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Jewish World Review
Nov. 23, 2007
/ 13 Kislev 5768
The swift boating of the English language
You're a swiftboater, I'm a swiftboater, everybody's a swiftboater. The all
encompassing phrase for any political zapping; real, potential, or imagined,
has been funneled into one label, swiftboating. No longer used much as a
noun, this verb has become overused to the point of triteness and acceptance
as appropriate English.
Language is the child of overused slang
Ain't that the low-down!?
For the record a review of who and what actual swift boaters stood for is in
They took umbrage when fellow swiftie, Senator Kerry, decided he was going
to run for president as a gung ho war hero. Kerry based this premise on his
four month tour in Vietnam as a junior Lieutenant. You remember his
response as the presidential nominee at the 2004 Democratic Convention,
"John Kerry, reporting for duty", while saluting the cheering throngs.
Quoting from their website www.swiftvets.com/,
"Swift Vets and POWS for Truth has been formed to counter the false "war
crimes" charges John Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who
served in our units and elsewhere and to accurately portray Kerry's brief
tour in Vietnam."
They wrote "Unfit for Command" to truly depict that history. Many think it
cost Senator Kerry the presidential election.
Of course the real reason Kerry lost was his incompetence at politically
handling the accurate accusations of the Swifties.
Ex-Senator Democrat Bob Kerrey of Nebraska advised John Kerry to fess up to
mistakes as a young and zealous man and apologize to the veterans he had so
blithely libeled. If Kerry had fessed up, we'd be calling him Mr. President
and dealing with his reelection. His honor wasn't beseeched as much as his
dishonor was revealed.
That being said, after trying to for deferment as a student in Paris failed,
he did enlist in the Navy and did serve in Vietnam. His failure to humble
himself in light of his mistakes revealed a character flaw that most
Americans found untenable in their elected leader.
As friend and interviewer, Don Imus asked after Senator Kerry asserted that
the Book, "Unfit for Command", was a "pack of lies" if he had read the book.
Kerry answered with a feeble "No."
The result? A new word has thrust itself into our vocabulary; swiftboating.
Bill Clinton is trying to protect his wife from being swiftboated. Obama is
attempting to avoid swifboating by the Clinton political machine.
Congressman and veteran John Murtha swiftboated marines by accusing them of
murder in Iraq, then refused to apologize when they were exonerated. Now
that's some piled on swiftboating.
New York Times Columnist, Frank Rich, accused Karl Rove of swiftboating
antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan. Wonder if he followed up the swiftboating
delivered to Sheehan as a result of her banishment from meeting with the
Democrats version of the Queen, Her Highness, Hillary Clinton?
I went to a silent auction, but a mime got all the good stuff
Man, I'm getting tired of this bastardation of the English language. How
are we to expect our aliens, legal or otherwise, to learn English if we keep
For me, I'm going to hang with my bobos while the world contemplates the
ginormous telenovela being portrayed in America today.
For all I care, the pols can all flex-cuff themselves while ingesting
nocebos and sing themselves to sleep with their crunk.
I'll be snacking on my agnolotti while I google research for my next article
about Yellowcake and its andropause effect on the male population.
Then I'm going to climb into my abaya and chill for the Thanksgiving
Put that in your viewshed and avoid the smackdown!
(Thanks to Reader's Digest, Word Power test on new words in the dictionary,
December '07 issue, for totally destroying the veracity of my computer's
spell-check. Hey, while you're in there, look on page 158 top right, Dave
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JWR contributor Dave Weinbaum, originally from Chicago, is a businessman, writer and part-time stand-up comic. He resides in a Midwest red state. Comment by clicking here.
© 2005, Dave Weinbaum