Jewish World Review Dec. 27, 2002 / 22 Teves, 5763
Robert L. Haught
Would you look at 'Fristy' go!
WASHINGTON President Bush calls him "Fristy."
The president is fond of nicknames, and that's the one
he applied to Sen. Bill Frist, the new Senate majority
Frist is a wealthy surgeon who raised huge sums of
money for Republican Senate candidates in the last
election. In other words, he knows how to rake in the
All of which inspires a parody on a popular tune of the
"Fristy, the dough-man was a very happy soul,
"When the GOP won the Senate back from the
Democrats last fall.
"Fristy, the dough-man was a king on Capitol Hill,
"And when the leader fell, everyone could tell that the
job should go to Bill.
"There must have been some magic in that golden
"For when they placed it on his head, he began to
"Fristy, the dough-man said that he would like to play.
"He'll give it his best shot, and he's no Trent Lott,
"He made the Republicans' day."
Frist isn't the only senator making headlines as the Democrats prepare to
resume their role as the minority in Congress. In this season of good will to
everyone, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., had some nice things to say about a
very well-known figure. She made her remarks to a group of school children
and here's part of what she said:
"We've got to ask, why is this man so popular around the world? Why are
people so supportive of him in many countries that are riddled with poverty?"
(Sounds like she was talking about Santa Claus. But wait.)
"He's been out in these countries for decades," she said, building schools,
roads, infrastructure, day-care facilities, health-care facilities, "and the people
are extremely grateful." (Good old St. Nick only works one night a year and
he does well to get all the gifts delivered, let alone doing any construction
It turns out Murray was referring to America's enemy No. 1, Osama bin
Laden. She held up this mad terrorist as a model citizen, compared to Uncle
"We haven't done that," she said, ignoring the vast amounts of U.S. foreign aid
sent to countries overseas, including Afghanistan. "How would they look at us
today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just
being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"
We'd like to think the students were smart enough to know this screwball
statement came from someone who either was just plain ignorant of the facts
or just had to make a partisan attack on the Bush administration. At any rate,
she got a well-deserved backlash.
This is the time of year when new movies are released, but you'll have to wait
until February to see "Gods and Generals," a Civil War film that has a
high-profile Democratic senator playing the part of a Confederate general.
Somehow Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., got the role instead of his Republican
colleague from Mississippi, and the casting interview must have gone
something like this:
Q: Senator, how do you feel about wearing the costume of a defender of
A: Doesn't bother me. You'll see by my resume that I used to be a member of
the Ku Klux Klan.
Q: Aren't you concerned this portrayal of a rebel might harm you politically?
A: No way. I even used the "n" word recently and didn't get much criticism.
Of course, a Democrat can get away with saying things that a Republican
Q: Have you had much acting experience?
A: I have been in the U.S. Senate for 44 years. Does that answer the
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JWR contributor Robert L. Haught is a columnist for The Oklohoman. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2002, Robert L. Haught