It's been a hell of a week for our intrepid senators up in DC. First Bill Frist, a man with the political instincts of Warren Harding, offers up a $100 gas rebate proposal for taxpayers that the Republican
leader in the House calls
"stupid" and "insulting." Then Lamar Alexander steps up to the plate to solve one of the country's truly pressing problems by introducing a resolution insisting
that the national anthem should be sung in English:
"That flag and that song are a part of our history and our national identity. It declares some of our national ideals, in being the 'land of the free and the home of the brave.' That's why in 1931 Congress declared the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem. That's why we should always sing it in our common language, English.... We shouldn't sing the national anthem in Spanish, or any other foreign language."
In fact, Lamar, nobody has been singing the national anthem in Spanish. Has the clueless Alexander bothered to actually listen to or read the lyrics of Nuestro Himno
, which has gotten so much attention? Lyrically, it's a loose adaptation at best. Far from a "translation," it's a work of free expression in the great traditions of political protest and satire using a tune
in the public domain.
Frist and Alexander personify Dean Acheson's famous maxim: "The first requirement of a statesman is that he be dull."