Jay Nordlinger on Jesse Jackson and “his excellency,” Raul Castro

Our good friend Jay Nordlinger from the National Review on Jesse Jackson and “his excellency,” Raul Castro:

‘His Excellency President Castro,’ ‘Democratic Kampuchea,’ and Other Barf-making Phrases

In my column today, I note that Jesse Jackson referred to the brother of Cuba’s dictator as “His Excellency President Raul Castro.” (He did this in the HuffPo, here.) I then fume, “What is excellent about a totalitarian dictator (or even the brother and frontman of the real totalitarian dictator)? Why is this dictator, or frontman, a ‘president’?”

You know what I’m talking about. This is an old story. (Remember when the Jim Wright Democrats would send letters to Ortega addressed “Dear Comandante”?) (That’s still better than “His Excellency President.”)

A reader writes, “[Jackson] calls a brutal dictator ‘His Excellency President’ for the same reason people of his political persuasion say ‘Canada,’ ‘Japan’ — and ‘the People’s Republic of China.’ It reveals where their respect lies.”

Well said. Remember what some of us joked about “the German Democratic Republic” (East Germany, or Communist Germany)? It was three lies in one. It was not a republic, not a democracy — and, given rule by Moscow, not really German.

I remember one year’s Olympic Games, when the television host, Bob Costas, said “German Democratic Republic” every chance he got. He seemed to relish saying it.

Remember “Democratic Kampuchea” (genocidal Cambodia)? That was a good one.

P.S. When Bob Costa came to National Review, it took every ounce of effort not to call him “Bob Costas.” Now, referring to the sportscaster, I have a hard time not calling him “Bob Costa.” And our Bob is far sharper.

P.P.S. Let me not be too hard on Costas. I encountered him in an elevator in Milwaukee once. He was pleasant enough. But that wink thing he did about Palin was kind of sick.

P.P.P.S. I remember when Pat Buchanan — or was it Bob Novak? — was giving Stephen Solarz hell about “Dear Comandante” on Crossfire. Solarz, who was a relatively reasonable Democrat, shrugged and protested, “That’s his title.”

3 thoughts on “Jay Nordlinger on Jesse Jackson and “his excellency,” Raul Castro”

  1. I was reading Jackson’s letter and its vomitous. First of all, his appeal for the release of Gross based on humanitarian concerns makes my stomach churn. How about releasing Gross because he did nothing wrong. The guy was hoodwinked.

    This part particularly urked me:

    “I appeal to you not to allow the issue of Mr. Gross to distract you from other vital issues such as continuing to fight poverty and promote peace and unity within and outside Cuba. We must connect the human family and address these and other pressing needs.”

    raul is fighting poverty and promoting peace and unitiy all over the place!?! How about that! As Humberto would say, “you can’t make these things up!”

    Jackson should just crawl back under a rock. He has nothing to do with Cuba though perhaps in his delusional mind he might. After all, in the mind of many afrocentrics, Cuba like Egypt is supposed to be an African country, so perhaps he feels a misguided obligation to get involved.

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