Lest we forget indeed. Today marks the fourth anniversary of a profound day in recent U.S. political history, one that clearly illustrated the asinine adolescent pathetically juvenile depths to which debate has sunk in BushLand. And typically, the frightwing nuts don’t even realize the joke’s on them. Not that it’s that much of a laughing matter.
Wisely utilizing his time as Chairman of the House Administration Committee, then-congressman Bob Ney mandated that French fries –you know, those ubiquitous Belgian frites— be officially renamed “freedom fries” in three dining halls on Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill as a way to punish France for not blindly buying into the blatantly manipulated and patently false intelligence that George W. Bush cited for his reasons to invade Iraq. (As far as anyone knows, French kissing and French ticklers, insofar as their use in Capitol Hill corridors, were not renamed. Freedom ticklers?)
If you don’t remember what’s become of Ney since, the first line of his wiki biography should suffice:
Robert William “Bob” Ney … is an American politician and federal prisoner from the U.S. state of Ohio.
Last October Ney pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and on March 1, began serving his 30 month sentence.
But I digress.
House Republicans weren’t trying to set the record straight on the origin of the fry. Few probably actually knew. The renaming though most certainly had the opposite effect, since gourmets and gourmands in France were more annoyed with the term “French” being wrongly applied to a puffy, greasy diced potato in the first place. At the time, a French embassy spokeswomen made no comment, except to note that French fries are indeed Belgian in origin.
We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes.
So serious in times of war, those French.
French-bashing remained de rigueur among the likes of Ann Coulter and her ilk, but things slowly began to change. A little more than two years later, North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones, who initially led the cafeteria purge with Ney, changed his tune and regretted his pettiness when he shifted positions on the war, Jacques Chirac was right, and by August of last year, tempers cooled and cholesterol levels dipped enough so that “French” was quietly returned as the Belgian fried potato’s primary descriptor, and everything new was wrong again.