Politicians’ comments not as offensive as they seem

By Phoebe Maltz

Sometimes, politicians put their feet in their mouths, outraging some while forcing all who back them to frantically come up with excuses. These excuses have a tendency to sound weak, causing us to lose still more confidence in our government. For this reason, I’ve decided to reassure the American public, clarifying what politicians meant to say when making their most recent gaffes. When they seem intolerant, they are actually in awe of the strengths and virtues of America’s favorite scapegoats.

When a politician says: I miss segregation,

He really means: I admire African-American culture and wake up every day wishing I were born black.

Segregation was a bad idea. Still is. That’s why no politician in his right mind would even think of reminiscing about the good old days of separate-but-equal drinking fountains. When Senator Lott implied that he thinks civil rights for people of all races is problematic, he was immediately branded a racist. While I’d have to admit that, at first, I was pretty damn sure he was, after careful consideration it occurred to me that what Lott misses about legally-enforced segregation is the dense congregation of black people with whom he used to hang out back in the day. Lott understands that, from slavery on, black people under duress have added so much to this country, and fears that, once blacks are no longer discriminated against as much, their contributions to society will be overlooked. In today’s world of interracial marriage, Lott’s quest for people of pure African ancestry is something to look up to.

When a politician says: A Jewish cabal was the driving force behind the war with Iraq,

He really means: Damn, Jews are smart! From Albert Einstein to Woody Allen, they’re behind everything!

While anti-Semitic propaganda has traditionally ascribed to Jews absurdly great and evil powers and an almost supernatural ability to form secret webs of communication and financial support, no politician voicing such opinions could possibly have any anti-Semitic sentiment. Certainly not. Virginia’s Representative Moran’s recent statements to an antiwar audience along these lines were taken by many to be examples of anti-Semitism in its most vile form. While I’d have to admit it sure looks that way, before we get too angry, let’s consider another possibility. It is possible that what Moran really meant was that, when something important happens, Jews are likely to have played an influential role in getting whatever it is off the ground due to their superiority as a people. Moran just meant that, when a job needs to be done, Jews are always the best for the job, and that’s why God chose them to be his chosen people.

When a politician says: Gay men’s sex lives resemble “man on dog,”

He really means: Dogs are cute, and so are gay men, but in totally different ways.

Senator Santorum’s discussion of how two consenting adult men engaging in anal sex should be compared to those who engage in incest, child abuse, bestiality, adultery, or polygamy horrified many for a variety of reasons. The significant portion of this country that doesn’t blink when introduced to a child and his two mommies but is more than taken aback when introduced to a heterosexual couple with the same parents knew intuitively that Santorum’s remarks were off the mark. Libertarians gasped at his comparison between sex that is between or among consulting adults (which ought to be legal) and sex that is not. Social conservatives, on the other hand, nodded in agreement with the Senator who was talking some sense in this immoral world we live in. Unfortunately for both open-minded and traditional audiences, Santorum was actually paying a compliment to gay men, acknowledging, as so many already suspected, that gay men are universally better looking than both women and men who don’t go for men. See, we all know that dogs are cute, and, while not a perfect analogy due to difference of species, all that Santorum was trying to do was point out that gay men also tend to be on the cuter end of the spectrum.

Now you see that our politicians mean well, even when slips of the tongue suggest otherwise. These gaffes only make them all the more human, and thus all the more eligible for reelection. Don’t you think?