57 2 mins 10 yrs

It’s come to this.

A Newt Gingrich ad blasts Mitt Romney for speaking French (h/t hotair):

I know, even if you can speak French you don’t want to do it too often. Just because. Even so, there was a time when men were expected to know a few languages as well as how to host a party, conduct a conversation, do DIY, strip a gun, shines shoes,  tie an Oxford knot, identify birds and animals and a long list of other things. It was about being a man, open to learning and understanding.

On the assumption that advertisers know their audience, are they really saying that knowing a foreign language now turns off GOP voters? If that’s the case, never was it more aptly known as the ‘The Stupid Party’.

(UPDATE: I see downstairs that ATW commentator Ross saw this too)

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57 thoughts on “MEIN GOTT

  1. A big chunk of the Republican base is a pack of illiterates who can’t even speak Anglais so good.

    A desperate Gingrich is now appealing to these drooling imbeciles from parts unknown.

    Won’t help.

  2. it has long been a standard notch in the platform of right wing conservatives that English be certified as the official language of the United States.

    Pete if your going to judge anyone by the campaign commercials being run, it shows how gullible you really are

  3. besides anyone who bothers to learn french and lives in America should be questioned…. 🙂

  4. Troll –

    I don’t understand.

    What does a man’s ability to speak a foreign language have to do with English as the official language of the US?

    Are you actually saying that a candidate cannot be judged by the ads he runs?

  5. are they really saying that knowing a foreign language now turns off GOP voters?

    Pete Moore

    Your memory is short. Don’t you remember the successful campaign fought by Dubya against Jean-Francois Kerry in 2004? The heartlands lapped it up.

  6. I’m not inspired by Romney. But I hope he gets down and dirty with the serial adulterer Gingrich.

    If it comes down to personal character it’s a no-brainer. The mormon guy wins by a mile.

  7. I have the greatest respect for those who obtain fluency in a foreign language.

    It’s great just on general principles, but it also opens social and other doors for you.

    It is a total compliment to a ” foreigner ” when you speak to them in their own language.

    Why wouldn’t you want to be able to have that ability?

  8. Why wouldn’t you want to be able to have that ability?

    Because you are making a pathetic play for the Redneck vote?

  9. Phantom

    As Pete might say “the only reason Americans might want to learn a foreign language is to be able to communicate with the natives when they engage in foreign military adventures” 🙂

  10. Phantom –


    One of my genuinely proud moments came when I was making small talk in Italian with a woman in a shirt shop in Rome. I mentioned I was travelling to London the next week and she asked me if I was going on holiday. I said I’m English, from London and was going back for my mother’s birthday.

    She blushed, apologised and said she thought I was Italian because my accent was Roman. I was well chuffed.

  11. He’s circling the drain for sure.

    But you know?

    He does not know the country, or even South Carolina as well as he thinks he does.

    South Carolina has done a great job at attracting foreign investment from Japan, Germany,France and other places. They’ve welcomed the new residents.

    South Carolina is not what it was 50 years ago, and some of their Republicans will resent be taken for idiots by the great historian.

  12. Peter –

    I know we can have a laugh about it, but if this truly chimes with the GOP heartlands then that just does not bode well. It doesn’t matter if they’re all teary-eyed patriots. It suggests a genuine dumbing down, not just culturally but also historically, given that France was America’s first ally.

  13. the french are scum, and it bodes nothing, we fought the french even before we fought for independence from the british.

    Every american student from the 7th grade on is taught a second language, the largest of course is spanish because we have been being invaded for decades.

    The dig to Romney is just that a dig, you know a joke. Most americans opinion of the french is that of the surrender monkeys that they are.

    your bigoted view is just that bigoted

  14. as for circling the drain as the NY brain trust would have you believe we shall see when the votes are counted and more votes than two insignificant states that as I pointed out the last person to win both was Ford who then lost to carter

  15. “2012 is looking like the year that the American public will have to face up to the fact that the Central State’s massive efforts to “fix the economy” have failed, and that Central State support of the Status Quo cannot fix what’s broken. We will have to habituate to contraction, and the belief in a god-like Savior State with unlimited powers and money will fade as the economy’s systemic illnesses–extreme concentrations of power and wealth, corruption, financial leverage, excessive debt and so on–reassert themselves. All that has happened for four long years is systemic problems were papered over to benefit the Status Quo. Everything that is broken awaits real repair.”

    Link here

  16. Troll –

    “we fought the french even before we fought for independence from the british.”

    Of all the-

    We British fought the French before you lot cut and run and had the French save your arses.

  17. hah yeah and you took every winter off, could be why you fought for 100 years, that ain’t fightin, oh and PM the french showed up as usual after the real fightin was done, now if your going say that the american revolution was won by the french it’s only going to add to how ridiculous people already know you are, ya ronbot…lol

  18. Oh my.

    Phantom may have surpassed Troll in spewing ridiculous absurdities.


    If takes a brutal, populist assault on Bain style capitalism and school boy French to take Romney down, let it roll. I don’t want this Bush twin anywhere near the white house.

  19. You want to know the real problem with Romney? he has 5 sons – yes, Daphne is correct – if President this would be another Bush-like dynasty…not something I relish.

    That said, Gingrich and Perry have blown it with their scorched-earth anti-capitalist ads.

  20. Any patriot would know that if you want to speak to a furriner you speak in English but louder and slower than usual.

  21. OK – So it seems that in order to deserve the role of President of the US you shouldn’t be able to speak French , you shouldn’t be a ‘Bain Capitalist’ and you shouldn’t have any sons.

    Send me the air fare and I’m happy to step into the breech 🙂

  22. Many will remember when Obama was widely mocked for commenting that we’d all get better mileage if more car tires were properly inflated

    Except that Obama was correct, and his Republican know nothing critics were wrong


    Sadly a significant number of Republicans go through life Stuck on Stupid. Ignorance is a core competence for them. And all national candidates must pander to them.

  23. http://chronicle.com/article/The-Conservative-Mind/130199/

    Interesting article about the conservative reaction.

    The notion that conservative ideas are a mode of reactionary practice is likely to raise some hackles. It has long been an axiom on the left that the defense of power and privilege is an enterprise devoid of ideas, that right-wing politics is an emotional swamp rather than a movement of considered opinion. Thomas Paine called counterrevolution “an obliteration of knowledge”; Lionel Trilling described American conservatism as a mélange of “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.”

    Conservatives, for their part, have tended to agree. Playing the part of the dull-witted country squire, conservatives have embraced the position of the historian F.J.C. Hearnshaw that “it is commonly sufficient for practical purposes if conservatives, without saying anything, just sit and think, or even if they merely sit.” While the aristocratic overtones of that discourse no longer resonate, the conservative still holds on to the label of the untutored and the unlettered; it’s part of his populist charm and demotic appeal. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatism is an idea-driven praxis, and no amount of preening from the right or polemic from the left can reduce or efface the catalog of mind one finds there.

  24. I will say one thing, all I see in the comments of this is hate, foolishness, and stupidity.

    Political ads are geared for 6 graders, and have still managed to be beyond the grasp of this crowd.

    The race ain’t over, Americans are the smartest people on the planet not the dumbest, you people want to spew hate and bile at the American cast of characters running for office, yet you have terrorists that have been actually elected into government.

    I will say you got a lot of hutzpah

  25. The ads are geared to 6th graders because half the country is at that level

    And that’s a fact

  26. god bless the teachers union,

    by the way the car question wasn’t a dig, some people in your area never get one. What are you driving?

  27. No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Boobus Americanus

    Let’s be honest.

  28. Troll

    Why do you think that an attack on the stupidity of a political individual must be an attack on all Americans when it is uttered by a foreigner ?

  29. “Americans are the smartest people on the planet not the dumbest”

    Says who? Typical American arrogance. America voted for George W, twice! How dumb is that?

    “yet you have terrorists that have been actually elected into government.”

    Not that tired old arguement.

    I, for one, find the whole process of American politics bizarre. It would be funny if the potential consequences weren’t so serious.

  30. PS – Having watched the ad I actually don’t think it is a serious attack on Romney for his ability to speak French, it comes across as just a jokey little dig to end the commercial.

  31. Matt

    On that score we – at least in the UK – are definitely superior to the Americans. We don’t bore our people to death with a never ending electoral campaign. We have no idea when the General Election is going to be until the Prime Minister announces it. Then the parties have just 3 weeks campaigning, then the day of the vote and the very morning aftewards the new PM moves in and the new govt starts. The whole process completely done and dusted in 22 days. Much better for everyone 🙂

  32. They would not do these ads if they didn’t appeal to someone

    And there are plenty of thick skulked knuckle dragging Euros too so don’t get too proud just yet

  33. Colm that’s exactly what is, why do I think furiners are attacking americans….. maybe because of half the things they post on here.

    Taurus is good car, just curious

  34. I have just heard that Newt the Lobbyist also speaks French and that he lived in Paris for a time!

    ( WABC radio )

  35. oh me oh my, but you know what’s really special, Ron Paul speaks Martian and was kidnapped by little grey guys with big eyes.

    They gave him special insight through mind melds.

  36. can I ask a question? I mean I knows I only speek american, but why does a post that makes way to much out of a joke about french have a german title?

  37. A political ad, even if it is jokey, like the Cain smoker ad, has an intent. Those who produce them and pay for them wouldn’t make them if they did not think they’d get the desired reaction.

    This ad knowingly taps into deep wells of Republican and US anti-intellecualism. It is just remarkable that in today’s hyper-connected world, when our prosperity depends on a strong ( not OK, strong ) knowledge of the world, and comfort in interacting with it, is it just amazing that Gingrich and his PAC henchmen would think that this type of ad would actually win approval.

    It’s a major slap in the face of South Carolina, if you ask me.

    I love the title. Sometimes English speakers who don’t speak German use it, kind of ironically.


  38. Mocking voters’ intelligence is exceptionally lame and so is mocking the candidates’ intelligence – and I think this mockery appeals mainly to those who are insecure about their own intelligence.

  39. Alot of thought goes into these ads. They’re specific messages for a targetted audience. They must think there are people out there who will respond to the idea, even if it’s just a seed planted into the mind, that Romney speaks French so they’d better not vote for him.

  40. We have no idea when the General Election is going to be until the Prime Minister announces it.


    You must have missed the fact that the coalition is a binding five year term. It’s about the only worthwhile concession that the Lib Dems secured in the negotiations and it was to protect them from the Tories calling a snap election. Of course it also locks the Lib Dems into the coalition, since they can’t risk pulling the roof down. If there was an election now they would be reduced from 50 MPs to 20 at best.

  41. “Alot of thought goes into these ads.” alot of conventional wisdom and illogical thought, as well.

    I think the Winning the Future PAC has fatally damaged Gingrich’s campaign.

  42. I think the Winning the Future PAC has fatally damaged Gingrich’s campaign.

    I think that he was toast at this point anyway, but man these guys are really sticking the knife in their own candidate.

    Troll, I told you that unlimited campaign spending and PACs were bad.

    BUT – this ad is far from the worst this time around

    See this openly racist ad against John Huntsmann, which basically accuses him of being a bad guy for knowing Chinese ( them damned lanugages! ) and for having adopted Asian children ( which the bastards show here )

    This was produced by a Ron Paul affiliated PAC. Paul did disavow the ad after the fact – but there is no limit to how low these PACs go.

  43. Troll,

    “The race ain’t over, Americans are the smartest people on the planet not the dumbest”

    Gosh, it’s a “race” is it? I’d never have guessed. I’d sooner watch a couple of severely handicapped snails doing the 100m sprint. It would probably be more exciting than this yawn-inducing marathon.

    Why do you Americans need all that time to find out who’s who and what’s what? Slow learners?

    Anyone know how long Thomas Jefferson’s presidential campaign lasted?

  44. There is no evidence that anyone close to Huntsman produced that ad – only the verbal suspicions raised by Paul camp.

  45. Watch the attack ad again.The video footage was private and could only have been accessed by Huntsman’s own people. This was his response to the twitter about one voter attributed to Ron Paul for which Huntsman did promise pay-back.

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