Vain politicians could learn a valuable lesson from Danny Thomas I’d like to write a bill that says no building, no time, in no way, can ever be named after a living member of Congress.

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Jan 12, 2019 1 Comment ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

It is a sorry fact of life that many celebrities and most politicians have egos the size of Texas. The late comedian Danny Thomas was the driving force in the creation of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis in 1962. But the hospital is named after a saint and not after Danny Thomas. Why is that?

Danny Thomas

It’s a good question. After all, when a politician brings pork back to his district in the form of taxpayer dollars that builds something, whatever it is usually ends up named after that politician. The writer and TV personality Michelle Malkin speaks of:

“…a nation clogged with billions of dollars of worthless political monuments to Me Me, Me.”

What does Malkin mean?

For example, she cites the former KKK Kleagle and late Senator Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia, the one-time so-called “Conscience of the Senate.” In his home state, more than 50 buildings are named after him or his wife. Byrd was one of the great porkers of our time, she writes.

Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Majority Leader, has a park named in his honor. Former Sen. John Dingell has a transit center; the Late Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a rail station; former Rep, Charlie Rangel (who never paid a price for cheating the IRS) has a tax-supported Center for Public Service. Lots of stuff is named after former Sen. Harry Reid who used his public service to get rich.

Note there that there is a difference between wealthy people donating their own money to hospitals and universities and porkers in Congress that utilize OUR money. If Baylor wants to name its football palace after Drayton McLane, that’s just fine – and I’m sure Mr. McLane appreciates the gesture, though I doubt he asked for it. Institutions survive on philanthropy, and the naming of stadia and buildings is a great incentive. No problem with me on that.

But when Dallas named its Union Station after the ethically challenged Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson, I wanted to hurl. Johnson, like Reid, knows how to work her position in Congress and her minority status for self-enrichment. We’ve written about it many times here at WBDaily. Hell, she didn’t even procure the funding to build the train station so why slap her name on it?

“Donald Trump’s Wall.”

This gives me a great idea on how to get the wall built. Suppose we offer to name it after a vain, egotistical politician on the Left. There are plenty from which to choose including Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and both Clintons. In fact, the “Elizabeth Warren Physical Barrier” has a nice ring. All she needs to do is pony up a few million bucks (she has plenty), and I’m good to go.

Companies like American Airlines and AT&T pay big bucks for naming rights to sports venues, so why do we allow pampered politicians to use our money to get their names on a building?

And for the record, this would be the People’s Wall, not Trump’s Wall as the left-wing media insists on calling it.

This brings me back to Danny Thomas.

The story goes – and you can read it in Wikipedia – that Thomas was down and out, and yet he put his last few dollars into an offering plate, promising St. Jude that if he struck it rich – he would pay it forward.

He did strike it rich and became a household name through his TV series, “Make Room for Daddy” on ABC and later CBS.

Thomas made good on his promise in 1962. I’ve always admired Thomas for two things: First, he co-founded an institution that has helped countless children and their families, often at no cost. Second, he did not name it the Danny Thomas Children’s Hospital.

Danny Thomas passed away on February 6, 1991. I never met him but if I ever see him in Heaven, I plan to tell him how much I admire this selfless act of mercy. I suspect that when I wrote the short story “Visiting Hours,” back in December, I may have subconsciously been thinking about Danny Thomas.

There is ONE THING that I would like to have named after me.

I’d like to write a bill that says no building, no time, in no way, can ever be named after a living member of Congress UNLESS that politician forked over the cash from his or her own personal bank account. You could call that the Lynn Woolley Anti-Vanity Bill, and I would be proud.

Then, we could simply honor great men and women like George Washington, Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan after history has proven their worthiness. Think about that the next time you drive by the Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station.

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  1. joelibird says:

    Great article

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