Boehner Gives "Louche" a Bad Image
See definition in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
Definition of louche in English:
Disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way: the louche world of the theater
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I thought I knew the word “louche” when I read that Sidney Blumenthal had used it for John Boehner in an email unearthed in the Hillary Clinton frolics.
It is a word I would have expected to see describing Noel Coward – his life, his writing – but not John Boehner.
Blumenthal wrote to the Secretary of State:
"Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference. They are repelled by his personal behavior. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle." He added: "Boehner has already tried to buy the members with campaign contributions and committee assignments, which he has already promised to potentially difficult members. His hold is insecure. He is not [Newt] Gingrich, the natural leader of a 'revolution,' riding the crest into power. He is careworn and threadbare, banal and hollow, holding nobody's enduring loyalty."
I would certainly agree with most of that. Boehner comes off as a stumblebum, a traveling salesman who spent the previous evening in a gin mill. The only definitive thing about him is the hard edge he takes on when talking about President Obama. Boehner and his down-river compatriot Mitch McConnell come off as contemporary border-state versions of the old Deep South - or South Africa. The sneer, the tone. Otherwise, Boehner is inarticulate, inscrutable.
I would expect somebody truly louche to be wearing a top hat or a monocle, a smoking jacket or a cape – not sporting man-tan coloration and slurred speech.
With the clown-car scramble going on at the moment, I would surely settle for louche.
9/4/2015 07:05:23 pm
I agree with you on definitions, George. Blumenthal is wrong and comes across as little more than a bounder. The current Speaker comes across as an old Democrat to be honest. A pox on the lot.
9/5/2015 09:19:17 am
Brian, bounder, haven't heard that word in a while.
9/5/2015 05:15:08 am
George--I thought I'd settle the matter on what is truly louche and what is merely crumby. You see, I've just gotten home--it's six AM--and I'm typing this while dressed in a tux (don't know where my monocle fell) after a night at a brothel in Marseille where absinthe is the boisson of choice. The girls there love me because I know all the words to "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo," which I sing in the style of a Berlin cabaret performer (think Joel Grey). They call me Monsieur Louche. And to prove my decadence and sophistication, I have no idea who the hell this man, John Beaner, John Boorer, is. But clearly from your description, he lacks both class and wit, necessary louche requirement.. Now I must be off for my bubble bath, steaming and massage. Ah, the loucheness of it all.... Oh, there's my monocle, it fell on my velvet robe..
9/5/2015 09:21:20 am
une réponse très drôle, m'sieur
9/6/2015 07:17:01 am
It is a very sad indeed when "louche" is too good a word for the Republican Speaker of the House.
9/6/2015 08:10:52 am
Alan, I can answer this way: Sam lives a few hours south of there, near the Alps.
9/7/2015 08:40:35 pm
Another, Sam, a piano player, lived in Paris for a spell. Did show tunes and standards in a saloon run by another American, named Rick something or other...
9/7/2015 09:58:03 pm
Play it again, Peter. (Bogart didn't really say that, did he?)
9/7/2015 02:11:59 am
Alan--I'm very high up in a small former farming village in the French Alps transitioning to a summer and ski tourist area, equidistant from the Italian and Swiss borders, so only about four hours from Evian. Here the locals root half and half for L'Om and half for L'Ol and I'm learning my soccer at the feet of GV and the guys on this blog. I don't see Evian play often; they've been competitive in the past, but without a salary cap French (and European) foot is hard for me to stomach in terms of true competition.. Evian--and lots of other teams--are at a distinct disadvantage...and besides the team color is pink.
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.