So I just got back from covering a forum for the Republican candidates for Secretary of State in Michigan, which was one of the most demagogic events imaginable. 3 of the 4 candidates railed against illegal aliens getting driver’s licenses – never mind that illegal aliens don’t get driver’s licenses in Michigan because we already passed legislation banning it.
Lots of railing against ACORN, of course, which no longer exists in Michigan. They’re gone. They closed up all of their offices here almost a year ago and ceased to exist in this state. But the GOP is still using them as a boogeyman despite their non-existence (just like Satan, actually). But here was my favorite moment…
Someone in the audience asked the question of whether the state could pass legislation declaring English to be the official state language or whether only the federal government could do that. And of course they were all for that, but my favorite answer was from Sen. Cameron Brown, who said — without a hint of awareness of the irony:
Well clearly English is the lingua franca of America.
I literally did a spit take. I was in the back of the room in the middle of taking a drink of water and I when I heard this I started to involuntarily spit the water out of my mouth as I laughed, then had to try to hold it in and started coughing as it went down the wrong hole. Several people started turning around to look at me.
If this had been in a Saturday Night Live sketch, it would be a perfectly brilliant satire. But Sen. Brown was blissfully oblivious to the irony of what he’d just said. So was the entire audience, as near as I could tell. But I’m still chuckling about it.