We Americans can’t wait to remake the world. As a sign of our true intentions, the cleanup begins at home. More specifically, with the language we misspeak and misspell. We’ve scoured it for Iraqi words, and finding none, other than “no fly zone,” we moved on to rid American English of all French or frog terms, whichever come first. So no more experimenting on frogs in high school biology labs. No longer will a stoolie be called a toady. Pet shops will stop selling tadpoles. Developers, meanwhile, will cease building homes with French doors. And from now on McDonald’s and Burger King will only serve Freedom Fries. But how will teenage social life survive without French kissing?
On the other hand, the late Sam Cooke will be installed in America’s Legion of Honor for knowing well enough to brag many decades ago, “Don’t know much about the French I took…”
The cleansing will affect the language of American politics and sports. No longer will Larry Bird want to brag that he’s a hick from French Lick. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ former blocking back Frenchy Fuqua will need to find a new nickname. The “Little Napoleon,” Nap Lajoie, will be posthumously evicted from Cooperstown. From now on, what Reaganite will openly admit that the Gipper had an attorney general surnamed French Smith?
Say goodbye (or au revoir, if no one’s around to overhear) to Franco-American Spaghetti, the Franco-Prussian War, and Generalissimo Franco (a case of guilt by association). And while we’re at it, to the Dixie Chicks, who’ve been so insultin’ to the Texan who serves as President of the U.S. All because of those ingrate gals, young women henceforth will never again be thought of as “chicks,” nor will they ever find us whistlin’ Dixie. And if they still think they’re going back to the Super Bowl, they just better hope there’s no shortage of kicking tees.
Yes, war has its ugly side. It coarsens our culture and soul, and leaves as at the mercy of bullies and buffoons. There’s dixie chickmeister Bill Clinton, openly calling for the U.S. to be relegated to second-rank status, a project that he now sees required more than an eight-year commitment. There’s Rep. Jimmy Moran, immersing himself in the wit and wisdom of Father Coughlin. There’s Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who may not be no Patty Murray though her vision is broader given that she insists all members of Al Qaeda, not just OBL, have much in common with America’s Founders and Minutemen.
But as always the biggest bully among this bloc is the lumpen Pat Buchanan, lobbing rhetorical rockets at all things Israeli and Judaic in one long goosestep through history. Sounds like Pat is running for president again. Why else this need to shore up his Hamas and Hezbollah base? Pity too that he began his latest assault by going after the anti-Saddam former Wall Street Journal opinion editor Max Boot. You just know Buchanan would have let him be if Mr. Boot’s first name were Jack.
Happily, fortunately, there is a brighter side to American public life. Still thriving in a bubble economy, Ms. Chelsea Clinton has landed a six-figure position at a New York consulting shop. Now she will be able to afford to make illegal contributions to her mother’s campaigns. For lack of anything else to talk about, Washington’s press corps spent most of this past week rehashing President Bush’s news conference of last March 6. Last week’s EOW Terry Moran remains unapologetic. He told the N.Y. Observer that he regrets not being tougher on the president, who needs to be brought down “back to what he is.” Bush should never be allowed, Moran continued, “to stand up there and use all the majesty of the Presidency to amplify his image.” Hear, hear.
Not everyone avoided receiving his comeuppance. But who’d have expected the New York Times‘s ultra-controversial executive editor Howell Raines to be the one brought lowest? That’s what happens when at age 60 you remarry and your bride turns out to be 21 years younger. And not only that, but foreign born, and as beautiful and captivating as he is presumed not to be. One small problem, as reported by the Times itself, is that the bride, who hails from Opole, Poland, is the daughter of that province’s former governor. In other words, she’s the daughter of a former member of the Polish Communist nomenklatura. It’s one thing when we see Raines sabotage administration policy at every turn. But now we have clear proof that he’s been infiltrated. That’s why we have Enemies of the Week.