U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has landed a coveted speaking spot at next month’s satirical Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, and it’s no wonder. Kennedy’s constant quips, often in response to serious policy questions, may not exactly enlighten, but they continue to earn ink and air time. Here’s how Roll Call, a publication that covers Capitol Hill, greeted the news: “It’s as if the quote-worthy Republican has always been auditioning for this moment.”
As if to prove the point, MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt started the week by tweeting out a compilation of Kennedy’s recent hits.
Here's the senator's take on Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who is flirting with an independent run for president: “My personal opinion is that there aren’t enough pilate instructors in America for him to win.”
Kennedy also called Roger Stone, the spotlight-hogging, recently arrested longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, “a total Beavis” — implying some sort of parity with the not-at-all indicted former CIA director John Brennan, whom Kennedy had previously labeled a “butthead” for taking serious issue with Trump’s behavior in office.
Kennedy’s word of the moment, though, is “whangdoodle,” which he’s employed in supporting Trump’s demand that Democrats fund some sort of physical blockade at the U.S. Mexican border, whether they call it “a barrier or a wall or a whangdoodle.”
That last one was new to me, but it turns out that whangdoodle is an actual word. Merriam-Webster defines it as an “imaginary creature of undefined character.” A secondary definition is “stuff and nonsense,” which would work just as well in this conversation, although I’m pretty sure Kennedy was going for the first meaning.
So there, I’ve learned something. Although I have to say that it’s not exactly the sort of enlightenment I’d prefer get from my elected officials.