More than ever on the campaign trail, the candidates are dropping their G's. Hardworkin' families are strainin' and tryin'a get ahead. It's not only Sarah Palin but Mr. McCain, too, occasionally Mr. Obama, and, of course, George W. Bush when he darts out like the bird in a cuckoo clock to tell us we are in crisis. All of the candidates say "mom and dad": "our moms and dads who are struggling." This is Mr. Bush's former communications adviser Karen Hughes's contribution to our democratic life, that you cannot speak like an adult in politics now, that's too austere and detached, snobby. No one can say mothers and fathers, it's all now the faux down-home, patronizing—and infantilizing—moms and dads. Do politicians ever remember that in a nation obsessed with politics, our children—sorry, our kids—look to political figures for a model as to how adults sound?Noonan goes after Palin fiercely — it's called "Palin's Failin'", and she calls Palin's candidacy "a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics".
But to language: First, all you need to know about 'g-dropping' is here. On the one hand, this piece is bringing peevology squarely into the political arena: "A pox on all your houses, you ill-bred, colloquially-enunciating oafs! James, another martini, please." On the other, many people, even far beyond the vast hordes of peevologists, who see this kind of colloquial speech on the campaign trail as faux down-home and patronizing. It's notable that she uses "austere and detached, snobby" to describe more traditional and to her mind appropriate, political speech — terms that have been used critically about Obama. I wonder what politicians sound like adults to her ear, maybe Bill Clinton in giving a major speech? Oh wait, Nicholas Kristof just wrote a column about "Obama the intellectual", here. And yes, the piece even touches on language: He praises Obama for using longer sentences that McCain does.
The image is a cover of the New Internationalist from a year ago … here.