‘Foot-in-mouth’ disease afflicts vast number of pols
By: By GLENDA H. CAUDLE Special Features Editor
I decided to save it.
So here’s some funny stuff instead.
And if you behave sensibly in the future, you may never be subjected to the other piece at all. (And that should be enough to get you started on the shining path to conservative living.)
But in case you’re not laughing hysterically yet, try these quotes from Richard Lederer’s book “Fractured English.” (You know I can’t resist the combination of humor and the printed word.)
In keeping with the election season and all its truly laughable pledges, let’s look at some slips of the tongue uttered in previous campaigns and by elected officials put on the spot.
From longtime Chicago mayor the late Richard Daley: “Don’t forget to get out early and vote often.” (And thus are elections won for the mayor’s party in Chicago, some say.)
From President Bill Clinton, who has suffered from increasing foot-in-mouth disease during his wife’s campaign: “I believe this country’s policies should be heavily biased in favor of nondiscrimination.”
From former Attorney General Janet Reno of Branch Davidian fame: “I always wait until a jury has spoken before I anticipate what they will do.”
Accused of not paying his taxes, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins responded: “I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.” (This is known as politico-speak. You’re familiar with it, I’m sure. If not, just tune in to any coverage of the current campaign.)
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California once noted astutely and with great compassion: “Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.” (The question is, would they want them to be, or would they prefer someone else was representing them in Washington?)
A nameless San Francisco mayor once opined: “Topless dancing is at the bottom of our problem.” (Every job has its ups and downs, they say.)
And consider these gems that do not have specific names attached to them but were uttered by public servants:
• “Some of our friends wanted it in the bill, some wanted it out and Jerry and I are sticking with our friends.” (Don’t politicians always?)
• “Anyone working for the town should be above and beyond approach.” (If only someone had mentioned that to Bill Clinton in his early days.)
• “I deny the allegations, and I defy the allegators.” (Most likely uttered by a statesman from Florida, although it could possibly be a politician with ties to Louisiana.)
• “That bill, if passed, will derail the ship of state.” (And probably sink the train in a quagmire as well — you know, like Iraq.)
• “I would like to take this time to reirritate my remarks.” (There is a nasty rumor that John Kerry uttered this line, but I believe that assumption to be irritatingly inaccurate. I’m pretty sure it was Al Gore.)
• “This year’s grant application represents a 360-degree turn from last year.” (And we’re right back where we started from, friends.)
• “This body is becoming entirely too laxative about some matters.” (I wouldn’t touch this one with a 10-foot “pol.”)
• “As long as I am in the Senate, there will be a nuclear suppository in our state.” (It’s very tempting, but I’m going to pass on this one.)
• “I want to thank each and every one of you for having extinguished yourselves in this session.” (If only it were that easy to get rid of some of those incumbents.)
• “It’s time to grab the bull by the tail and look it squarely in the eye.” (And we wonder why those Washington folks don’t see things the same way we do.)
• “My knowledge is no match for his ignorance.” (And from the moment you took office, we knew it never would be.)
• “Don’t rock the trough.” (Too many of your fellow elected officials would have a hard time finishing their supper.)
Go on now. Laugh at the foibles of these folks we put in power.
It just might keep you from crying.
Published in The Messenger 4.25.08