June 06, 2006
Au revoir, suckers

Au revoir, mes amis. Il a été bon de vous connaître.

Texas pals of former House majority leader Tom DeLay are bidding adieu to their retiring leader with a single question: "Parlez-vous Francais?"

DeLay doesn't speak a lot of French, but he relied on a few choice French phrases to taunt Democrats and the country of France for criticizing President Bush's policies in Iraq at the start of the war. His fellow Texas GOP House members chose an expensive contemporary French restaurant in Washington, Le Paradou, to toast the outgoing 22-year congressman Tuesday night in a private dinner.

"France and Iraq are losing credibility by the day and they are, I think, losing status in the world," DeLay said in February 2003 as the war loomed. "They are walking a fine line that is very dangerous."

During the 2004 presidential race, national Republicans made much of Sen. John Kerry's French relatives. DeLay would open speeches saying: "Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say, 'Bonjour.'"

After former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle criticized President Bush saying he had failed at diplomacy so miserably the country was forced to war, DeLay fired back in a news release: "Fermez la bouche, Monsieur Daschle," telling the South Dakota Democrat to shut up in French.

But when Congress renamed french fries "freedom fries" in retaliation for the French position on Iraq, DeLay didn't see the need for it.

"I don't think we have to retaliate against France. They've isolated themselves pretty well," he said then.

DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty was unhappy with any references to the restaurant as French. "This is an American restaurant (last I checked the owner came here from France some 30 years ago) that serves French cuisine," she said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"I trust that you do know Mr. DeLay is French," she said.

Yes. And the French word for "self-hating" is "se-détestant". Merci beaucoup.

UPDATE: Fixed the French (thanks to Amerloc in the comments). I swear, I tried a half-dozen auto-translaters, and "individu-détester" was the most frequent result. C'est la guerre.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 06, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

Ouch! Please, please, don't use those auto-translators without running the results past a fluent third party.

"individu-detester" actually translates as "hate person" (which might well be entirely appropriate in this instance), but what we (you)'re after here is "se detestant." (and yes, I'm too lazy to figure out how to put the accent mark in. It's so easy on the Mac that I don't bother when I swap machines.

Je suis paresseux :(

Posted by: Amerloc on June 6, 2006 8:45 PM

Feel free, please, to make the correction and strike the previous comment. I have big-time hate for Tommy - just cursed with bilingulity, or whatever ya'll call it.

Posted by: Amerloc on June 6, 2006 8:47 PM

Perry's steakhouse in Sugar Land has a number of personalized wine bins where one may store some special wine for a celebratory dinner. Tom DeLay has one that is labeled quite prominently near the hostess table. I have always wanted to break into it to see just how much fine Bordeaux he has locked away inside.

Posted by: Patrick on June 7, 2006 7:43 AM

Wait a minute - Tom DeLay is a Baptist who went to Baylor (well, they did kick him out, but that was years ago). Baptists don't touch alcohol, do they? I thought drinking was a sin.

Posted by: Dennis on June 7, 2006 8:52 AM


Don't you know we have tons of hypocrits running this country!

Preach to you on Sunday and get drunk with you on Monday -and if anyone sees me, we'll just "buy them off".

Posted by: Michelle on June 8, 2006 4:33 PM