Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


October 21, 2013

Stumptalk: What a revoltin' development this is

CROSSVILLE — In the 1940’s and ‘50’s when situation comedy reigned on radio and then TV, William Bendix played Chester Riley, a father and husband who frequently created situations that turned out humorously badly for him, and his famous line was “What a revoltin’ development THIS is.”

That line occurs to me frequently when I witness the awful outcomes of the political dark comedy in Washington. As I write this, we have a President who thinks he does not have to negotiate with Congress on significant budgetary matters; who has politicized the IRS to target and silence groups that he doesn’t like; a President who will not acknowledge the awful failure of the Obamacare startup; who approves special treatment of corporate and union friends, giving them a special one-year waiver for purchasing the Obamacare insurance, giving Congress permanent Obamacare waivers; and the selective pain meted out by his administration to make the non-politicians (i.e. us) regret the government slowdown… read, “make them (i.e. us) regret opposing Obama.” A disgusted park ranger reported that they have received orders to “make life as difficult for people as we can.”

Then there are other insults, such as “Fast and Furious” (the politicization of the Department of Justice), the Benghazi betrayal (the politicization of the State Department) … the list goes on. Some events that bring this administration’s disdain for citizen honor into focus are smaller, and more easily comprehended.

Perhaps the most disgusting example is the refusal of the Obama Defense Department to honor our fallen heroes and their families by refusing to pay for the trip to Dover Airbase to receive the bodies and pay the death benefits to the families. Obama doesn’t care. Obama was quick enough to the White House newsroom television cameras to lecture us about Trayvon Martin, but had to be dragged to pay attention to this insult to our hero fathers. That highlights his community organizer values, I guess. He is silent about locking out vets from the WWII monument, but opened the mall to a demonstration by illegal aliens. Obama is revealing himself to be a petty politician, certainly not a statesman. It is interesting to see how far he has fallen. One news columnist in England refers to him as “President Pantywaist.”

After the shootings in Arizona last year, the president and Democrats flooded the airways to demand “civility” in political discourse. They played the guilt card to the hilt, until it suited them to forget it. Democrats retreat to ugly discourse when they have no intellectually honest argument to present. Thus, for Democrats, Republicans become “terrorists” and “con-men” and “arsonists” and “anarchists,” and “domestic abusers.” The President seriously failed his statesman test by reducing himself to calling Republicans who dare defy him “extortionists.” What happened to his egotistical promise to “bring us together”?

He refers to the “government shutdown” whereas 83 percent of the government is still up and running. Obama attempts to govern by crisis, thus a “government slowdown” is not sufficiently hyperbolic to make us think there is a crisis, it must be a shutdown. Oh, no, will we ever recover?

Obama has not offered any solutions to the “crisis.” He simply has threatened to hold his breath until he turns blue. “I won’t negotiate. You can’t make me.” He is astonishingly petty. One would hope that this nation has learned the danger of putting the power of the presidency into the hands of an inexperienced, narcissistic, petty Chicago “pol,” but that is expecting a bit much, I suppose.

Remember the ecstatic reception Obama received during his European victory tour? Germany, Cairo and all of that? The embarrassing and silly Nobel Prize? He should go back and try the tour again. I’d love to see that. His last speech in Germany had to be given from behind a bullet proof glass wall.

What a revoltin’ development THIS is.

• • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at


Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014