If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
W 4 Apr 2012
I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.
Dan Quayle (4 February 1947 – )
Mr. Malaprop, our 44th Vice President, stirs no animus in me. My sense is that he probably was not much worse nor much better than most holders of that office – an office so far from almost absolute power yet so near. And if anyone of us were recorded and had our every statement parsed with the (at times malice-driven) eagerness devoted to Quayle’s public utterances, would we fare much better than the hapless VP?
Still and all, the man certainly had an extraordinary case of what I like to think of as podenstomatoma, or, acronymically, peso (<podenstomatoma: ποδ- pod- ‘foot’, ἐν- en- ‘in’, στοματ- stomat- ‘mouth’, -ωμα –ōma ‘disease[d/swollen condition]’) syndrome – that is, foot-in-mouth-disease syndrome. (I discovered that the affliction has already been formally recognized as such, but I alone lay exclusive claim to the neologized scientific nomenclature designating it!)
There are many Mr. Quayles.
There is, for example, Mr. Geography:
I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.
Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here.
The global importance of the Middle East is that it keeps the Far East and the Near East from encroaching on each other.
Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite.
And then there is Mr. Obvious:
A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.
It’s a very good historical book about history.
We’re going to have the best-educated American people in the world.
For NASA, space is still a high priority.
Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.
The future will be better tomorrow.
If we don’t succeed we run the risk of failure.
People who bowl vote. Bowlers are not the cultural elite.
It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.
And Mr. Bizzarre:
Unfortunately, the people of Louisiana are not racists.
Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It’s the other way around. They never vote for us.
I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.
My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right.
And then, finally, there is this witless witticism:
What a terrible thing to have lost one’s mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.
Yeah, pal, speak for yourself!
In my view Quayle wasn’t exactly an intellectual heavy-weight, not – as they say — the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I kind of liked him. He always gave me the impression of someone basically decent. So language sometimes tripped him up — join the club! And I always got the sense he kind of knew the sharks in the political press were trawling for his blood, but – seemingly good-natured — he didn’t appear to mind terribly. For four years (20 Jan 1989 – 20 Jan 1993) his avidly reported zingers provided fodder for the late-night talk shows, and I do wonder what he might have metamorphosed – or not – into if he had become president.
What can I say, people? You just gotta love this guy!
[With thanks to Brainy Quotes.]