Wordplay III: Politics Edition

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH

 

In this series, I have highlighted headlines that are cleverly expressed, making use of puns, irony, figurative language, or unexpected word choices to grab a reader’s attention. Not surprisingly, the Trump administration has so unabashedly flouted all sorts of political conventions that headline writers have felt freer to write headlines that during previous administrations might have seemed unnecessarily flippant or unjustifiably disrespectful.

 

Here are my most recent additions to this running list:

“American Dream Week a Smashing, Mostly Uninvestigated Success.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 4 Aug. 2017.]

“Avoiding War Takes Patience, Intelligence, Care, Skill And Wisdom. Uh-Oh.” [Op-Ed by Tom Toles. Washington Post 9 Aug. 2017.]

“The Endless, Impossible Search for Just One Conversation That Doesn’t Mention Trump.” [Article by Levanya Ramanathan for the Washington Post. 9 Aug. 2017.]

“Jason Chaffetz Blast Congress for Leaving the Capitol Early, and No One Misses the Irony.” [The Week Daily Newsletter. 7 Aug. 2017. Largely because he was in a very uncomfortable position in the Trump investigations, Chaffetz abruptly quit Congress at the end of June to join Fox News.]

“Leaks, and the Leaking Leakers Who Leak Them.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 4 Aug. 2017.]

“Mitch Hunt.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 10 Aug. 2017.]

“Old Man on Golf Course Complains about Other People Not Working.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 10 Aug. 2017.]

“Peter Not Thieling It.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 7 Aug. 2017. Heading of Section on Peter Thiel’s cooling enthusiasm for Trump’s Presidency, including a prediction that Trump will serve for only one term.]

“President Trump Defends Base amid Reports That It Is Shrinking.” [The Week Daily Newsletter. 7 Aug. 2017.]

“Republicans Are Frantically Trying to Convince the Public Their Party Is Not in Disarray.” [Article by Joan McCarter for Daily Kos. 4 Aug. 2017.]

“Slouching toward Mar-a-Lago: The Post-Cold-War Consensus Collapses.” [Op-Ed by Thomas J. Bacevich for TomDispatch. Truthout Daily Newsletter. 8 Aug. 2017.]

“Sources Say Mueller Has a Grand Jury; Others Say It’s Just an Okay One.” [Morning Jolt Daily Newsletter, written by Jim Geraghty for National Review. 4 Aug. 2017.]

“Stephen Miller Is Being Considered for White House Communications Director.” [Article by Charlie May for Salon.com 5 Aug. 2017. This is the guy who just described the inscription on the Statue of Liberty as an unfortunate afterthought and who categorized as racist even asking whether the requirement that immigrants already speak English might be racist. He’s kind of a bloodless version of Scaramucci.]

“Trump Edges Closer to a Trade War with China, Thanks to Aluminum Foil.” Article by Ana Swanson for the Washington Post. 9 Aug. 2017.]

“Trump Responds to North Korea Threat to Turn U.S. into ‘Sea of Fire’: We Will Also Do Fire Things to You!” [Article by Joshua Keating included in The Slatest Daily Newsletter from Slate.com. 9 Aug. 2017.]

“We Need One Sane Leader in the U.S.–North Korea Standoff. Pressure’s on You, Kim Jong-un.” [Article by Joshua Keating included in The Slatest Daily Newsletter from Slate.com. 9 Aug. 2017.]

“A Week without Trump’s ‘Weeks.’” [Column by Gail Collins. New York Times 5 Aug. 2017.]

“White House’s ‘We Don’t Care Much for Brown Folks Week’ Going OK.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 2 Aug. 2017.]

“With Few Wins in Congress, Republicans Agree on the Need to Agree.” [Article by Jennifer Steinhauer for the New York Times. 4 Aug. 2017.]

 

Over the past several weeks, the resignations of Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, as well as Anthony Scaramucci’s sudden rise an fall, have all very predictably inspired headline writers:

“Failure to Communicate.” [The Atlantic Daily Newsletter. 21 July 2017.]

“Here Today, Sean Tomorrow.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 21 July 2017.]

“’I’ll Fix This,’ Sean Spicer Says of Slow News Day.” HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 11 Apr. 2017.]

“Sean but Not Forgotten.” [Think Progress Daily Newsletter. 21 July 2017.]

“Sean Voyage.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 21 July 2017.]

“Spicey Bails, White House Flails, Mooch Prevails.” [Daily Beast Politics Daily Newsletter. 21 July 2017.]

 

“Goodnight, Sweet Reince.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 28 July 2017.]

“Priebus Excited to Spend More Time with His Cereal and Baileys.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 28 July 2017.]

“Reince Previous.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 28 July 2017.]

 

“All the Mooch That’s Fit to Print.” [Op-Ed by Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post. 8 July 2017.]

“Anthony Scaramucci, We Hardly Knew Ye.” [HuffPost Politics Daily Newsletter. 31 July 2017.]

“Farewell to The Mooch, Trump’s Best Hire.” [The Slatest Daily Newsletter from Slate. 31 July 2017.]

“Mooch Ado about Staffing.” [The Atlantic Daily Newsletter. 31 July 2017.]

“Mooch Carefully Studying Local Cinnabon Manager’s Hand Gestures.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 31 July 2017.]

“The Mooch: White House Communications Mis-director.” The G-File, the weekly newsletter from Jonah Goldberg of the National Review. 28 July 2017.]

“Too Mooch Too Soon.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 31 July 2017.]

 

Likewise, over the past several months, the muddled contents and muddied prospects of the Senate’s bill repealing and replacing the ACA prompted a large number of memorable headlines:

“The AHCA Is Only Mostly Dead. (And Mostly Dead Is Partly Alive.)” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 23 Mar. 2017.]

“AHCApocalypse Now.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 24 Mar. 2017.]

“AHCA-ward Pause.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 23 Mar. 2017.]

“Americans to Save Millions on Healthcare by Being Dead.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 14 Mar. 2017.]

“Between Trump and a Hard Place.” [The Progress Report Daily Newsletter from the Center for American Progress. 13 Apr. 2017.]

“Days, Lifespans to Get Shorter.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 22 June 2017. Note the date.]

“Death of a F***ing Salesman.” [Article by Keven D. Williamson for the National Review. 30 July 2017.]

“Dying GOP Healthcare Bill Wishing It Took That Trip to Italy.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 13 July 2017.]

“The GOP’s Faceplant.” [Article by Michael Brendan Dougherty Included in The Week Daily Newsletter. 25 Mar. 2017.]

“The GOP’s Groundhog Day.” [The Week’s Daily Business Briefing. 20 July 2017.]

“Hellcare.” [ThinkProgress Daily Newsletter. 7 Mar. 2017.]

“Millions of Americans Gain Snow Coverage.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 14 Mar. 2017.]

“Mitch McConnell Is No Mitch McConnell.” [Ryan Grim Daily Newsletter. 18 July 2017.]

“National Treasure 3: The Search for the Secret Health Care Bill.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 2 Mar. 2017.]

“Obamacare Repeal Grateful Hospice Covered by Obamacare.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 17 July 2017.]

“Obamacare Repeal Possibly Going to Live on Farm Upstate.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 27 June 2017.]

“Paul Ryan Suddenly Grateful For Obamacare’s Psychiatric Coverage.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 8 Mar. 2017.]

“Repeal and Retweet.” [The Atlantic Daily Newsletter. 30 June 2017.]

“Repeal and Splat!” [Item in HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 30 Mar. 2017.]

“The Republicans Are Dismayed That They Are Unable to Coordinate on Hurting People.” [Op-Ed by Tom Toles. Washington Post 24 July 2017.]

“Republicans Land a Punch on Health Care, to Their Own Face.” [Article by Jennifer Steinhauer for the New York Times. 24 Mar. 2017.]

“The Senate Health-Care Bill Might Be Less Populist than Marie Antoinette.” [Wonkbook Daily Newsletter, by Matt O’Brien. Washington Post. 28 June 2017.]

“Senate Readies For Passively-Kill-A-Bunch-Of-People-A-Rama.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 27 July 2017.]

“Senate Republicans Don’t Even Know What Bill They’ll Be Voting On Anymore.” [The Slatest Daily Newsletter from Slate 19 July 2017.]

“Senate Republicans Terrified That Their Health Care Bill Might Become Law.” [The Slatest Daily Newsletter from Slate. 27 July 2017.]

“Somewhere John Boehner Is Sipping Merlot.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 23 Mar. 2017.]

Trump Eager to Move Past Health Care And Focus on Rampant Treason.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 22 Mar. 2017.]

“Trump: GOP Health Bill Will Be ‘Even Better’ after White House Lunch.” {Breaking News. Newsmax 19 July 2017.]

“Wealth Care.” [The Progress Report Daily Newsletter from the Center for American Progress. 7 Mar. 2017.]

“Your Tumor Having the Worst Week in Washington.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 25 June 2017.]

 

And, of course, over the past six months, and more, there has been much dry to savage wit on exhibit in the headlines to Russia-related articles:

“All the Nunes That’s Fit to Print.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 30 Mar. 2017.]

“All the Predisent’s Men.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 15 June 2017.]

“America Relieved It Didn’t Elect the Reckless Email Candidate.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 12 July 2017. After release of Donald, Jr’s e-mails about the meeting with Russians.]

“BREAKING—White House Starting to Realize They’re in Deep Shit.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 19 May 2017.]

“Cloudy with a Chance of Obstruction.” [InProgress Weekly Newsletter from the Center for American Progress. 9 June 2017.]

“Comey as You Are.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 17 May 2017.]

“The Crumbling Collusion Delusion.” [Article by Caleb Howe in The Morning Briefing Daily Newsletter from RedState. 14 June 2017.]

“Devin Nunes Would Just Like to Get Back to His Underwhelming Congressional Career, Thanks.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 28 Mar. 2017.]

“DisPutin the Facts.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 7 July 2017.]

“FBI Not Russian to Judgment.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 20 Mar. 2017.]

“Flynn and Out of Love.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 14 Feb. 2017. Note the date.]

“Flynn Some, You Lose Some.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 14 Feb. 2017.]

“He’s . . . Out like Flynn!” [Morning Jolt Daily Newsletter, written by Jim Geraghty for National Review. 14 Feb. 2017.]

“How Many Russians Does It Take to Attend a Meeting with Trump, Jr.?” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 14 July 2017.]

“In Washington’s Daily Trump Wars, Devin Nunes Becomes a Human Shield.” Article in the New York Times. 24 Mar. 2017.]

“James Comey Pisses on Trump’s ‘Wire Tapp’ BS like a Russian Pee Hooker.” [The Wonkette Daily Newsletter. 21 Mar. 2017.]

“Jason Chaffetz Quitting Congress to Spend More Time Reading Hillary’s Emails.” [The Wonkette Daily Newsletter. 20 Apr. 2017.]

“Low Regard for Beauregard.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 24 July 2017.]

“Make Witch Hunts Great Again.” [Op-Ed by Alexandra Petri. Washington Post 16 June 2017.]

“Michael Flynn, General Chaos.” [Article by Nicholas Schmidle for the New Yorker. 27 Feb. 2017.]

“Mike America Flynn Again.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 18 May 2017.]

“Mueller to Mull Over.” [ThinkProgress Daily Newsletter. 18 May 2017.]

“Nunes-theless, He Persisted.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 22 Mar. 2017.]

“Putin on the Ditz.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 7 July 2017.]

“Putin on the Fritz.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 12 June 2017.]

“Rep. Nunes Is a Lapdog in a Watchdog Role.” [Editorial by the New York Times. 23 Mar. 2017.]

“Russessions.” [Think Progress Daily Newsletter. 2 Mar. 2017.]

“Russian Roulette.” [InProgress Weekly Newsletter from the Center for American Progress. 17 Feb. 2017.]

“Senate Has Beauregard for the Truth.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 12 June 2017.]

“Slow Nunes Day.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 6 Apr. 2017.]

“Staging a Flynntervention.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 8 May 2017.]

“The Tapes of Wrath.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 12 May 2017.]

“Trump Russian Pee Tape Threat Level Raised to Code Yellow.” [The Wonkette Daily Newsletter. 12 July 2017.]

“Yes, There Is Such a Thing as ‘Too Dumb for Government Work.’” [Morning Jolt Daily Newsletter, written by Jim Geraghty for National Review. 12 July 2017. On Donald Trump, Jr.’s release of the e-mail chain on his meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.]

 

Lastly, over the past six months, there have been all too many other topics related to the Trump administration that have provided rich opportunities for headline writers:

“2005: A Tax Odyssey.” [The Progress Report Daily Newsletter from the Center for American Progress. 15 Mar. 2017.]

“After Exhausting All Other Options, Dems Have Decided to Do What Their Voters Actually Want.” [Ryan Grim Daily Newsletter. 1 Feb. 2017.]

“Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump Tightrope: Brilliantly Impersonating a President Who’s Already Impersonating a President.” [Article by Sophia A. McClennan for Salon.com. 21 Jan. 2017.]

“Bad Moons Rising: Hundreds to Drop Trousers for Trump.” [Breaking News Item from World Net Daily. 3 Feb. 2017. On a planned anti-Trump rally outside Trump Tower in Chicago.]

“Burn after Tweeting.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 5 July 2017.]

“’But Is Ivanka OK?’ Media Wonders as Florida Sinks into Atlantic.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 2 June 2017.]

“The Butcher’s Bill Has Come Due: President Donald Trump Is About to Victimize His Own Voters.” [Article by Chauncey DeVega for Salon.com. 20 Jan. 2017.]

“Cherry Blossoms and Cherry Picking in Washington.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 1 Mar. 2017.]

“Congress to Discuss War Stuff after Spring Break in Cabo.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 7 Apr. 2017.]

“Congratulations to FBI Director Jared Kushner.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 10 May 2017.]

“Congratulations to White House Press Secretary Jared Kushner.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 11 May 2017.]

“CPAC Your Bags.” [Think Progress Daily Newsletter. 23 Feb. 2017.]

“Damn Crankies: Donald Trump Is the New George Steinbrenner.” [Article by Matt Lewis included in The Daily Beast Daily Newsletter. 19 Feb. 2017.]

“DeVos and de Votes.” [Think Progress Daily Newsletter. 6 Feb. 2017.]

“Donald Trump Is the Peyton Manning of Alienating Mexican Leaders.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 26 Jan. 2017.]

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Trump.” [Article by Daniel McCarthy included in The Week Daily Newsletter. 22 May 2017.]

“Havana Change of Heart.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 16 June 2017. On the Trump administration’s reversing with Obama-era changes in policies toward Cuba.]

“Ich Bin Ein Humiliated.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 17 Mar. 2017.]

“Is Donald Trump Our New Vietnam?” [Article by Clara Bingham for Washington Spectator. 5 Feb. 2017. On the protests provoked by Trump’s election and his actions as president.]

“It’s about Time Someone Attacked Australia. Thank You, President Trump.” [Op-Ed by Dana Milbank for the Washington Post. 3 Feb. 2017.]

“It’s Raining in Antarctica as Trump Slashes Climate Science Funding.” [Article by Dahr Jamail in Truthout Newsletter. 3 July 2017.]

“Jesus, It’s oNly Been 100 Days.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 28 Apr. 2017.]

“Job-Killing Lyin’ King President.” [Article by Tom Hastings for L.A. Progressive. 18 Mar. 2017.]

“Justin Time.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 16 June 2017. On Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada.]

“Low-Energy Huddled Masses Are Tired & Poor. Also Tempest-Tost. Sad! #MAGA.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 30 Jan. 2017.]

“The Madness of King Donald.” [Article by Paul Street Included in the Truthdig Daily Headlines Newsletter. 17 May 2017.]

“Make America America Again.” [Item by David Fuchs for Diane Ravitch’s Blog. 20 Jan. 2017.]

“Make America Venus Again.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 1 June 2017.]

“Mean Buffoon Is Unpopular.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 17 July 2017. On Trump’s sagging poll numbers.]

“Muslim Ban . . . demonium.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 3 Feb. 2017.]

“Notre Don.” [The Atlantic Politics Daily Newsletter. 13 July 2017. On Trump’s trip to France for Bastille Day.]

“President Tweets Nonsense, World Somehow Surprised.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 31 May 2017.]

“Puzder, We Hardee’s Knew Ye.” [The Atlantic Politics and Policy Daily Newsletter. 15 Feb. 2017.]

“Quiet Canadian Self-Satisfaction Reaches All-Time High.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 13 Feb. 2017.]

“Republicans, North Korea Considering Nuclear Option.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 3 Apr. 2017. On the vote on Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination to the Supreme Court.]

“A Revitalized Pittsburgh Says the President Used a Rusty Metaphor.” Article in the New York Times. 2 June 2017.]

“The Sorest Winner of All Time Cannot Stop Whining.” [Daily 202 Newsletter from the Washington Post. 24 Jan. 2017.]

“Stephen Colbert: Trump’s Inaugural Address like Lincoln Huffing Paint Thinner.” [Crooks and Liars Daily Newsletter. 22 Jan. 2017.]

“Trump Begins Gulf Outing.” [Voice of America Daily Newsletter. 19 May 2017. On Trump’s first international trip to Sadi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.]

“Trump Caps Off Infrastructure Week by Burning Down Some Bridges.” [Vox Sentences Daily Newsletter. 9 June 2017.]

“Trump Draws Praise for Not Arresting Keith Ellison.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 1 Mar. 2017.]

“The Trump Family Demonstrates Why America Shuns Hereditary Rule.” [Daily Dispatch Newsletter from The Economist. 12 July 2017.]

“Trump Launches Infrastructure Week with Bridge Burning.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 5 June 2017.]

“Trump Says The Words ‘I Love Honesty.’” [Crooks and Liars Daily Newsletter. 22 Jan. 2017.]

“Trump the 9th Circus.” [American Spectator Daily Newsletter. 10 Feb. 2017.]

“Trump’s ‘Infrastructure Week’ Goes off the Rails.” [News Alert from TheHill. 9 June 2017.]

“Vulgarians at the Gate: The Next 4 Years Could Be a Long, Slow, Messy Slide into Cultural Oblivion.” [Article by David Masciotra for Salon.com. 22 Jan. 2017.]

“White House Preparing to Turn Back Clocks 100 Years.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 10 Mar. 2017.]

“White House Regrouping Before Next Round of Infighting.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 27 Mar. 2017.]

“Wow, Trump’s First Two Years Went By Fast.” [HuffPost Hill Daily Newsletter. 27 Jan. 2017.]

 

Previous Posts in This Series:

Wordplay I: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/01/wordplay-i/.

Wordplay II: https://academeblog.org/2015/05/30/wordplay-ii/.

 

Posts in a Related Series:

Can Reality Be an Oxymoron? Post1https://academeblog.org/2013/08/21/can-reality-be-an-oxymoron/.

Can Reality Be an Oxymoron? Post 2: https://academeblog.org/2013/12/18/can-reality-be-an-oxymoron-part-2/.

Can Reality Be an Oxymoron? Post 3: https://academeblog.org/2015/12/24/can-reality-be-an-oxymoron-3/.

Can Reality Be an Oxymoron? Post 4: https://academeblog.org/2016/09/03/can-reality-be-an-oxymoron-4/.

 

Posts in Another Related Series:

The Neologist’s Notebook, Post 1: https://academeblog.org/2016/01/20/the-neologists-notebook-1/.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Wordplay III: Politics Edition

  1. Pingback: Wordplay III: Politics Edition | Ohio Politics

  2. Pingback: Wordplay III: Politics Edition | Stuff for a Slow Day

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