Friday, June 27, 2008


Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars is apparently not fluent in American colloquialisms. She takes an exchange from an interview with John McCain and tries to say he's joking about beating his wife, when he's actually paraphrasing the classic trick question, "When did you stop beating your wife?"

Here's the exchange, in which the Las Vegas Sun interviewer tries to get McCain to explain why he didn't name Nevada's unpopular, scandal-ridden Republican governor as his state campaign chairman:
Q: Why snub the governor?
I didn’t mean to snub him. I’ve known the lieutenant governor for 15 years and we’ve been good friends….I didn’t intend to snub him. There are other states where the governor is not the chairman.
Q: Maybe it’s the governor’s approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president?
(Chuckling) And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago…
In other words, "I'm not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole." Yet Nicole Belle either is unfamiliar with the expression, "When did you stop beating your wife?" or else she's being disingenuous, because she treats this as if McCain were actually making a joke of domestic abuse:
John McCain chose the wrong day to make a wife-beating joke. . . .
It’s McCain’s horrendous behavior towards American women, including those closest to him, that should send Clinton backers fleeing for the exits.
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, rather than accuse Ms. Belle of dishonestly making a false insinuation, I'll guess that she's just plain stupid. Dumb as a stump. Thick as a brick. Got the IQ of a toaster oven. A few fries short of a Happy Meal. (These are called "figures of speech," Ms. Belle.)

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