March 10, 2016

"Oleaginous spiked on March 8th, after the word was used by New York Times columnist David Brooks, in reference to Senator Ted Cruz."

Says the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website.
Brooks is not the only writer who has seen fit to employ this adjective when describing the senator from Texas; a fair number of other pundits have decided that Cruz merits this less-than-flattering descriptor....

Oleaginous came to the English language in the 15th century from Latin via the Middle French. For several hundred years the word simply had such meanings as "resembling or having the properties of oil" and "containing or producing oil." In the early 19th century it began to be used in a figurative sense, to refer to people or things that were perhaps a little too slick....
"Oleaginous"? It's a big word, suitable for elite-media prose, where — when a man makes you think about oiliness — you can't just write something blatant and easy-to-understand like "greaseball":
usually offensive
a person of Hispanic or Mediterranean descent

58 comments:

Michael McClain said...

Usual racist comment from the Lib-Cong.

dreams said...

They certainly wouldn't want to be as blunt/crude as the Donald and besides they are communicating with the elite.

Bob said...

Yah. If the epithet had been hurled at a Democrat we'd be dealing with accusations racism, because basically he called Cruz a greaser.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Camille Paglia has a her usual sharp view on Ted and Donald in Salon questions. She says Ted is so fake that he does not know what he is yet, and we don't want him finding out in the White House. She now thinks The Donald is impetuous and thin skinned but is a breath of fresh air who will bring to DC bottom line business practices.

Fernandinande said...

Smithers: I discussed this with our lawyers and they consider it murder.
Mr. Burns: Damn their oily hides!

dreams said...

"She now thinks The Donald is impetuous and thin skinned but is a breath of fresh air who will bring to DC bottom line business practices."

And that works for me.

jacksonjay said...

Yeah, but does the greaser have creased pants?

SteveR said...

Yeah calling him a greaser -- even a fancy one -- is a real class act.

Curious George said...

Dan Brooks tag?

chickelit said...

It's a damn shame it wasn't Harry Reid saying such a thing.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I thought greaseball was kind of like greaser. What used to pass for long hair. The DA. Brylcreem. Rockabilly. Hotrods or maybe motorcycles. Grease is the word.

Anyway, I think margarine used to be white and it was sold with pink dye you were supposed to mix into it. Dairymen didn't want it to look like butter.

Unctuous is one of those words that I'd like to hear more often.

Often. I can't remember whether Sheldon Cooper hates the "t" sound in often or whether he insists upon it. Me? I make it a point to alternate.

LarsPorsena said...

Oozing charm from every pore,
He oiled his way across the floor.


A line somewhere in 'My Fair Lady...perfect definition for oleaginous.

Gusty Winds said...

Today, Charlie Sykes "Right Wisconsin" on Facebook posted the "Is it time to rally around Cruz" theme. I think Cruz gets slaughtered in the general election, and any crossover votes that may go the GOP way via Trump or Kasich are lost.

Charlie Sykes used to be good on Milwaukee radio as a pro-Walker guy but is now just a broken record. Maybe Cruz fits the "true conservative" bill, but he can't win the popular vote; and won't flip any blue states red.

Kasich may be the upcoming surprise if he wins Ohio, even after Trump takes Florida. Maybe the private jet, secret island meeting establishment will rally around him.

I don't think Cruz is a greaseball, and David Brooks is a smarmy dick so who cares what he writes. But Cruz will not beat Hillary in the general. Trump or Kasich can.

Bay Area Guy said...

I think it is pusillanimous for David Brooks to cast such epithets.

cubanbob said...

Someone should ask Mr. Brooks when it comes down to choosing between the greasy spic or the felonious criminal which would you pick?

Mark Caplan said...

Cruz's Jewish roommate at Princeton, Craig Mazin, once tweeted:

“Ted would leave a greasy film on everything. My friend Erik dubbed the substance ‘Cruhz,’ rhymes with ‘scuzz.’ Now there's Cruhz on my TV.”

"Greasy" had once been a negative stereotype of Jews too, not just Latinos and Southern Italians, so it's surprising Mazin would apply a loaded term to Cruz with so much boomerang potential.

Curtiss said...

David Brooks is suffering from either myxophobia or ithyphallophobia, but I'm not sure which.

damikesc said...

In what universe is David Brooks still considered "conservative"?

Today, Charlie Sykes "Right Wisconsin" on Facebook posted the "Is it time to rally around Cruz" theme. I think Cruz gets slaughtered in the general election, and any crossover votes that may go the GOP way via Trump or Kasich are lost.

Kasich?

Are you fucking high?

He has won NO states. He is unlikely to win his own. Where the hell does this "Well, he can win the general" fever dream come from? He's a shit candidate. The base won't vote for him and running a moderate has been unsuccessful to a shocking level for years.

Yeah, Cruz --- who has won several states --- would get crushed while Kasich --- who has won none --- would over achieve. Sure.

Danno said...

Brooks probably uses oils to enhance the conductivity of the tinkle that goes down his leg. In other words, he is an expert on the subject matter of oleaginous.

David Ragsdale said...

Republicans can in fact use ethnic slurs under PC guidelines..

Just as long as they are directed against people to their right, never left. But when said Republican attacking someone to their right w/ ethnic slurs, him/herself becomes expendable, "Racist" will be used against the user him/herself.

Rule #456 "The Bob Packwood Exemption"


Char Char Binks said...

Chris Matthews said Cruz looked Black Irish, like Joe McCarthy.

Lance said...

But Cruz will not beat Hillary in the general. Trump or Kasich can.

The polls have been saying for a while that Trump is the only one running for the Republican nomination who won't beat Clinton. RCP only shows a few polls for Kasich vs. Clinton going back to last month, but he enjoys a significant lead. Meanwhile Cruz has been leading Clinton by a small but consistent margin since December.

Trump on the other hand isn't even close to Clinton, and hasn't been since December.

Gahrie said...

Rule #456 "The Bob Packwood Exemption"

The Left consumed even Packwood in the end.

Big Mike said...

I see that LarsPorsena beat me to posting the lyrics from "My Fair Lady." The lyrics are from "You Did It," Lars.

Blacks and now some Hispanics understand the basic racism of the white, upper-class liberal. All is well as long as one does what one is expected to do. Stray from the plantation, like Clarence Thomas or Tim Scott, and expect the full force of their racism to descend upon you. Do their bidding and expect rewards -- maybe even President of the United States! -- as long as you know your place and do the bidding of your masters.

I think Ted Cruz should cut some Spanish language commercials for Spanish radio stations and maybe Univision and Telemundo where he plays back Brooks writing and tells them that "oleaginous" is how over-educated snobs say "greaseball."

Big Mike said...

@Lance, Hillary was supposed to be 21 points up over Sanders in Michigan until Tuesday.

YoungHegelian said...

Perhaps I'm revealing a better acquaintance with racial invective that I should have, but when I read that Brooks had applied the adjective "oleaginous" to Cruz, my first thought was "Oh, so Brooks just called Cruz a greasy spic. That's news that's fit to print."

rhhardin said...

Greaseball referred to the hair style, not the race.

smitty1e said...

I think Paglia calling Cruz fake says more of her cynicism than it does of Cruz.

buwaya puti said...

Cruz doesn't like doing Spanish interviews as his Spanish is rather rusty and he probably doesn't trust himself playing in such a dangerous field. Rubio is very smooth, professional in Spanish.
As for "greaseball", this isn't a slur modern Hispanics are up on as it gets very little play. There isn't really an " n" word there.

Chas Clifton said...

I don't think of Senator Cruz as "oleaginous." But he does remind me of a youth pastor with a nasty secret.

gerry said...

Cops and firefighters, and perhaps many other public employee groups, WILL NOT VOTE FOR KASICH.

@Gusty Winds: Real Clear Politics has Clinton over Trump by 6 points, and Clinton over Cruz by 2 points.

I think your assessments of Trump defeating Clinton may be off a bit. Of course, we're an infinity away from November.

JT said...

I think Brooks has been watching the Jason Bateman film, Bad Words, which has been in heavy rotation on the premium cable networks this winter.

Next he'll be referring to Donald Trump as a slubberdegullion.

gerry said...

@Danno: Brooks probably uses oils to enhance the conductivity of the tinkle that goes down his leg.

Heh. That's gonna smell.

TMink said...

I find it interesting that Brooks is the favorite RINO that libs trot out to show us the error of our ways. I find him a venal man who has a hugely positive self-image that is out of line with his value or productivity.

Mitch H. said...

Camille Paglia has a her usual sharp view on Ted and Donald in Salon questions.

Camille Paglia is a disordered thinker, like her mentor Marshall McLuhan was in his day. I still remember her utterly disorganized and stream-of-consciousness columns at Salon in the late Nineties and early Oughts, wherein she was so scatterbrained that she couldn't follow a thought without getting distracted by this or that shiny conceit and wander off into another subject before the next paragraph-break. It is no wonder that her magpie mind would become fascinated with the cheap and shiny tinsel that is Donald Trump.

What's your excuse?

Richard Fagin said...

Layers and layers of fact checkers, not to mention editors. The correct word to impugn Sen. Cruz's character is "unctuous." Then again we're dealing with moral posturing, not reasoned analysis where the Times is concerned.

Jonathan Silber said...

Make America Oleaginous Again.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

Blogger Mitch H. said...
Camille Paglia has a her usual sharp view on Ted and Donald in Salon questions.

Camille Paglia is a disordered thinker, like her mentor Marshall McLuhan was in his day. I still remember her utterly disorganized and stream-of-consciousness columns at Salon in the late Nineties and early Oughts, wherein she was so scatterbrained that she couldn't follow a thought without getting distracted by this or that shiny conceit and wander off into another subject before the next paragraph-break. It is no wonder that her magpie mind would become fascinated with the cheap and shiny tinsel that is Donald Trump.

What's your excuse?

3/10/16, 10:37 AM

The felonious traitor Hillary Clinton. What's yours?

AmericanWoman said...

Since Cruz is 1/4 Italian, I take great offense at this oil comment. And I have noticed that with Cruz, people tend to use very derogatory terms about his appearance. Now if he was a fat transgender, wouldn't that be hate speech?

Diamondhead said...

"She now thinks The Donald is impetuous and thin skinned but is a breath of fresh air who will bring to DC bottom line business practices."

"Bottom line business practices" sounds like a term used by someone not very familiar with business. If you wanted someone with an eye for the bottom line and a sense for the location of organizational fat and inefficiency, that person was Mitt Romney.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Anyway, I think margarine used to be white and it was sold with pink dye you were supposed to mix into it. Dairymen didn't want it to look like butter."

^^^^^^^^^^^

Yes! When I was very young I looked forward to squeezing and kneading the plastic bag the "oleo" came in, to spread that dye around.

It was my introduction to crony capitalism.

cubanbob said...

buwaya puti said...
Cruz doesn't like doing Spanish interviews as his Spanish is rather rusty and he probably doesn't trust himself playing in such a dangerous field. Rubio is very smooth, professional in Spanish.
As for "greaseball", this isn't a slur modern Hispanics are up on as it gets very little play. There isn't really an " n" word there.

3/10/16, 10:14 AM

Rubio does speak better Spanish than Cruz but Rubio's Spanish isn't as good as his English.

David said...

Why not just say "slippery?" Probably because you are a big time idiot commentator.

Claude Hopper said...

Cruz is not a beaner or a greaser. He is a ricer, a white one.

damikesc said...

Just consider that if Rubio dropped out before TX, Cruz would be leading in the delegate count. Rubio kept Cruz below 50% for the winner take all aspect in TX. He also screwed him over in Idaho.

Those states would have put Ted Cruz ahead of Trump right now.

Steven Wilson said...

Seriously, why isn't everything David Brooks has to say or write be simply dismissed with a snort of derisive laughter followed by a chorus of"Creased pants, OMG, creased pants." And no, I don't think it's unfair to judge everything by that particular observation. If Sarah Palin could be dismissed by something she didn't say about her house and Alaska, why shouldn't Brooks be cast into the outer darkness for revealing what a petty and superficial soul he possesses. And yes, I know that he also mentioned Reinhold Nieburh and Brooksie swooned over that as well. With those deep insights into character, I think the best advice I could give to Brooks is don't pick up hitchhikers, especially the ones with chainsaws.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Yeah, well Hillary is hairspraytious.

Szoszolo said...

Oozing charm from every pore,
He oiled his way across the floor.

That's a description of "that dreadful Hungarian," Zoltan Karpathy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvvk5n9lQF0

RichardS said...

As American politics disproves his assumptions about the nature of politics, Brooks is becoming increasingly unhinged. Didn't he recently fantasize about taking out Trump and Cruz?

Jeff H said...

Considering Brooks is just a piece of scatological matter...

Youngest Elder said...

The pot calling the kettle oleaginous.

submandave said...

Should have just said "macaca" and been done with it.

Rich Rostrom said...

"OLEAGINOUS, adj. Oily, smooth, sleek.
Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous." And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it."

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

hombre said...

Gusty Winds: "I don't think Cruz is a greaseball, and David Brooks is a smarmy dick so who cares what he writes. But Cruz will not beat Hillary in the general. Trump or Kasich can."

I don't know if Cruz can beat Hillary, but I believe Trump vs. Hillary, the contest American voters apparently deserve, will set a record for stay-at-homes.

Both are embarrassments. One is a lying blowhard. The other is a lying grifter. One is supported by vitriolic ignoramuses. The other is supported by gullible idolaters.

Drawing distinctions as to which is which is not only difficult, but unnecessary.

I would vote for Cruz without enthusiasm because he is the only conservative left. I would vote for Kasich or Rubio only to keep Hillary or Bernie out.

hombre said...

BTW, I've lived in the southwest all my life except for a stint overseas. The more common slur for latinos is "greaser," not greaseball.

CJ said...

Oleaginous was a favorite word of the British satirical magazine Private Eye. It appeared in almost every issue, describing ethically-challenged politicians.