September 6, 2008

Bristol Palin: Shonde OF the goyim

I used to think I understood political rhetoric, that oblique insider way of speaking to like-minded people. For example, it used to be when people said "New Yorkers", that was code-speak for "Jews". As in, "that's fine for New Yorkers, but we here in Dubuque . . ."

When Dan Quayle railed against the "east coast liberal elite," I understood that to mean "Jews and their ilk." If that wasn't what he meant, what did he mean?

Now that the election is heating up, I am not sure what's going on anymore. Obviously the McCain-Palin ticket isn't speaking to me, but should I at least understand what they are talking about?

Samantha Bee, of THE DAILY SHOW, did a segment where she interviewed attendees at the Republican National Convention about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. There was no small schadenfreude watching the interviewees dodge and weave, desperate not to use the word "choice." Instead they universally co-opted the language of the last four decades of the abortion rights movement. "It is a private, family issue." "It is her decision." "This should not be a public issue." My understanding of all this obfuscation is the universal opinion, "We like it! We approve. We oppose abortion and contraceptives, too."

If Samantha Bee had interviewed New Yorkers, they would have screamed, "It's a shonde, an absolutely shonde!!"*

*A shonde; alt shande (Yid., אַ‮ ‬שאַנדע) – a disgrace; one who brings embarrassment through mere association, from German eine Schande, translated "a disgrace", meaning "such a shame"

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