Perhaps the only great thing to come out of this election cycle, for me at least, has been the smartening- and wising-up of The New Yorker’s political talk. I will never have as much political common ground with TNYer as I do with, say, The Nation, but there is a reason I don’t read The Nation: it’s a slog. So, just like I, with chagrin and regret, listen to more NPR than I do Democracy Now!, I read The New Yorker and hope for the best. Lately it seems they have done a better-than-mediocre job coming out swinging against McCain. Why this makes them automatically pro-Obama is somewhat lost on me, but they are a mainstream magazine, what can you expect.

But this little gem, from a great (if overly short) piece on “The Republican war on words” by James Woods, was so perfect it gave me a little chill (and again, I have to untidily center since WordPress doesn’t offer a block indent, sigh):

“Hearing her [guess who he’s talking about?] being interviewed by Sean Hannity, on Fox News, almost made one wish for a Republican victory in November, so that her bizarre locutions might be available a bit longer to delve into. At times, even Hannity looked taken aback; his eyes, slightly too close to each other, like the headlamps on an Army jeep, went blank, as if registering the abyss we are teetering above. Or perhaps he just couldn’t follow. The most revealing moment happened earlier, when she was asked about Obama’s attack on McCain’s claim that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. “Well,” Palin said, “it was an unfair attack on the verbage that Senator McCain chose to use, because the fundamentals, as he was having to explain afterwards, he means our workforce, he means the ingenuity of the American people. And of course that is strong, and that is the foundation of our economy. So that was an unfair attack there, again, based on verbage that John McCain used.” This is certainly doing rather than mere talking, and what is being done is the coinage of “verbage.” It would be hard to find a better example of the Republican disdain for words than that remarkable term, so close to garbage, so far from language.”

(PS: Oodles of great things are happening here in The Paltz with Brittany Turner, aka “The Nader of New Paltz”‘s campaign! I have a lot of say about playing the spoiler game, and will be back soon to ramble on about it. In the meantime, if you’re in NP and want to help out with her campaign, contact me at!)

2 Responses to “verbage”

  1. leopold

    damn, you are good lagusta. its always a good sign when i laugh out loud re
    “it would be hard to find a better example of the republican disdain of words than that remarkable term, so close to garbage, so far from language”

  2. lagusta

    Ah, I wish! I was only quoting James Woods in The New Yorker, but yes, that line made me laugh out loud too.


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