Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod (sha-rod, as the young D.C. mainstreamers often incorrectly call him) Brown has lost all respect I’ve ever had for him. Not that that is saying much. We’ll get back to the mistaken senator from the Buckeye State later.

This week, a good friend we’ll call Mel (well, because that’s his name) emailed me a copy of the late Charley Reese’s final newspaper column. The email jump-started my memory. I thought for a moment or three and thought to myself that I’d written about Reese a few years ago.

After some looking, I found that it was 11 years ago. In a March 5, 2010 column headlined “Columnists, Congress and Carhartts,” I wrote: When the latest batch of (the late) Doc Terrell’s emails arrived, one in particular caught my attention. Doc had no way of knowing this, but I’ve
been a fan of newspaper columnist Charley Reese for many years. In fact, in 1994 Charley Reese and I shared spots on The Portsmouth Daily Times Op-Ed Page, after the all-too-soon death of columnist Lewis Grizzard, who died in March of that year at the age of 47.

After Grizzard’s death, Reese’s columns were offered to Thomson Newspapers, which owned the Daily Times. Thus, the Reese and Ryan columns appeared on Saturdays at the watchful discretion of Jay Brushart. (Reese and I also share the notable distinction of having worked as janitors at one or two points in our respective careers. Nothing wrong with that.)

The column that Mel sent to me this week was Reese’s “The 545 People Responsible for America’s Woes,” which was first published in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel on March 7, 1995. Reese retired from the Sentinel, and his final column ran on July 29, 2001.)

A modified version of that column is making its way through the e-mail channels lately. That’s good. It’s definitely worth reading. In case you aren’t familiar with it, here are a few excerpts from the column.

• Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

• Too much bureaucracy? Blame Congress. Too many rules? Blame Congress. Unjust tax laws? Congress wrote them.

• The annual deficits? Congress votes for them. The debt? Congress created it.

• To put it into perspective, just remember that 100 percent of the power of the federal government comes from the U.S. Constitution. If it’s not in the Constitution, it’s not authorized.

All 100 percent of the power of the federal government is invested solely in 545 individual human beings. That’s all.

Of (350 million) Americans, only 545 of them wield 100 percent of the power of the federal government. That’s 435 members of the U.S. House, 100 senators, one president and nine Supreme Court justices. (Until JoeBama succeeds where FDR failed in packing the Supreme Court.) Anything involving government that is wrong is 100-percent government’s fault.

• All bureaucracies are created by Congress or by executive order of the president. All operate under procedures authorized by Congress. That’s why all complaints and protests should be properly directed at Congress, not at the individual agencies.

• Congress is the originator of all government problems and is also the only remedy available. That’s why, of course, politicians go to such extraordinary lengths and employ world-class sophistry to make you think they are not responsible.

• Partisans on both sides like to blame presidents for deficits, but all deficits are congressional deficits. The president may, by custom, recommend a budget, but it carries no legal weight. Only Congress is authorized by the Constitution to authorize and appropriate and to levy taxes.

• Both Democrats and Republicans mislead the public. Every president, Democrat or Republican, could have vetoed appropriations bills that did not make up a balanced budget. Every president could have recommended a balanced budget. None has done either.

• We have annual deficits and a huge federal debt because that’s what majorities in Congress and presidents in the White House wanted. We have troops in various rat holes because Congress and the president want them there.

I seriously doubt I’ve met as many members of Congress as has Reese, but from some of those I have gotten to know, few give me cause to believe Reese is anything but steel on target.

God bless Charley Reese.

* * *

• Speaking of court-packing, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ohio’s left-wing senator is in favorite of it. After all, Brown supports statehood for Washington, D.C. That, in itself, is a very wrong and very dangerous path for the United States of America.

Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat (are there any Republicans in Delaware?) is, once again, leading a group of Democratic senators in re-introducing legislation to grant Washington, D.C. statehood. According to Carper, who first introduced this in 2013, the legislation
would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state and “finally give its citizens full representation in Congress.”

Full representation in Congress? My arse. Washington, D.C., aka the swamp, has had far more representation than any other American city of similar population.

According to the latest estimates from 2019, there are 692,683 residents of D.C. Its neighboring city 40 miles away, Baltimore, has a population of 609,032, and (so far) no one is clamoring for statehood for the Baltimorons.

Closer to Brown’s Ohio home, the metro area population of Cleveland is 1,763,000. Should the mistake on the lake be granted statehood like the Foggy Bottom? Not only no, but hell no.

Brown’s support for D.C. statehood shows his true ultra-left colors. Like others in his party, he is savvy enough to realize that D.C. statehood, while serving no additional purpose for the city, adds two more liberal Democrats to the Senate.

In an Oct. 19, 2020 article in National Review, “The Nation’s Capital Should Not Also Be a State,” we read: “The Constitution defines a unique status for the seat of the federal government. A constitutional amendment is required to change that. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gave Congress plenary (absolute) local lawmaking power to exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District – the broadest power Congress exercises anywhere.

“The 23rd Amendment, passed by Congress at the urging of President Dwight Eisenhower and then-Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960, and ratified the following year, gave D.C. residents the right to vote in presidential elections as they would if D.C. were a state. But it defines D.C. as a
permanent constitutional entity of its own, outside of statehood. The Justice Department has repeatedly concluded, under administrations of both parties, that D.C. statehood requires amending the Constitution. That isn’t going to happen. The last time such an amendment was tried, in the 1970s, only 16 states signed on.”

While NR suggests D.C. statehood “isn’t going to happen,” I’m not so sure. Given JoeBama’s numerous executive order in his month as POTUS, nothing would surprise me.

Brown, like Biden, has lost whatever moderate leanings he may once have had. Statehood for Washington, D.C. would be the fait accompli for the ultra-liberal wing of what once was an honorable Democrat political party.

Last week, Brown blasted fellow senator Dr. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for not masking up. Perhaps Dr. Paul knows more about medicine and viruses than Brown.

Brown doesn’t need a mask. He needs a muzzle.

One more note about Brown. When Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced that he would not seek re-election after his current term, Brown was one of the first Ohio politicians to send a news release in praise of Portman. Before the ink was dry on the first release, Brown was busy raising money for a Democrat to replace Portman.

Brown is a hypocrite.

Sadly, he has many similar friends in what is likely to become the 51st state of the USA.

And the Minutemen are turning in their graves.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County’s only locally owned and operated newspaper.