Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Ever since I declared the campaign over and Obama the winner the Clinton camp has been trying to make a big deal out of the words being used by Barack as if english grammer and usage has any place in politics. With our colleges cranking out graduates functionally illiterate when it comes to english grammer and usage does anyone really care?

All you have to do to witness the massacre of the english language is watch the evening news or read your favorite newspaper. Still the Hillary mouthpieces did have a little point. Obama quoted famous people and then quoted his friend the governor of Massachusetts but forgot to credit the sources of all his quotes. Seems there is little room for a bibliography in TV sound bytes.

But to accuse him of plagiarism? Come on Hillary, pull your pants suit up and take it like a man. He managed to turn your words around and you got miffed so you accused him of taking someone else's words and passing them off as his own. We all know who said "I had a dream" and it wasn't Obama. The only thing Obama did wrong was to trust his speech writers too much but that is always a problem for politicians.

No, there are far worse things a politician can do than forget to identify a source of inspirational words. They might just forget to quote the truth. Remember this quote?

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time - never. These allegations are false." January 1998

And then there was this follow up quote.

"I did have a relationship with Ms Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible." August 1998

Perhaps there are times when the public interest can be best served by not mentioning the source of the quotes. This is presidential politics, America's alternative entertainment when the World Wrestling Federation is not slamming bodies on the mat on TV. Remember the words Lewis Carroll wrote in the wonderful Alice in Wonderland.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," said Alice. "Oh you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here."

No comments: