Herewith is a guide to translating what candidates and officeholders really mean when they utter time-honored canards, clichés, conundrums, cockamamie cock and bull stories, bubbling bromides and impenetrably inscrutable non-sequiturs. (Please pardon that last phrase, but some people think they’re reading something important if it includes a Latin phrase they have to look up. William F. Buckley made a career out of hifalutin stuff like that.)
What they say is followed in parentheses by the translation. Unjoy.
1. I always run like I’m ten points behind my opponent. (I’m ten points behind my opponent.)
2. No new taxes. (I hope my colleagues have the guts to raise taxes.)
3. No new taxes. (How about increasing some old taxes?)
4. I’m a compassionate conservative. (I care, but not enough to do anything to help.)
5. I’m a progressive. (I’m too chicken to use the word liberal.)
6. I am doing this (running, withdrawing, resigning or not seeking another term) so that I can spend more time with my family. (I’m about to be indicted.)
7. I don’t believe in polls. (Hope nobody photographed me with that pole dancer.)
8. The only poll that matters is the one on election day. (I’m gonna lose.)
9. We need jobs, jobs, jobs. (That includes me. What other reason could there be to run for this doofus office?)
10. I stand for working people. (At least until I win this seat.)
11. I’ll get government off your back. (And off the backs of my clients, cronies and contributors, not necessarily in that order.)
12. I believe in the Second Amendment. (It’s only fair that women got the right to vote, right? Huh?)
13. I believe in the Second Amendment. (Couldn’t they get it right with the first one?)
14. I believe in the free market. (No one should have to pay for sex. I have intimacy issues.)
15. I’ve never been involved in a sex scandal. (But I’d like to try.)
16. Evolution, gravity and global warming are only theories. (I hated science class.)
17. Education is the most important issue. (God, I hated science class.)
18. Education is the most important issue. (Even though Nevada spends less than all other states and Washington D.C., don’t expect me to help.)
19. I am deeply religious and believe those values will inform my judgment. (Watch your wallet and hide the silverware.)
20. We need to take back our country. (I’ll take that contribution in my back pocket.)
21. I will find and eliminate government waste and fraud. (I haven’t got a clue on how the office I seek operates.)
22. Er, ah, make that waste, fraud and abuse. (I have intimacy issues.)
23. I dare my opponent to debate. (God, I hope she refuses.)
24. We need to diversify our economy. (Northern Nevada already has, but I’m too dumb to know it.)
25. We need to cut taxes to attract business. (Nevada is already a low-tax haven, so why haven’t California businesses stampeded here in droves?)
26. I’ll bring common sense back to government. (I’m about as common as you can get.)
27. I’m not a career politician. (But I can live with becoming one.)
28. I will reduce the size of government. (I have intimacy issues.)
29. I believe in term limits. (Until I get elected.)
30. I don’t believe the damned liberal media. (I can’t afford a TV budget.)
31. We need to eliminate voter fraud. (I need an excuse for losing by such a big margin.)
32. I believe in traditional family values. (Please don’t use my family as an example, especially weird Uncle Ernie.)
33. I have never stolen anything in my life. (All I ask is the chance.)
34. I see nothing wrong with accepting campaign contributions from people I agree with. (They can buy me now or buy me later.)
35. I am running a grassroots campaign. (Anybody got a doobie? I’m stressed out.)
The Barbwire welcomes all other contributions to the above alternative political cryptograph. (That’s two words in one column to look up. Buckle Billy ain’t got nothin’ on me.)
The Real Mayor of Reno
I called Reno City Hall and asked to be connected to the mayor’s office by the nice lady who answered the phone (good to see that they still have a few employees working).
“May I tell her who’s calling?”
“Her?” I asked.
“I meant his assistant,” she said.
No she didn’t.
When I got through to Mayor Bob Cashell’s major domo Marcia Morse, I informed her that city staff is now openly recognizing where the real power lies.
And the very capable Ms. Morse doesn’t have to run for office or take the extreme heat.
I’d vote for her.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.