Fine, lads, you can have him

Back when Bill Clinton was president, Time's White House correspondent, Nina Burleigh,  famously said in a 1998 interview that she was so grateful to Clinton for keeping abortion-on-demand legal that "I'd be happy to give him oral sex just to thank him..." She thought every other grateful single girl should too.

The First Lady's response, if any, is unknown.

It was not long after that that the name "Monica Lewinsky" first entered our nation's political consciousness. And that Lewinsky's last name entered our vocabulary.

Comes now Deaglan de Breadun, columnist for the Irish Times, performing in print what Burleigh offered to do in person. In a column headed "An Eloquent Reminder of the Value of Political Oratory," de Breadun has this to say about President Barack Obama, who graced the Emerald Isle with his presence for a few hours this past week:

"Many of us have had the experience of those sporting occasions where a few players are tossing around a ball at a practice session when somebody's cousin arrives from out of town and turns in a stellar performance that leaves everyone else gasping for admiration.



"So it was with US president [sic] Barack Obama...Whatever about some of his policies and decisions, this man is a class act: eloquent, intelligent and self-confident.


"Speaking at College Green in Dublin, he had the crowd and practically the entire nation in the palm of his hand. Why can't we turn out politicians like Barack Obama? This is the land of saints and scholars, after all; the land of WB Years [sic], James Joyce, JM Synge [sic] and, more recently, Edna O'Brien, Colm Toibin and Emma Donoghue."

Crimminy, as my Irish grandmother used to say.

De Breadun's invocation of the literary legacy of W.B. Yeats to justify his man-crush on Barack Obama is odd indeed.  Because, as it happens, we actually know what Yeats -- poet, playwright, politician, leader of the Irish Literary Revival, founder of the Abbey Theatre and winner in 1923 of the Nobel Prize for Literature -- thought of folks like de Breadun. In a letter to Katherine Tynan dated August 25, 1888, Yeats wrote:

"I hate all journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering, jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal, - that is, they have ceased to be self-centered, have given up their individuality...The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth."

You've really got to fact-check those literary references carefully, Mr. de Breadun.  Otherwise, a terrible beauty might be born.
Back when Bill Clinton was president, Time's White House correspondent, Nina Burleigh,  famously said in a 1998 interview that she was so grateful to Clinton for keeping abortion-on-demand legal that "I'd be happy to give him oral sex just to thank him..." She thought every other grateful single girl should too.

The First Lady's response, if any, is unknown.

It was not long after that that the name "Monica Lewinsky" first entered our nation's political consciousness. And that Lewinsky's last name entered our vocabulary.

Comes now Deaglan de Breadun, columnist for the Irish Times, performing in print what Burleigh offered to do in person. In a column headed "An Eloquent Reminder of the Value of Political Oratory," de Breadun has this to say about President Barack Obama, who graced the Emerald Isle with his presence for a few hours this past week:

"Many of us have had the experience of those sporting occasions where a few players are tossing around a ball at a practice session when somebody's cousin arrives from out of town and turns in a stellar performance that leaves everyone else gasping for admiration.



"So it was with US president [sic] Barack Obama...Whatever about some of his policies and decisions, this man is a class act: eloquent, intelligent and self-confident.


"Speaking at College Green in Dublin, he had the crowd and practically the entire nation in the palm of his hand. Why can't we turn out politicians like Barack Obama? This is the land of saints and scholars, after all; the land of WB Years [sic], James Joyce, JM Synge [sic] and, more recently, Edna O'Brien, Colm Toibin and Emma Donoghue."

Crimminy, as my Irish grandmother used to say.

De Breadun's invocation of the literary legacy of W.B. Yeats to justify his man-crush on Barack Obama is odd indeed.  Because, as it happens, we actually know what Yeats -- poet, playwright, politician, leader of the Irish Literary Revival, founder of the Abbey Theatre and winner in 1923 of the Nobel Prize for Literature -- thought of folks like de Breadun. In a letter to Katherine Tynan dated August 25, 1888, Yeats wrote:

"I hate all journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering, jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal, - that is, they have ceased to be self-centered, have given up their individuality...The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth."

You've really got to fact-check those literary references carefully, Mr. de Breadun.  Otherwise, a terrible beauty might be born.

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