Jewish World Review July 11, 2002 / 2 Menachem-Av, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Longtime Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley was known for beheading the English language with such mutilations as "I resent your insinuendoes" and "No man is an Ireland." "Today the real problem is the future," he declared but predicted that "We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." Mr. Daley's creative word choices must have been contagious because another Chicago politician was heard to shout, "I don't want to cast asparagus at my opponent!"
Life may get complicated and confused, but leave it to politicians to clear everything up. Or, as a Wisconsin state legislator proclaimed, "Good communication is essential -- even if it isn't clear."
"Being in the legislature is no bed of gravy," one of these giants of political thought observed. That was the same Minnesota state senator who said, "Let's dispense with all the discussion and get to the crotch of the matter." Poet Percy Shelley once wrote that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." Equally true is that politicians are the unacknowledged poets of the world. They can certainly turn a phrase -- inside out.
In political debate, the level of language soars to the absolute pinnacle of platitude. When confronted by a charge that the Democrats had "put New York State in a pickle," Democratic State Assembly leader thundered, "We find ourselves in this pickle because you bought that jar and filled it not with pickles but with water, and now you're trying to jam it in the public's face!"
In a nationally televised debate, Walter Mondale stated, "George Bush doesn't have the manhood to apologize." Fired back Bush, "Well, on the manhood thing, I'll put mine up against his any time."
In discussing a local flood, California Governor Pat Brown observed, "This is the worst disaster in California since I was elected." Here are more executive and legislative platitudes that fill the anals of political science:
A full anagram is the rearrangement of the letters in a word or statement to make another word or statement. If you're a fan of President Clinton, you can anagram William Clinton into no calm till I win. If you're not a fan, you can unscramble from William Jefferson Clinton the anagram jilts nice women; in for fall.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
06/27/02: Suppository questions