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Op-Ed: Actor Richard Dreyfuss Imagines Obama Press Conference Addressing Rick Santorum Comment

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CBSPhilly has obtained this op-ed by actor and political activist Richard Dreyfuss – it does not reflect the view points of CBS Philadelphia.

I Had A Dream Last Night

By Richard Dreyfuss

(President Obama enters the Press Room — all rise)

Good evening ladies and gentleman, I have no opening remarks tonight, thought we’d go straight to questions; so, if — whoa, Nellie! I guess so … yes, you?

Mr. Santorum has endorsed a pastor’s statement that ‘this is a Christian Nation’, sir. And his office came out with a statement that said,” This country was founded as a Christian nation …” do you have any reaction to this you might share? 

Thank you, Rush, I would like to give you one of many passing thoughts I’ve had since I heard that story, the first being, why is mine the first answer being heard from I could say mainstream politicians? Where is the voice of the party? And I don’t mean my party, I mean the gentleman who made the remark and endorsed it from others is running for this office as a Republican, or have we got that wrong?

The political parties that have basically run our political process for 200 years have argued, sometimes eloquently, about all sorts of issues, but those disagreements have always been based on shared values we all do agree with, that created the foundation that all Americans stand on.

I work under the premise that these notions are our shared started point. So I’ve been surprised this past week that no one in the GOP wouldn’t have spoken up and said, “Well, Mr. Santorum, we are in real agreement with you about conservative philosophy and fiscal this and that, but you’re going way far back, now, before we were the United States, if you think we favor one religion over another. We protect all religions by not backing one, and I’m afraid you’ve crossed a line on this one.”

That’s how I have always thought everyone thought, and agreed. It’s why so many people came here, knowing they didn’t have to pass a religious exam.

So, frankly I was waiting for the Republicans to say something first. Since they didn’t, I have to conclude they agree with this new standard that Mr. Santorum found in all the discarded standards we fought against. So if this is the Republican Party I’m running against, I’m happy to know it, and I’ll plan to oppose him and his re-defined party along the 16th Century mentality he is talking up, no offense to the 16th Century.

Mr. Pres—

One more thing, sorry; has anyone asked Mr. Santorum, does Mr. Santorum consider Mitt Romney to be a Christian? Mitt Romney’s a Mormon, and the Baptist Convention proclaimed them a cult. Does Mr. Santorum think Mr. Romney is a pagan? Or Jewish? Or heavens above a Muslim? He can get pretty confused about such things, take it from me. So why don’t you ask him that? It’s your job, isn’t it?

Mr. President—

Yes. Yes, you, Glen?

Mr. Trump and Mr. Gingrich have asked you about what you are, Muslim, I mean, or Christian, and things about your birth certificate. Don’t you think those questions are like the ones you’re saying should be asked of Mr. Santorum?

(Long hold on grinning President Obama)

I’m sorry, Glen, you’re — well, you’re just silly. Next question?

Mr. President—Mr. President—

I don’t think you’re being responsible in answering that way. I take offense at that, sir-

As do I. Next?

Sir, in an article about Justice Thomas it was said that he didn’t read the papers. We’ve heard that you had an opinion of that. Could you tell us what that is?

Well, yes, yes I can. But first, let me ask you, do you have a reaction to that news?

Sir?

Do you have a reaction to the news that Justice Thomas doesn’t read the newspapers, or read up on what people may be saying or thinking or feeling about the issues?

(Pause)

Anyone? Cause I’ll tell you right now, until I hear some reaction from the press about the fact that a justice of the court doesn’t read what you write, and apparently doesn’t think anything of it, I’m choosing to be mum on this, because it’s a pretty amazing remark, that reflects on you in a not very flattering or substantive way. So why don’t you go first.

Yes, you.

Well, one could wonder how he knows what world he’s living in; some might say ask what does he know of how modern America thinks of things, if he doesn’t read what they currently think. Is that what you were trying to say? 

No, Walter, but you did, and it’s a fascinating premise, isn’t it?

Here is the Court, drawing conclusions about the meaning of the Constitution, and issues like stem cell research, or health care, and here’s a Justice of the Court who doesn’t even check in with what current society is thinking. He’s drawing water from a pretty limited well, don’t you think?

Let me say now, before the other party makes its choice, that when one man is endorsing not going to college and that America is for Christians first, and another man in the judiciary is saying nothing in the papers is illuminating enough to take into consideration about the possibility of it creating some rethinking or of a ripple affect of his legal philosophy, then someone is trying to fight a war that’s already been won, by our side, and they sound like all the powers that were, and want to rewrite the ending of the war of Independence.  I wouldn’t vote for that Party, because they don’t know the difference between an American political miracle from an Ignoramus. When we did have a party made up of such extraordinary ideas, the people called them the Know Nothings.

Tempting, isn’t it?

For me, I’d vote for the Bill of Rights as written, the Constitution as written, the Preamble, as written, and those parts of the Bill of Rights I might take issue with I’d trust in the process to deal with. But that’s after I’ve signed what we agree on, which is probably 80 to 90 percent of men and women in the whole country, of various colors and incomes. After that, I’d go after the ideas and issues and attitudes which I think hurt us all as a country, but I’m a Democrat, and those ideas I don’t like have been collectively called Republican, so it’s part of my job description.

I’m delighted to say I defend that arbitrary line in the sand for Western Civ, which we were the first nation to have the courage to actualize. We’re allowed to disagree on everything but the Basics, which is what partisan politics is all about.  I may be wrong, but if I am, so are basically all the generations that came before this one. And people of color didn’t even come willingly, and they agree to it. So it’s pretty foundational stuff, don’t you think?

So I’m going to formally ask the Republican Party to do that, sign the Preamble to the Constitution. I would, and I think an overwhelming number of Americans would and will.

I think it’s what makes us Americans. I ask my party to do the same. I can’t think of a reason why we all wouldn’t sign; so lets do it, and if someone says “well, now, I don’t think so,” as gentlemen and ladies of thoughtfulness and grace,  they should say why they’re unwilling to have our kids taught civic rewards, responsibilities, accountabilities, the two-way street of Republican Democracy.  Are they now against trying to form a more perfect Union? Or Provide for the common Defense? Or Promote the General Welfare?

Mr. Justice Thomas, would you sign the Preamble you’ve taken an oath to defend? Justice Scalia? Mr. Koch, or Mr. Koch, either of you? Or– Who’s the head of the Communist Party of America? Whatever your name, do you have a problem with it? Mr. Santorum, and Justice Roberts, would you?

I’ll tell you now, folks, any Democrat unwilling to sign it, I will do my level best to throw out of this party. Because we stand on shared values first; then we play politics. But Mr. Santorum and others have gotten confused. And that’s a prerequisite for this job, a minimum of confusion on the basics. Not to offend any here, which I apparently do by just breathing, I think they’re silly as is the silence from the adults among Republicans — it is sad and dangerous. By the way, Sean, those who espouse such Know-Nothing views, I do intend to offend them, until they start to learn more, and be much quieter, and less poisonous.

Thank you.

(The President exits the podium)

Mr President … Sir …Wait … About being born in Kenya, sir?

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