Although I was pretty sure he was wrong on the facts, I emailed the writer and took him to task for name-calling. He promptly wrote me back, saying I was right, that Obama wasn't a mobster but a thug.
Talk about missing the point. No, I replied. We ought not to slur Obama (or anyone else, I might have added). The only thing we should call him is President. But we could also call him a two-terming Kenyan, or far more accurately, a two-terming Hawaiian.
I really should fess up here, lest I earn the label of hypocrite. Just show me a photo of Rumsfeld, Cheney, or LaPierre, and the invective rises in my throat like bile. It's irrational and inhumane, but most of us do it. Perhaps a fault line exists in our DNA that causes us to hurl insults at nasty, stupid morons.
|That two-terming Hawaiian|
The trouble is, no one maligns with style anymore. Truly vile sexist, racist and homophobic garbage aside, we still call people fascists, nazis, commies, socialists, and morons, and it's all so damn trite. Churchill called Atlee "a modest man with much to be modest about." Now that was a good one. And Shakespeare had a million of 'em, some of which could be recycled to good effect in Washington:
"All goodness is poison to thy stomach."
"He's a rank weed, and we must root him out."
"Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude?"
"Idol of idiot-worshipers"
"What a disgrace is it to me to remember thy name!"
"Vicious mole of nature."
Source: Shakespeare's Insults
So if you can't wrap your venom in a little wit, don't bother. You'll be just another corrupter of words. Oh, wait. Shakespeare wrote that too.