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Give a helping hand to the unemployed

September 30, 2012
By WES BURNS , Times-Republican

As we Iowans are currently being pummeled by the onslaught of political commercials the message of either candidate can, and does, get lost amidst the rancor, the vitriol, and the ubiquitous flag waving graphic none-too subtlety dropped in the background of every scene involving a family farm.

Have you ever seen a family farm? I?think Monsanto bought the last one in the late 90s, probably with another royalty check for creating Agent Orange.

Even though these cloying ads are deftly avoided by my beloved DVR even the most nimble fingers can miss the remote control from time to time, resulting in brief moments of exposure to political ads.

And it was during one of these terrifying moments that I found a central link between both President Obama and Mr. Romney's campaign rhetoric: People are out of work, and they both want to put people back to work.

But I think Obama and Romney are trying to help the wrong groups.

President Obama, at least according to his campaign commercials, seems interested in finding jobs for people who wear overalls, have small children and/or work on farms.

Romney's commercials lead me to believe he too wants to help the overall people, and the children. Also I think he has more old people in his commercials.

Hey, they have to pay for that retirement somehow, right?

But I?think both of these guys are way off the mark. Why are we worrying about old people and farmers and the children when there are hard working politicians out there looking for work?

Well, maybe not politicians. You have to win an election first, let's just say "almost politicians." Or we could just say Bob Vander Plaats.

Poor, poor Bob.

I'm pretty sure times are tough for Bob. He's been out of work for years now, just another victim of the cruel electoral process.

How could such talent go untapped? This guy went to college at Northwestern Iowa, on a basketball scholarship no less! He went on to become a teacher, so I?only assume he majored in Education ... his online bio doesn't list a major. I just assume they left it off because he got a really embarrassing minor, like Recreation Studies or Sanskrit.

Then, things took a turn for the worse. Bob lost the GOP bid for the Iowa gubernatorial race in 2002.

Then the same thing happened again in 2006.

Then again in 2010.

Fine, so he's had a string of bad luck. Maybe he's never won a popular election. Maybe he's never held political office. Maybe he got a basketball scholarship to a school in the weakest collegiate conference since the Central Hawaiian College Intramural Hockey League. Who could think that any of that matters?

Obviously Bob doesn't, because he's gassed up the RV and is tooling around our great state ... again ... trying to get people to vote out an Iowa Supreme Court Justice who made a ruling he didn't like ... again.

Yeah, we did this whole thing in 2010, but this time it is different! This time Bob is joined by the GOP All-Star Non-Starters!

Who's that campaigning with Bob? Is it rising GOP star/Google sensation Rick Santorum? It is! Even Rick took time off from his busy schedule of being a Senator six years ago to help Bob out with his latest cause.

And Rick brought his whole political action committee, Patriot Voices! That's Rick himself, his wife Karen and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; that sounds to me like the ingredients for one rowdy game of UNO!

And the rest!

I don't recognize any of the other supporters names, just that they belong to some suspiciously innocuous sounding groups like the National Organization of Marriage and a whole bunch that are all tangentally associated with family: Iowa Family Policy Center, Marriage Matters, Iowa Family PAC, and Iowa for Freedom.

Wait, all those Family sounding groups are run by Bob too? So that means he supports his own cause? I'll be that endorsement cost him quite the chunk of change.

Bob doesn't come cheap, just ask Michelle Bachmann.

And while Bob lashes the reins of his team of Family-sounding groups he has been all the while dogged by some smaller bus, driven by LAWYERS, who seem to think that the supreme court justice was "just doing his job."


I say it is time for the good people of Iowa to come together this election season, walk proud into that voting booth, flip their ballot over, and write down the name of one business that is currently hiring. That way Bob can stop driving around in a used GOP bus that I am certain reeks of old Chick-fil-A and Palin perfume and finally settle down and get a job.

Just not one that requires a vote to get it, those don't work out so well for him.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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