Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is ass-kissing any way to talk at a holy site?

Somehow, it seemed so natural that after Mitt Romney stumbled  through the first two stops   of his foreign tour,  one of his aides would upstage him in Poland with the most clarity  anyone has gotten from his camp to this moment.  Resorting to an old idiomatic expression  that leaves no one guessing,  Romney aide Rick Gorka invited a reporter to "Kiss my ass".

Well, now.  The challenge was issued as a frustrated Gorka  was calling for respect - as in "Kiss my ass" - from reporters to honor a solemn moment at a holy site.  Moments later, Gorka huffed at another reporter: "Shove it."

As one who has seen more than one political aide lose it - just this morning a local pol accused me of kicking his ass - I would have thought that Gorka could have said it differently and with more panache.  I can only guess that Mitt, hopeful of maintaining a civilized tone while combing Warsaw for a souvenir pierogi,  took his aide  aside in a quiet room and advised him, "Son, that's not the language I would have used".

The ass-kissing moment did, however,  detract  from the catcalls Romney has generated for praising Israel's health- care system - a health-care success story, he asserted - for a nation with the 4th best life expectancy.

Does this fellow really not know that Israel has had a socialistic health care system since  1948 and anchored into law as a government mandate in 1995?

Really, folks, does he know anything at all?  Or did his Israeli contributors  succeed in brainwashing him, that memorable word from his father?  We're only sorry that the guided tour didn't include 50 more countries.


JLM said...

I'd heard about the "kiss my ass" but was unaware of the "shove it". Apparently Willard's Foot-In-Mouth disease has spread amongst his minions.

By the way, Abe, I was moving some things that were packed away and found a saved Beacon Journal from the date of my second daughter's birth. Paging through it, I found column by non other than Grumpy himself. The date was May 2, 1990.

Anonymous said...

Over my many decades as a reporter dealing with press agents for politicians, I also on occasion
felt the urge to tell the "spokepersons" to kiss my ass. No credit to me, of course, that I resisted the temptation. There are subtler ways to get one's point across. Also, I never had the opportunity to do so in a holy place, since I encountered very few politicians in such venues. As one trained in the craft of "pesky" reporters, I interpreted the incident in Poland as a frustration of the press which has been covering Romney for weeks, maybe months, and finding him to be elusive and opaque about how he would keep his contradictory promises to reduce the debt and annual deficits while cutting taxes of the rich and middle class and increasing defense spending. I'm not alone in scratching my head about this. A new report this week by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center said the numbers simply don't add up in this approach. Indeed, we have only to look back to the Bush II administration to see what happens when you slash taxes, wage simultaneous wars with borrowed money and run up massive deficits in the process. Yet, Romney persists in claiming he can fix the structural fiscal folly with inadequate revenues, more defense spending and unspecified belt-tightening of domestic, non-defense programs. We all are awaiting the details, which he has so far been coy about revealing. I'm reminded of the famous slogan appropriated by Democrat Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential campaign: "Where's the beef?"

Grumpy Abe said...

Correction to above comment: It was made by David Hess, who is never anonymous Computers are never without their tricks.