to apply themselves in school, in work, and in life.' In fact, America's poor aren't even really poor, he says, because they own 'large-screen TV's - although not HD/3D.' (Yes, he really said that!) So, Wolfe's solution to the nation's poor? Denial - the nation has no poor! Problem solved!
Next week I'm sure whichever of the LO citizen's view tag-team conservatives (Wolfe-Luck-Barra-Berg-Scevola) is batting next will whine that I presented no solutions of my own. So here, in Republican-friendly, soundbite-size portions, are the solutions to our nation's problems: Election reform. Medicare for all. Eliminate Social Security cap. Stock transaction tax. Repeal DOMA. Reenact Glass-Steagall. Repeal NAFTA/GATT. Stop media consolidation. Impose CEO pay limits. Rebuild infrastructure. Green energy investment. End the war on drugs. Leave Afghanistan. Return to Reagan tax rates. Jail Rove and Cheney. Reverse Citizens United. Impeach Clarence Thomas. Cancel 'Fox and Friends'.
Enough? Discuss! Mr. Wolfe?
' - let's get ahead of these issues before they bury us -'
Burl Ross is, in his words, 'an annoying progressive resident of Lake Oswego.'