Burt Prelutsky

It used to be said of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that he gave her class and she gave him sex appeal. These days, you have actors and liberal politicians teaming up. But, unlike Astaire and Rogers, which was a perfect example of symbiosis, the actors give politicians money and publicity, and the politicians allegedly provide the actors with gravitas. But when it comes to class, I’m afraid both groups are plumb out of luck.

In terms of their professions, however, they are strangely similar. Both call for basically intuitive skills and the ability to lie convincingly. That’s not to say that, through training and experience, members of each group can’t hone their talents, but, just between us, neither profession is all that difficult to master. If acting was hard, such children as Jackie Coogan, Freddie Bartholomew, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Bobby Driscoll, Hayley Mills and Fred Savage, couldn’t have been as good as they were, and such chowder heads as Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbra Streisand, wouldn’t have all those Oscars on their mantels.

As for achieving success in politics, what more need be said than that Barney Frank, Patrick Leahy, John Murtha, Maxine Waters, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy and Henry Waxman, are still drawing government paychecks?

Speaking of people who are still around and proving that, unlike old soldiers, politicians don’t fade away, but instead continue to make fools of themselves; we have Jimmy Carter. In his latest attempt to prove that his disastrous administration was no mere four-year fluke, he recently announced, “The male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.”

He added, “It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”

Rolling up his rhetorical sleeves, he concluded, “At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime.”