Monday, July 28, 2008

Dianosphere, blog of Martin Diano

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Political Insult: An Art Form Perfected Over The Centuries
The Political Insult: An Art Form Perfected Over The Centuries

At the 1992 Republican convention, Dan Quayle, upon his nomination as the vice presidential running mate with George H. Bush, proudly declared that he intended to "be a pit bull" in the campaign that year. When Democratic candidate Bill Clinton was asked by a reporter about the remark, he responded, "That's got every fire hydrant in America worried."

To make a stinging comeback when you have been verbally attacted requires quick thinking, wit, courage, and sometimes a bit of preparation.In politics, the political insult has been perfected to an art form.

Here is one from the 18th. century:The 18th. century political reformer John Wilkes was apparently in a heated argument with John Montagu, the Forth Earl of Sandwich, who shouted "I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox." (Pox during that era meant venereal disease.)Wilkes replied, That sir, depends on whether I embrace your Lordship's principles or your Lordship's mistress."

Wow! Not bad.

How about this one from Winston Churchill:When Winston Churchill, who liked to tip a few every now and then, ran into Socialist Parliament member Bessie Braddock at a party she said, "Mr. Churchill, you are drunk."To which he replied, "And Bessie, you are ugly. I'll sober up in the morning."

These are a few examples of classic political insults compiled by Chris Lamb, a professor at South Carolina's College of Charleston. Mr. Lamb found so many insults during his research that he complied them all in a book titled "I'll Be Sober in the Morning."

Churchill is widely credited with some of the best insults of all time is said to have thought of some of his beforehand, concludes Professor Lamb.Here's one more Churchill classic: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee,""If you were my wife, Nancy, I'd drink it."

With the presidential race in full swing, let's pay close attention. Let's see if we can determine which of the political insults were preplanned from those that were spontaneous.For all the quips and insults compiled by Professor Lamb, you can purchase "I'll Be Sober in the Morning." from

No comments: