Jargon: Kidding on the Square

At the first press conference since he won a broad nationwide overwhelming landslide mandate, President Bush gave reporters a hard time for asking multi-part questions:

Question: Mr. President -- thank you. As you look at your second term, how much is the war in Iraq going to cost? Do you intend to send more troops, or bring troops home? And in the Middle East, more broadly, do you agree with Tony Blair that revitalizing the Middle East peace process is the single most pressing political issue facing the world?

President Bush: Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule. That was three questions. ...

Question: Thank you, Mr. President. How will you go about bringing people together? Will you seek a consensus candidate for the Supreme Court if there's an opening? Will you bring some Democrats into your Cabinet?

Bush: Again, he violated the one-question rule right off the bat. Obviously, you didn't listen to the will of the people.

I thought it was funny for the president to throw around "will of the people" like an elderly Mickey Rooney constantly reminding people he was the "number one star in the world" from 1938 to 1940.

On Air America Radio this morning, Al Franken called Bush's joke an example of kidding on the square, an old expression he has been trying to popularize that means "kidding, but also really meaning it." He wrote this in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them:

If this book does two things, I want it to get "kidding on the square" into the lexicon, and I want it to get Bush out of the White House.

So I guess we'll have to settle for making "kidding on the square" popular.

Add a Comment

All comments are moderated before publication. These HTML tags are permitted: <p>, <b>, <i>, <a>, and <blockquote>. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA (for which the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply).