2010-09-08 / Opinion

Straight Talk by

Talk by Alex McRae

When 24-hour cable TV news services started stalking them ‘round the clock, politicians got nervous. Now that camera-toting private citizens are capable of putting their every utterance on the Internet in seconds, American politicians are more tight-lipped than Cold War spies.

That’s really too bad. Once upon a time, we could count on politicians to supply an endless stream of outrageous and often insane headlines. That’s because the politicians themselves were often outrageous or insane, a fact noted by Napoleon, who once said, “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

But now that they’ve all been neutered by newshounds, the worst you get from politicians are staged events like the time Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer his team was compiling a list of villains in the gulf oil spill, “So I’ll know whose a## to kick.”

Scripted outrage. The new hallmark of American political courage.

Makes you long for the good old days when politicians weren’t afraid to speak their minds. And by “good old days,” I don’t mean the 1950s.

During the 1800 presidential election, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and their supporters slung enough mud to fill the Georgia Dome. Twice.

Jefferson’s supporters wrote that Adams had “a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

Great stuff, and Adams’ backers responded in kind, saying Jefferson was “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a halfbreed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

That’s the kind of political “discussion” the founding fathers had in mind when they protected free speech in the First Amendment. Sadly, it’s the kind of thing you’ll never hear from today’s cold-blooded, poll-driven politicians who are afraid to offend anyone. Even this nation’s sworn enemies.

George W. Bush at least had the guts to call North Korea, Iraq and Iran “the axis of evil.” Obama wants to have them over for a play date. When Obama told our enemies, “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,” supporters swooned at the verbal tsunami of political correctness.

Fortunately, the rest of the world’s leaders aren’t afflicted with a terminal case of PC.

In fact, shortly after Obama’s offer, one of our nation’s most vocal opponents not only failed to unclench his fist, he slipped on a pair of brass knuckles, renewed his call to destroy Israel, then denounced America (again) as the Great Satan.

I’m speaking, of course, of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, who hates political correctness almost as much as he hates Jews. He also hates America as much as he does Israel, which makes him a leading contender for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

But I digress.

Ahmadenijad’s gift for straight talk never wavers. A few days ago, Iran’s first nuclear reactor went into operation. To celebrate the occasion, Ahmadenijad unveiled an artist’s rendering of a new Iranian drone bomber capable of dropping bombs on Israel, not to mention Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and the Starbuck’s in Serbia.

Military guys love to give weapons pet names, especially weapons that fly. American jet fighters have sported nicknames like Tiger, Tomcat, Strike Eagle and Falcon. Cool, businesslike and just threatening enough to get an enemy’s attention.

Ahmadenijad — bless his heart — isn’t so subtle.

At the press conference, he called the new Iranian bombers... drum roll, please...

“Ambassadors of Death.”

Shazam.

Ambassadors of Death. Gotta love it. A nickname that leaves no doubt about the bombers’ purpose or intention.

It was a beautiful moment.

You may not agree with anything Ahmadenijad says, but you have to admire someone with the guts to say what they believe without checking the polls first. It’s too bad people like that don’t run for office in America anymore.

Slug Line: 20100829 mcrae column

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