The Diddly Awards

The ?heck of a job? badge for political euphemism. And the nominees are?

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Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), for her description of notoriously tough Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill., and a former ballet dancer): “Republicans may have the Hammer,” she noted, “but we have the Nutcracker!”

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), for her reply when asked after a speech how she would describe what she does in Congress: “I’m a hooker.”

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), for visiting the wretched children sleeping on cots in the Houston Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina and joking with them about how the whole experience was like going to sleep-away camp. “Now tell me the truth, boys,” he asked. “Is this kind of fun?”

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), for shouting to reporters his reply to those who dared to suggest that funds for his infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”—which would have cost $223 million and be named after himself—should be redirected to help dying people in New Orleans: “They can kiss my ear!”

Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.), who was forced to drop out of the 1988 presidential race after plagiarizing whole passages of British pol Neil Kinnock’s life story and claiming them as his own, for revealing that he still believes the verb “to write” is a euphemism. Discussing the Violence Against Women Act with John Roberts, Biden said, “People say they wrote things. I mean, I actually did write that my little ol’ self”—wait for it—“with my staff.”

WINNER! Ginny Brown-Waite, who elaborated on her trope by explaining just what she believes a congressional representative’s job to be: “That’s right, I said I’m a hooker,” she insisted to her stunned audience. “I have to go up to total strangers, ask them for money, and get them to expect me to be there when they need me. What does that sound like to you?”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

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