Bob Franken

King Features Column–Resolutions

(As usual, the agreement with the syndicators means these columns appear here a week after their newspaper release)

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Gonna be a resolution …
Actually it’s that time of year, the beginning, when we make a slew of resolutions. As a public service, let’s resolve to help our leading lights promise to change their ways in 2012. It’s Make and Break Time.

Where do we begin? With whom? So little space, so many irritations and so many irritators. But let’s start at the top of the list.

Newt Gingrich promises to rid his speech of all bombastic, bomb-blastic adjectives and adverbs. That means no more meaningless but incendiary qualifiers like “radical(ly),” “secular,” “Islamist” and “socialist,” so often spit out in various combinations, and no more self-aggrandizing ones like “profound,” or “truly conservative,” “historical” and “professorial.”

That last one has antagonized professors everywhere, given Newt’s habit of bragging that he’s read a book and then spewing a few CliffsNotes ideas from it. History scholars are particularly incensed with the “historical” one, since he so often embarrasses them with his out of-context descriptions of past world events.

He comes across as a pedantic someone trying to snow the voter who thinks the Ottoman Empire was a furniture store and has no idea what the Federalist Papers are but thinks it sounds nice when Gingrich cites them, albeit inaccurately.

Mitt Romney is another one who could come with a ton of resolutions. And like Newt, he doesn’t need to worry about keeping them, given their history of changing direction whenever expedient. So why not let his hair down (actually, that’s a good place to start) and stop pretending he’s anything but the silver spoon he’s been from birth. Yet if he’s going to maintain his common-touch charade, he needs to work on those slips of the tongue like “Corporations are people.” By the way, we have a special request from the canine community for a resolution promising that anytime one of them is taken on a Romney family trip, he rides in the car, not on it. Don’t bet your $10,000 on any of these.

Rick Perry has two or three resolutions, he can’t remember which, but first he’ll have to make sure they meet the approval of the Texas corporate puppeteers who control his every move. That certainly means he won’t resolve to protect any pristine land or coastal waters from drilling, and he definitely will not divert business subsidies to pay for badly needed social services in his state. How about this one: He promises to stop one execution in Texas. That ain’t happenin’. Maybe he can try to pronounce the letter “g” at word’s end.

Ah yes, Ron Paul. Perhaps he can resolve to come clean about his extremism. It’s a new year, Ron. What better time to be honest about the hate that underpins his so-called libertarianism. And then he can seek therapy, as well as anyone who believes that he was completely unaware of the bigoted newsletter that went out under his name. They were the dark workings of insanity. Buying his explanation is also downright crazy.

There are so many other characters, the Palins, Trumps, Bachmanns, but why would they change anything considering how very far they’ve come with so little substance?
And let’s keep this bipartisan by including President Barack Obama. He should resolve to have some resolve. He’s had a problem with that, which has made it possible for all those other characters to even have a chance at taking his job.

As for the rest of us, we need a resolution promising we’ll study hard and take intelligent action, such as examining the issues and knowing all about the positions and character of those politicians who control our lives. We should resolve to control theirs. It’s what we call a democracy. It took a revolution for it to be created. With that resolution, we can make sure we don’t fritter it away

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