No Hoblay EspanolishThe old saw goes, "you know a politician is lying if you see his lips moving." There's something else you'll know too, "you know a 'clarification' is coming if you see a politician making a speech."
Newt Richgrinch is the latest politician limping for cover with a foot full of self-inflicted buckshot. He went on Hannity and Colmes to "clarify" language he used at a weekend meeting of the National Federation of Republican Women. His speech advocated abolishing bilingual education so people wouldn't speak, "the language of living in the ghetto". That was an odd statement from a man whose only experience with ghettos is watching Huggy Bear on Starsky and Hutch reruns.
Strangely, Hispanic leaders were inexplicably miffed at the slight. Who knew?!
Watch Out, His Lips Are Moving!
With his furiously moving lips in a sling, Newter decided a little fence-mending was in order. However, he took an odd route to his attempted mea culpa. I "did not refer to Spanish," Newt said while moving his lips. "What I meant is very clearly, Alan (sic)," apparently speaking of the newly created language of Alanish.
Um, Newt? NOT!
Though he refused to say exactly which language he did mean, he went on to give a seriously convoluted clarification that would make the best obfuscating lawyer get all misty.
"Now, I’ll let you pick — frankly, ghetto, historically had referred as a Jewish reference originally," said Linguist-in-Chief Snoot (who apparently could use a few grammar lessons his own self). "I did not mention Hispanics, and I certainly do not want anybody who speaks Spanish to think I’m in any way less than respectful of Spanish or any other language spoken by people who come to the United States."
"No Hoblay Espanolish"
"No hoblay Espanolish there Paco. Comprende?"
So you don't want to offend Hispanics by implying they speak ghetto, but defend yourself by implying Jews do? Smooth move there Newty. Would you like to pin the ghetto-talk label on anyone else? Blacks? Norwegians? Insane crackers from Georgia perhaps?
All politicians fall into this absurdist clarification cycle from time to time. It's inevitable if you jaw like a crack-addict looking for a fix, but some must clarify more often than others. Our presidential grammarian is a master of these oopsy daisy slips of the tongue. He apparently has a cabinet-level secretary with a $6 trillion budget devoted to erasing his screw ups. Clearly the Secretary of Orwellispeak upholds the fine competency standards of the rest of the administration - $6 trillion and they still can't train the smirking chimp to say "noo-cle-ar".
While Newt may not be a world-class mush mouth yet, it would seem he's pushing hard to give up his amateur standing and join the pro circuit. Of course, these things have happened to Newt before. Remember his Contract With America - a corruption of the original Contract On America? I believe he excused that one by saying he was overcome by testosterone poisoning brought on by the torrid, extramarital affair he was having at the time.
Oops, let's clarify that...
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, April 03, 2007