Friday, February 11, 2005

Enough Already: GOP Senator Goes Bi-Lingual in U.S. Senate: "Republican voters' starry-eyed swoon over 'Swell Mel,' however, just days ago took a linguistic skid into a cultural brick wall. Delivering his maiden Senate speech (an event typically used by a new member to define priorities), Martinez shattered the spoken (yet, ironically, unspoken) tradition of The World's Most Exclusive Club: He glibly and suddenly broke into a foreign language, Spanish, to praise the newly confirmed U.S. attorney general and fellow Latino, MexTexan Alberto Gonzales.

"Proudly noted Sen. Martinez, Sr. Gonzales represents 'todos nuestros sueños y esperanzas para nuestro hijos.' Now, no fellow senator (except for quirky John Kerry, who is prone to bi-directionality on all issues) could possibly object to a colleague's speech praising 'all of our hopes and dreams for our children.' Nevertheless, every senator present for the speech appeared to be 'uncomprehending,' according to the pristinely multicultural Miami Herald, which further reported that a 'stunned Senate stenographer looked up quizzically and just typed: "speaking Spanish."'

"Senate historian Don Ritchie scoured his fastidious library and discovered that before Mr. Martinez strode onto the hallowed floor, there is no record of a U.S. senator giving a speech in a language other than English. (In 1798, when Tennessee's wily William Blount was expelled from the Senate for scheming to seize colonial Florida from its legal owner, even the most pro-Spain senators debated the issue in English.)

"If Sen. Martinez truly wishes to remodel the Senate into a Potomac Tower of Babel, say Florida Republicans, then most voters back home in the Sunshine State (even among the numerous Spanish-speaking) will politely remind him, '¡Basta ya!'

"In the teeming pubs, bodegas, honkytonks, and delicatessens from Pensacola to Cayo Hueso (now called Key West), and from Tampa's inner Ybor City to Miami's fabled Little Havana, that roughly translates into, 'Enough already!'"

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