Doublespeak. If you can’t master it, you’ve got no business getting into politics, especially American politics. Lindsey Graham isn’t just a master of doublespeak, he’s a freakin’ Jedi knight!
To help us better understand what some of his Capitol Hill contemporaries really meant when they said what they said, we’ve asked him to decipher their word salads. As an added bonus, we’ve asked him to apply his knowledge of all things ambiguous to comments made by average Joes.
“John McCain is not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” — Donald Trump
Translation: “John McCain is twice the man I’ll ever be. He joined the military of his own free will, and I had my rich daddy pay a crooked doctor to write me a bogus “Donald is sick” note after I was drafted, claiming I had messed-up feet. But because I’m running against McCain, and need to discredit him in an area I don’t have a prayer of coming out on top, I gotta say something that my loyal followers will accept, even if I think it’s pretty idiotic, myself.”
“Wind power is a scam. How will it heat your house when it’s 30 below?” — Tucker Carlson
Translation: “I honestly don’t understand science. Not just the crazy stuff like thermodynamics, brain surgery, and nuclear fusion—I’m talking the bare-bones basics. Like when I put a frozen TV dinner in the microwave, hit a few buttons, and 45 seconds later I’m tucking into Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes. And let’s not forget the chocolate lava cake! So when I hear about windmill turbine thing-a-ma-bobs making it all warm and toasty inside a home, especially on a cold winter’s day, I just check the hell out. And I know my audience doesn’t get it, either. Most of ‘em are even dumber than me—and that’s really sayin’ something.”
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” — Bill Clinton
Translation: “I’m totally fucked! But there’s gotta be some obscure dictionary out there, containing some even more obscure definition of “sexual relations” that means something other than what I actually did with Monica Lewinsky. In the event there isn’t, I’m gonna deny, deny, deny until whoever bugged the Oval Office decides to go public with the fact that they’ve got a hidden camera and microphone in there.”
“The minimum wage is mostly an entry-level wage for young people.” — Mitch McConnell
Translation: “It’s been forever since I had a real job; the American taxpayers have been footing my bills for as long as I can remember (and a decade longer than I can remember!). I honestly have no clue what real-world costs are like these days, as most of my needs are handled without ever having to write a check or use my ATM card. But I think most Americans are lazy, and just want to be coddled and get shit for free, so making life easier than it already is for them is just plain stupid. But of course I can’t say that without someone trying to snipe me, so I’ll simply make a statement that shows I fully understand modern economics.”
“If I could miracle myself away, I would live out West.” — Donald Trump, Jr.
Translation: “There is a shitload of really big rocks that I could crawl under and no one would ever find me. I just hope my brother or my dad doesn’t eventually pick the same damn rock!”
“I think gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger
Translation: “Get to the choppa!”
“I don’t know how you separate fact and opinion.” — Rudy Giuliani
Translation: “I really am dumber than I look.”
Now for some average Joe doublespeak!
“I think you’re my soulmate.” — Random guy on a dating site
Translation: “I want to sleep with you.”
“I could totally fall in love with you.” — Random guy from a dating site, upon meeting in person for the first time
Translation: “I really want to sleep with you.”
“I should probably mention that my ex and I are still trying to figure things out. We’re just on a break.” — Random guy from a dating site, after you slept with him
Translation: “I’m an asshole, so let’s skip the part where your friends and family tell you you’re about to make a huge mistake and just not see each other again.”
“Hey bro, pick up the tab this time and I’ll get the next one.” — Your best friend, when the check arrives at the sports bar
Translation: “Dude, I screwed up and bet the favorite and they didn’t cover the spread. If I don’t pay my bookie, he’ll break my legs. Just gimme a few days to pawn my golf clubs and I’ll get things squared away with us, but don’t be mad if I can’t. And if this ends our friendship, oh well, I’ve lost many friends like this before so, adios.”
Cover Photo: Drew Angerer / Staff (Getty Images)
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