Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Rhetorical Question

Sen. Anthony Williams asks a question almost everyone knows the answer to.

A Rhetorical Question

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: It HAS to be a rhetorical question.

BE: What does? Did all politicians graduate from Me First College at the University of Greed?

JB: Well, yeah, but I had another question in mind.

BE: Shoot.

JB: Philly Democratic state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, he who spent millions of others' money in a failed run for Guv last year, yesterday issued a press release asking, "Are You Smarter Than a State Legislator?"

BE: Wow. Talk about asking for it.

JB: Exactly. Anthony, whose official website says his initials (A.H.W.) stand for Always Hard Working (which, of course, promps cynics to suggest they really stand for Always Hardly Working), is sponsoring a contest called "There Oughta Be a Law." You can read about it on his site.

BE: There oughta be a law against such contests. And maybe such websites. And maybe Anthony Williams.

JB: Anywho. He's asking folks statewide to submit ideas for some "new laws."

BE: Yeah? I've got some ideas.

JB: Shoot.

BE: How about a law to reduce the size of the legislature? How about a law to tie lawmakers' pay and perks to the state's median household income? How about a law to limit their terms in office?

JB: To what? A quarter-century? Anthony's been in the legislature 23 years. His father, Hardy Williams, was in 15 years.

BE: How about a law limiting one family to, oh, I don't know, three decades at the public trough?

JB: You may want to enter the contest. At least one winner gets to spend a day in the Capitol with the senator, and maybe even testify before a committee on his/her proposed law.

BE: Yeah? I'd like to testify all right. I'd like to testify that I'm sick of our ruling class using our tax dollars for their plush pensions and primo health care.

JB: I could sit beside you and growl at appropriate moments.

BE: So you basically agree with me?

JB: Is that a rhetorical question? Grrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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