Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Does Dan Proft NOT Know Our National Anthem's Lyrics?

September 1, 2010 - Everybody at the big fundraiser for Joel Pollak today sang the national anthem, even the wait staff. Well, almost everybody. One guy, a well-known politician, didn't seem to know any of the lyrics. Shame on him, on the eve of the 196th anniversary of the writing of the "The Star-Spangled Banner." Francis Scott Key began writing in on the night of Sept. 13, 1814 and finished it the next day. There were 400 people there who paid good money to hear Joel Pollak talk about his campaign against Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (9th District, IL), as well as to hear the dynamic Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan recently endorsed Pollak in his bid for Congress. Prior to Pollak and Ryan being introduced, a great welcome speech was given by Leah Reicin, Hadassah National Board member and Youth Aliyah Chair. Reicin was a plenary speaker at the 2nd Annual United Nations Youth Assembly recently. While she was speaking, some of the protesters who were outside decided to come inside and crash the fundraiser (more on that here). She was aware of the momentary scuffle but didn't miss a beat and carried to introduce soprano Magaly Cordero (photo, right), who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," our national anthem. We all know that song. It's the one they sing before somebody yells "play ball!" at a ballgame. It's that song that many of us have trouble learning, but all of us know by time we've had our first beer at the ball park. Sure, most of us only know the first verse (there are four verses), but by golly we sing it as best we can and with chests swelling with pride. Not Dan Proft, not today, not at the Pollak luncheon, not at Table 39. Why, then, did Dan Proft not sing one single lyric of our national anthem? Sure, he put his hand over his heart as is the respectful custom. But as 400 people around him, including everyone at Table 39, sang every word of the anthem, Proft's lips did - not - move. Not once. It was weird. Proft is a guy who paints himself as Mister Conservative and Holier-Than-Thou, and to listen to him give a speech you'd think he was some kind of super patriot. Why, then, did he not sing along with everyone else? Did he never learn the song? Did he forget the words? He has an acceptable, if tinny, speaking voice, but perhaps he's embarrassed that he cannot carry a tune. That's just a theory, of course; I've never heard Dan Proft attempt to sing. No, wait just a cotton pickin' minute... There was that weird song and dance act he did back before the February 2010 primaries in Illinois. (What was that about? I forget.) Anyway, as a service to Dan Proft, here is the karaoke version of The Star-Spangled Banner. I suggest that he download it to his iPhone and carry it with him to the next ballgame.