Byline: John McCaslin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Baseball - and political - junkies from across the country have happily stepped up to the plate to help Inside the Beltway choose a suitable moniker for Washington's still-nameless baseball team, the first to take the field since the Washington Senators played their final game here on Sept. 30, 1971.
"I also was at that game - 17 years old - right on the third base line by the Yanks' dugout," recalls Jim Reiter, vice president of the American Hospital Association. "I will never forget ... an old African-American man behind me who couldn't control his tears when 'Hondo' [Frank Howard] hit that [home run]. I shook his hand or high-fived him or something, and he held on for dear life he was so emotional - and got me that way, too."
As for a suitable team name to replace the former Montreal Expos?
"I'd love to go with the Washington Van Winkles, since baseball's been asleep here for so long," says Mr. Reiter. "And I'd love the Senators for nostalgia's sake."
Other reader favorites: Switch Hitters, Right Wingers, Monuments, Gippers, Wonders, Lobby, Pundits, Porkers, Statesmen, Insiders, Generals, Candidates and Minutemen.
But some preferred the Red, White & Blue Sox, Waffles, Interns, Gridlocks, Gates, Elite, Devils, Foggy Bottoms, Lobbyists, Bureau Cats, Taxers, Spinners, Leakers, Agendas, Red Tapes, Panderers, Powermongers, Incumbents and Liberals.
Also named were Beltway Bandits, Beltway Boys, Bats, Reagans, Nationals, Homers, Partisans, Girlie Men and ... George.
Images of America's two major political wings have been frozen for generations - Democrats: the party of the little guy, Republicans: the party of the wealthy. Or are they?
"No more," says Karl Zinsmeister, editor in chief of the American Enterprise and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
In an AEI paper, he says whole blocs of "little guys" - ethnics, rural residents, evangelicals, cops, construction workers, homemakers, military veterans - began moving into the Republican column as early as the 1960s and 1970s.
"And big chunks of America's rich elite - financiers, academics, heiresses, media barons, software millionaires, entertainers - drifted into the Democratic Party," Mr. Zinsmeister continues.
"John Kerry is a perfect embodiment of the takeover of the Democratic Party by wealthy elites. …