Monday, November 5, 2012

Living well: Get it right!

Okay, for the record, you don't have to actually know that it was English poet and orator George Herbert (1593 - 1633) who first coined the phrase “Living well is the best revenge,” among other juicy one-liners. (In point of fact, until very recently, I believed it was first said by Oscar Wilde, and most regular readers know what a pedant I am about these things.)

For all I care, you can imagine it came from the Star Trek movies, just like “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!,” and “Only Nixon could go to China.” Honestly, I don't care that much.

But to pretend that you've never even heard the line before, and that Obama's remark, ”Voting is the best revenge,” is some kind of out-of-the-blue, deep-psych evidence of his incredibly well-suppressed black rage -- and not a Jeopardy!-level allusion to a well-known line (at least well-known since the seventeenth century to people who could read) about the best way to irritate the people who don't like you -- well, that just makes you look like a fool.

Or like someone who hates Obama so much, just for being Obama (as opposed to the many valid reasons for being irked at him), that they'll say anything in the attempt to make him look bad,  which amounts to the same thing.

Seriously, conservatives: If you're really conservative, complain about what he's done to the Fourth Amendment. Or complain about his Congress-circumventing drone wars.

But this -- this “revenge” thing? It just makes you look foolish, no matter how much it dog-whistles to the base. Stop it. Or keep it up. Your call.

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