Alan Simpson. We miss him every day. He was the most colorful quote-meister ever when he was the distinguished Republican senator from Wyoming.
And he clearly hasn’t lost a step since his retirement in 1997.
Take, for example, a letter he sent last week to the California Alliance for Retired Americans, which had protested an appearance in Oakland in March by Simpson and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.
The two appeared in Oakland to tout the Simpson-Bowles budget-cutting plan, which included proposed cuts in Social Security benefits. The protesters handed out fliers at the event that apparently upset Simpson a teensy bit.
He dictated a letter — date April 7, but delivered last week — to the group.
“Your little flyer entitled ‘Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!’ ” he wrote, “is one of the phoniest excuses for a ‘flyer’ I have ever seen.”
Warming to the task, as he always does, Simpson then said the group should stop “push[ing] out your blather and drivel” and urged them to “read the damn report.”
“What a wretched group of seniors” — ah, he’s being polite? — “you must be,” he wrote, then said they included in the flier the faces of young people “while ‘the greedy geezers’ like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of cr--.”
Ah, there we go!
After a few more expletives, he urged them to read the Simpson-Bowles report and the news from the Social Security Trustees. “If you can’t understand all of this you need a pane of glass in your naval [or, perhaps, navel] so you can see out during the day!” (Had to pause for a second to work that one out.)