Opinion: Daily Journal

Anagramming the Political Truth

RALEIGH – If you thought you knew the depths of the hatred the political left feels towards George W. Bush – and the latest evidence is the growing tsunami propelling former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean to political prominence and to the covers of both Newsweek and Time this week – I am here to tell you that you probably don’t know the half of it.

Some Bush critics are unwilling to settle for the mundane, matter-of-fact arguments against the president’s shameless coup in 2000 or his immoral war for oil in Afghanistan in 2003. (No, wait, I mean Iraq – actually, what precious commodity did we corner in Afghanistan? There had to be some ulterior motive.) No, these more-discerning leftists have discovered the underlying truth of the Bush-Ashcroft-Toby Keith regime in America by turning to an invaluable tool of rhetorical analysis:

The anagram.

Yes, according to these peerless seers of Gnostic wisdom, all you need to know about George W. Bush’s nefarious designs can be found by rearranging the letters of his name. There are many versions of such analysis across a wide variety of web sites and newsletters. One of the more clever versions reveals such gems as “He grew bogus,” the telling “Bush ego grew,” the evocative “Where bugs go,” the somewhat-dated “W: He bugs Gore,” and the scatological “Ugh! Sewer bog!”

As a kid, I used to enjoy playing the board game called Anagrams, and I’ve always found word games fun. Moreover, I’ve been experiencing some self-doubt lately on a number of fronts – it happens every year just after the North Carolina legislature adjourns, which seems to rob me of my purpose for existing – so I thought I’d take a stab at anagramming my own name to reveal the esoteric knowledge lurking within.

Here is a sampling of the few intelligible anagrams of “John McDonald Hood.” Naturally, I am aghast at the obvious implications.

• First, a dismissive retort. “John . . . Oh, c’mon, odd lad.” This sounds very much like an answer to a question or comment I never should have uttered – an all-too-frequent occurrence in my daily life.

• Next, a culinary advisory. “No odd, cold ham, John.” OK, I’ll make sure it’s fresh.

• Here’s something I might have welcomed back in my junior-high days during pick-up football games: “Oh, c’mon, add old John.”

• “No mad Doc hold John!” Yeah, Hulk smash mad Doc’s chains!

• Perhaps a pioneer ancestor of mine heard this from an aborigine: “Odd John mooch land.”

• If my recent angst leads to a career change as a hunter of mythical beasts in ancestral Scotland, I might become known as “Odd John, Loch Nomad.”

• Or I could pursue my longstanding dream of becoming a hip-hop artist. Suggested title of debut gangsta-rap album: “J-Mac: No Hold on Hood!”

• Apparently, however, it wouldn’t be wise to go into real estate: “John had condo mold.”

• Here’s something I probably won’t hear – and wouldn’t want to hear – from any nurses at my doctor’s office: “HDL, Doc: Don . . . John . . . Mao.”

• In the North Carolina political realm, some surprising insights abound. For example, speaking of my friend Bill, a former environmental lobbyist and state regulator: “John odd, Holman cod.” I always thought he had a soft spot for the aquatic community.

• More generally, it turns out that the worst that people think of me may, in fact, be true: “John Hood: Damn cold.”

• Though that can also be translated as: “John Hood: Damn clod.”

• And finally, “J-Lo: Damn Odd Honcho.”

Yes, she certainly is.

Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation and publisher of Carolina Journal.