Historical turning point

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Last updated on May 20th, 2017 at 09:49 am

Beclowned enters the US presidential race, courtesy of Dean Barnett:

Without leaving you in any further suspense as to how the brouhaha ended, suffice to say McCain’s critics beclowned themselves in the extreme. Turns out Admiral Ziemer’s 1996 speech borrowed from a speech that McCain gave in 1995.

(Via Grant H.)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2008 at 08:01 AM
    1. That’s an absolutely fantastic article from Dean Barnett.

      He is quite right that the major thing Obama has going for him is his skills as a writer and an orator. His ideas mostly crumble into empty cliches and platitudes, but at least watching him argue with Hillary is hilarious viewing.

      But McCain, who isn’t my preferred candidate out of the Republicans who started out in the race, would have no trouble acting how he sees fit, as Barnett also noted.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 03 31 at 08:53 AM • permalink


    1. I’m not surprised that the “…bumbling gumshoes at the lefty website Think Progress…” (heh!) beclowned themselves.  This has pretty much been the pattern of the left in this presidential race.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 03 31 at 09:23 AM • permalink


    1. This “beclowned” thing needs to gain traction, not just in English but in every language (considering the amount of auto-beclowning that goes on). Google’s language tools are stumped by it—when translating a simple sentence like “McCain’s critics beclowned themselves,” it churns out answers as follows in French:

      McCain’s beclowned critiques eux-mêmes.


      McCain’s críticos beclowned si.



      There’s clearly a need to get this word into dictionaries worldwide as soon as possible.

      Posted by SoberHT on 2008 03 31 at 10:03 AM • permalink


    1. Beclowning is typically an hysterical response.  As such, it’s a characteristic of lefties.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 03 31 at 10:21 AM • permalink


    1. Even after ThinkProgress posted a correction, their commmenters continued to rage along as if they had McCain by the balls, some suggesting that the only reason he doesn’t withdraw from the Presidential race is because the “corporate media” is too pro-GOP(!).

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 03 31 at 11:05 AM • permalink


    1. Hehe… there’s nothing better than a good beclowning in the morning!

      Posted by Baron on 2008 03 31 at 11:16 AM • permalink


    1. The ThinkProgress retraction was something of a joke.  They just appended a somewhat strange excuse at the end of their original attack.

      Posted by Andy Freeman on 2008 03 31 at 11:23 AM • permalink


    1. #3, I reckon we need to get out in front of the burgeoning impulse to get “beclown” into the public eye.

      Back in the day, a word’s usage changed slowly over time, often not in a good way, see coney for an example. Here in the digital age, it can happen in a silicon second.

      “Beclown” was originally a transitive verb, but our new usage is strictly reflexive, in that one beclowns one’s self by one’s own ridiculous acts.

      I propose “enclown” as the new transitive usage in the sense that Al Gore enclowns those who believe his BS. This would keep a useful distinction between a self-induced state and an active process aimed at someone else.

      Googling “enclown” hits a few French and German uses, but almost nothing in English, so it’s a word ripe to be turned to whatever usage we find most irritating to the Left.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2008 03 31 at 11:32 AM • permalink


    1. Wait a minute. Do you mean that the Left’s assault on beclowned didn’t work?

      Posted by moptop on 2008 03 31 at 01:26 PM • permalink


    1. #8

      Harry, you are absolutely correct. So…

      The dopey kid on the block beclowns himself by believing in Earth Hour, for example, and attempts to enclown his neighbors by yelling at those whose lights remain on.

      (By the way, this year’s Earth Hour had no traction in the U.S., but there was such favorable press for it after the fact that we can anticipate a mass-enclowning effort by the MSM next March.)

      Posted by SoberHT on 2008 03 31 at 01:44 PM • permalink


    1. Yes, SoberHT, exactly what I had in mind—a beclowned person tries to enclown his fellow citizens, some of whom may demonstrate their own enclowning by beclowning themselves in public.

      All the participles work out nicely.

      I sure hope this works better than my recent futile attempt to get “Spitzer” into common usasge as a euphemism for “penis”.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2008 03 31 at 03:24 PM • permalink


    1. #11

      I am surprised at that. That seems like a natural. Maybe with baseball season here, I can start something among my fellow New York Mets fans:

      “Whoa! He caught that right in the Spitzer!”

      Posted by SoberHT on 2008 03 31 at 03:59 PM • permalink


    1. #1 Ash

      He is quite right that the major thing Obama has going for him is his skills as a writer and an orator. His ideas mostly crumble into empty cliches and platitudes,

      Just like Queensland is bigger than Texas, so it is that Kevin Rudd is bigger on empty cliches and platitudes than Obama.

      “It’s a long time between drinks here at the fork in the road just past the bridge too far where we shook the tree to meet the challenges ahead,” Rudd will say in connection with anything.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 03 31 at 06:10 PM • permalink


    1. Clinton, after meeting Rudd, has decided to withdraw from the presidential race. Must have decided having him phoning every day wasn’t worth the presidency.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 03 31 at 06:12 PM • permalink


    1. It also explains why Obama didn’t want to be in the same room as Kevin.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 03 31 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. Hmmm. My wife was watching the morning news when she said Clinton had dropped out of the race. God knows what she heard. What a relief. I want Clinton and Obama to slug it out to the end because they are both cracking up under the strain.

      Just saw the ABC. Rudd out on a limb supporting the least likely of the three contenders to be president.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 03 31 at 07:16 PM • permalink


    1. #16 I thought I must have missed something.  You’re right of course, it is very important that Billary hang in there for as long as possible.  And who knows? it would be a better outcome than ‘I might have had to rise from adversity’ Obama (nods to Lyle).

      Posted by entropy on 2008 03 31 at 10:51 PM • permalink


    1. OT – #8 Harry, I found it interesting that the OED reference for “coney” included the OT Hebrew “shaphan” for rabbit.

      An interesting (or not) fact: “Sephard” (Spanish Jew) derives from the semitic language of the Phonecians and the word in that language for “rabbit”.

      The ancient Phonecians, upon discovering Spain, saw many of these animals there and so named the land “Shaphan”, which is also the Hebrew word for rabbit. “Sepharad”, the Hebrew word for Spain is derived from this early moniker.

      So, today Jews are distinguished (largely) into to two groups: one, named after the Hebrew for Germany (“Ashkenaz”); and the other, named after the word for Spain (“Sepharad”).

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2008 03 31 at 11:26 PM • permalink


  1. Good stuff, Mental, in places where there were no rabbits, the OT word was translated to local language as “rock-badger”, LOL.

    Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2008 04 01 at 11:44 AM • permalink