Things politicians say and do

Hyperbole tends to reflect a need for relevance not reality.

Bob Roegner

Bob Roegner

Republican Pierce County Council member Pam Roach, never the wallflower, dropped an F-bomb on the committee chair after being gaveled down. Why news? The chair was her son, council member Dan Roach.

Presidents look at responsibility in different ways. President Donald Trump told people to vote this past November as a referendum on him, then said “it’s not my fault if we lose the midterm election.” Then there is Harry Truman, who said “the buck stops here.”

Hyperbole tends to reflect a need for relevance not reality. Trump referred to a NAFTA trade deal this year as “historic.” Mayor Jim Ferrell’s communications person pitched Ferrell’s 2018 state of the city speech, “as historic.” A trade agreement, and a different location to give a speech historic? Isn’t historic more like circling the moon, as three astronauts did 50 years ago?

“In two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any in history,” said Trump. John F. Kennedy started the Peace Corp and our path to putting a man on the moon. Lyndon Johnson passed the “Civil Rights Act.” Trump’s historical impact? Increased the budget deficit, and several around him appear to be facing jail time.

Isn’t it the height of irony that President Trump,who watches television all day, hates policy briefings and prefers People magazine for heavy reading, called former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “dumb as a rock “ and “lazy”? In fairness, Tillerson started the sandbox spat by calling Trump “a moron.”

Ferrell, who frequently is undisciplined as impartial chair in council meetings, and acts like an eighth council member, momentarily fell back in line and said “ah, I’m not supposed to advocate,” although he missed the opportunity to rule himself out of order.

Quotes from council members Hoang Tran and Jesse Johnson on the debate about the need for a police accountability board. Tran said “the public has stated concerns … to how the police department interacts with minorities.” Johnson, referring to Chief Andy Hwang: ”It’s hard to push … changes if you’re the head and your running it.” Two good reasons for the council to seriously consider an accountability board?

U.S. District court Judge Jon Tiger in referring to abuse of power on immigration by Trump: “Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”

A local businessman moved his business from Federal Way to Tacoma because he didn’t feel City Hall was supportive of small business and his problems with his landlord. Ferrell’s communications staff, Tyler Hemstreet, said in response: “The law generally expects those in business to be sophisticated enough to handle these types of legal disputes on their own.” Gosh, wonder where the guy got the idea City Hall wasn’t supportive? Maybe it was the calling him dumb part.

Enlightened thinking? Trump on dire climate change warning: “I’ve seen it and read some of it, and it’s fine … I don’t believe it.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham from South Carolina in 2016: “If we nominate Trump he will destroy us all and we will deserve it.” Graham also said Trump was the “world’s biggest jackass,” and a race-baiting xenophobic religious bigot. Then in 2018 Graham became Trump’s biggest supporter and led the charge to confirm his appointment to the Supreme Court. What job do you suppose he is auditioning for?

Trump said it is a “very scary time for young men,” due to the wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men. History suggests it has been far more scary for women since the beginning of time with Trump’s own Access Hollywood tape a classic reminder of men’s treatment of women, and why they are justifiably angry.

Hopefully 2019 will yield more golden quotes. On that note, may you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for reading.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

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