Every week politics seems to add to the English language. Sometimes it’s a new word or phrase, sometimes it’s a new spin on an old world. It happens enough to allow me to start a new Friday column about it.
This week brought us “hawk hens.” Most of us recognize the term “hawk” used in connection with someone who believes in going to war more eagerly than most. Now paired with hen, it means women who are hawkish. It came about this week since women in the Obama administration seemed the quickest to call for war. Hillary Clinton led the charge, but she was backed up by U.N. ambassador Susan Rice and Samantha Powers, special assistant to President Barack Obama. Guess this is a blow to the ladies of Code Pink.
Then came “flickers.” Admiral James Stavridis, NATO commander, appeared before the Senate Armed Services committee. He was asked by Senator James Inhofe to comment on reports about the presence of Al Qaeda among the Libyan rebels. “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah,” he said. Flickers in a kinetic military action sounds like something that needs to be put out before it gets combustible.
Rep. Barney Frank not only invented a new phrase, he invented a new place – “cloud cuckooland.” “It is possible to take him (Republican Eric Cantor) literally, and he says this (the budget bill) will become the law of the land – you don’t understand what land he is talking about,” Frank said on MSNBC. “As with congresswoman (Michele) Bachmann and some others, we are talking about people who sometimes inherit – inhabit – ‘cloud cuckooland,’ and in cloud cuckooland, ‘yeah that could be he case.'” Is he trying to dethrone our own Steve Cohen for stupid, insulting remarks? Maybe a lot of us would prefer cloud cuckooland to Barney’s world.