Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column today is particularly hot, rounding up notable recent quotes with Jay’s own concise comments on them. Here are a couple of highlights:

Donald Rumsfeld received a rare and prized endorsement on Wednesday when Jimmy Carter said, “I think he’s one of the worst secretaries of defense we’ve ever had.” That must be a relief to Rumsfeld. For, as they say, “consider the source.”

Jay’s recent interview with Secretary Rumsfeld is here. Jay has tried to swear off chronicling the depredations of Jimmy Carter. His major National Review article on Carter is “There he goes again.” His companion NRO column on Carter is “Carterpalooza!”

Another highlight from Jay’s column today, on a subject we’ve touched on here:

In Virginia, the “N-word” has become a major campaign issue. That is really painful – maybe not unnecessary, but painful. What matters most, of course, is a candidate’s – a person’s – disposition now. The only people who ever use liberal hero Robert Byrd’s KKK past against him are snotty right-wingers. (Ahem.)

You know what would be kind of cool? If a politician, somewhere, said, “The N-word is the ugliest word in the English language. I wish it would disappear. I hate it so much, I don’t even like it when black people use it.”

That could cause a few heart attacks.

An excellent point, but Jay’s not done:

You recall that one of Dick Gregory’s books was called Up from N***** (but without the asterisks). (The word is so disgusting, I have trouble writing it out.) That was a powerful, arresting title, I must admit. And his autobiography was called just plain N*****.

I would merely add that if you remember Dick Gregory’s oeuvre, as I do, you’re dating yourself. And if you can remember when Dick Gregory was funny, you’re older than I am. One funny thing you can learn about Gregory from the Wikipedia entry on him is that Gregory is a n***********, i.e., a nutritionist.


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