FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Don't think of it as the government... instead try to think about those weaselly politicians in Washington as your "federal family."
The Obama administration has ramped up the use of this term in describing the federal government's response to disasters, including the recent Hurricane Irene.
For example, they described "the entire federal family" - under the direction of President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano - "leaning forward" to support state and local governments. Does that make the president and Napolitano the parents? What a thought.
"Government" has become a dirty word in most parts of this country... Congress' approval rating is the worst it's ever been, and the president's is at or near all-time lows. Think debt ceiling debate, the downgrading of America's credit rating, etc. It's no surprise that federal officials may be trying to re-brand themselves. And "family" could conjure up images of support and security instead of an unpopular government.
Also, politicians have re-branded other unpopular words... "revenue enhancers" instead of "taxes"... or "the estate tax" instead of the "death tax."
Officials are quick to point out that the idea of the "federal family" is nothing new. the term was used under both the Clinton and Bush administrations - including by former FEMA director michael brown, also known as "you're doing a heckuva job, Brownie". But the Obama administration has taken the use of the phrase to new heights.
Critics doubt the so-called "federal family" will give people warm, fuzzy feelings about government. Instead it might make people think of "big brother" or the mafia, or if family, a highly dysfunctional one.
Here’s my question to you: Do you think of the government as your "federal family"?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
If I had an Uncle Sam, who always wanted more money, who never pitched in to help, who was the town drunk, who was always at war with our neighbors, who could not be trusted... an Uncle Sam that sent the family business to China, I would punch Uncle Sam in the nose.
Mark in Houston:
Am I supposed to have some sort of warm fuzzy feeling here? We have a government that is not working, period. We have a group vying for the Republican nomination that resembles rejects from a 3 Stooges casting call. Neither side has any interest in sitting down and resolving anything for the common good. Instead they display selfish behavior, blame whoever they can for what’s gone wrong, and go on vacations. They remind me of my ex in-laws.
Pete in Charlottesville, Virginia:
I think of them as a mooching brother-in-law who's always trying to sell me something, or invest in his latest scheme. But he's still family, like it or not.
Paul in Austin, Texas:
More like a Big Brother – a mean one.
Chris on Facebook:
Lies to me...takes my money...and I have no faith in them. Yup, sounds like my family.
Janne in North Carolina:
Have you ever watched "The Simpsons"? It’s kinda like that family.
Don in Ohio:
Yes, Jack, and they remind me of my drunken uncle who would show up every Christmas half-dressed as Santa, smelling of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and with a cheap cigar hanging from his mouth. His heart was in the right place and he meant well but, like our “federal family”, he continued to disappoint and embarrass us.