If you're new to following politics, trust me when I say you will grow to absolutely hate the word "gaffe." Go to a news portal or a politics blog and search for the word "gaffe" and watch the server nearly burst into flames trying to serve results. This is from RealClearPolitics:
A variation of this is the stories of embarrassing yet totally inconsequential "scandals" about a candidate that involve nothing illegal or improper, but supposedly define the candidate as a person.
Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is an out-of-touch elitist because he puts fancy Dijon mustard on his hamburgers? Did you know that Mitt Romney is an insane sociopath because he once made his pet dog ride on top of his car 26 years ago? Did you know John Kerry can't relate to the average person because he puts Swiss cheese on his Philly cheese steaks? Did you know that George W. Bush hates foreigners so much that he wiped his hand after shaking hands with a Haitian? Did you know that all of this is petty schoolyard bullshit that wastes valuable time and energy that you'll never get back?
delmoi: "That's only true if you consider politics a serious endeavor with actual consequences. There seem to be a huge number of people who view politics as a form of entertainment."
Take the architect of Florida's SYG law (well, not architect, more like the guy ALEC picked to run it as a trial balloon).
In fairness to the word "gaffe," it would have been impossible to report on most of the contenders in the Republican presidential primary without using that word. A lot.
Bachmann? Welcome to Gaffesville
Cain? Gaffe city.
Perry? Nothing came out of his mouth that wasn't a gaffe.
Gingrich? Moonbase Gaffe.
Santorum's an interesting case, because stuff that should be treated as gaffes—like saying abortions cause breast cancer or whatever other bullshit he was spewing—gets taken seriously because of the religious zealotry behind it.
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