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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 19, 2005 / 10 Nisan, 5765

Tom Delay, former exterminator

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In addition to the alleged ethical infractions that have dogged him in the press recently, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has one overriding, unspoken sin — he's déclassé.

In this, he has some of the same broad characteristics as George W. Bush: Texas, conservatism, Christianity, lack of — ahem — verbal subtlety. But on top of all these, DeLay adds the crème de la crème of unfashionability, for which many of his critics candisguise their sneering contempt: He once owned an exterminating business.

In anti-DeLay commentary, derisive references to his former occupation are almost mandatory. Joshua Micah Marshall, a well-read liberal blogger, regularly refers to DeLay as "the bug man." A cartoon in The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post ridiculed DeLay's views on the war on terror since he "spent much of his life shooting bugs." A Web site offers anti-Tom DeLay T-shirts featuring a can of bug spray. Another, buzzflash.com, recently sent out an alert titled "Hypocrisy Is Tom DeLay's Middle Name, Along With Exterminator."

Even Supreme Court justices can't resist the meme. Ruth Bader Ginsburg remarked in a speech a few years ago, "Mr. DeLay is not a lawyer but, I am told, an exterminator by profession." How uncouth.

By one way of looking at it, prior to coming to Congress in 1984, DeLay was a struggling small-business man, striving to keep his company above water so its handful of employees could keep their jobs. In the process, of course, he provided a useful service to Texans plagued by fire ants and other pests. But this is not the narrative DeLay-bashers prefer. Oh no, his business killed insects, and that's inherently ridiculous, along with — one assumes — other swaths of the American economy.

Plumbers work with pipes and even less pleasant things, and sometimes their tool belts drag down their pants. Garbagemen deal with, well, garbage. Painters splatter smelly paint all over their clothes. Auto mechanics work with engines, axles and other car parts likely to get their hands dirty. Miners work underground all day. We'll leave aside for now long-distance truckers, maids, railroad linemen, longshoremen, day laborers, air-conditioning repairmen and the cable guy.

All these professions can't pass what might be called the "yuck" test: If a graduate student or Manhattan professional can't help but think "yuck" when he considers a given job, it flunks the test. Everybody so employed should know that their jobs are fit for ridicule, and if they ever attain elected office they can expect demeaning nicknames related to their former professions. Even though it's not clear why any of these professions are less honorable than the one that typically produces politicians — lawyering.

It used to be that liberals celebrated California labor leader Cesar Chavez for his impassioned advocacy on behalf of people who did nothing all day except bend over and pick grapes. What nickname, one wonders, would the likes of Joshua Marshall come up with if one of these people were ever to come in his political sights after having made an unglamorous living toiling in the dirt and sun all day long?

Alas, liberalism long ago lost its populism, as it has become increasingly colored by its urban, higher-income, post-graduate-degree supporters, for whom dirt-under-the-fingernails work is alien and, apparently, something the right sort of people just don't do. More broadly, a new, unfortunate attitude is afoot in the land — among both Democrats and Republicans — that considers certain jobs unfit for Americans, which is why illegal Mexican labor has to be imported to do them.

As for Tom DeLay, his ideology and his ethics are legitimate targets. But not his former profession. Snobs who can't resist pest-control ridicule should at least strive to be utterly consistent, and the next time they have a case of termites, resist the urge to call one of those contemptible exterminators.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate

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