In re Obama’s loins

The L-dotters are gagging in disgust because top White House honcho David Axelrod said:

“I’ve never seen [Obama] more exhilarated than he is right now. He believes in what he’s fighting for. You can see in the speech that he’s delivering that this is coming from his loins.”

Perhaps embarrassed by what he had just said, Axelrod then added in explanation:

“I just wanted to say ‘loins.’ I wanted to see if I could get ‘loins’ in the story.”

The L-Dotters are assuming that loins means genitals. That is a narrow reading. In my WordWeb dictionary the word has two definitions:

(1) The lower part of the abdomen just above the external genital organs.
(2) The region of the hips and groin and lower abdomen.

So obviously loins has a broader meaning than the sexual one.

In the King James Bible, where the word is used frequently, loins generally has both a generative, sexual meaning, for example, “And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls” (Exodus 1:5), and the meaning of the hips and belly, as in “Gird up thy loins” (II Kings 9:1).

However, in connection with the common phrase, “Gird up thy loins,” which is always associated with the idea of taking decisive action, loins also has the meaning of the center of the body and the source of vital power, as in Job 40:16:

Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

Therefore, in my view, there was nothing inappropriate about Axelrod’s choice of words. To the contrary, the re-introduction of the concrete, metaphorical language of the Hebrew Bible (King James Version) into contemporary idiom, which is generally so flat and utilitarian and lacking any poetry, should be welcomed. In the early twentieth century, T.S. Eliot regretted the “dissociation of the sensibilities,” in which language that affects the intellect was divorced from language that affects the feelings and sensations. Axelrod was making a small gesture toward re-uniting the sensibilities, but naturally the culture-deaf, “rah-rah GOP” conservatives at didn’t get it.

- end of initial entry -

Nick D. writes:

From the article:

As if recognizing the awkwardness of the reference, Mr. Axelrod added quickly, “I just wanted to say ‘loins.’ I wanted to see if I could get ‘loins’ in the story.”

I gather that Axelrod was indeed referring to Obama’s genitals. I don’t see a problem with it. Not because of the larger definition of the word, but from their enraptured delirium, I assume Obama supporters feel a stirring in their own loins whenever they see, hear, or think about him. Also, I am never shocked by a lack of class or decorum from the Left.

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

While your concluding proposition—let us indeed fight to revivify the language—is true, it seems doubtful to me that David Axelrod is consciously pursuing any such project. Rather, Axelrod’s utterance must be a fluke, a vestigial memory, perhaps, of an actual turn of phrase once overheard or read. Knowing the temperament and perverse convictions of the people who surround Obama, if one of them had reminded Axelrod of the Biblical implication of the words, I suspect that his conscious reaction would have been to alter them. I suspect further that what Axelrod wanted to say was that Obama is in a “ballsy” mood or “he has balls” for his own re-election; but then he edited himself because he thought that that might be too vulgar, and he fell back on “loins.”

I am struck by the verbal poverty of liberal discourse, including Obama’s stuttering sentences when not being served by the teleprompter. Also, judging by the banality of Obama’s prose, even if it had been written by William Ayers, I believe that the occasional literary references are completely fake; and that Obama’s humane education is rudimentary to non-existent. I would guess the same for Axelrod. Some of the Bolsheviks had more in the way of literacy than anyone in the Obama administration. There is Leon Trotsky, for example.

Conservative hyper-reaction to things as trivial as “loins” bugs me, big-time. Here we have the most alien man ever elected to the chief executive office, who has been actively and effectively deconstructing the traditional USA for four years (while building on forty years of the same by his faction in the nation), and “L-dotters” (whoever they are) want to get worked up about a reference to something below the waist. What are they? A bunch of Presbyterian spinsters? No wonder we lose over and over.

LA replies:

L-dotters are the commenters at I have regularly referenced them for the last ten years. They are worth reading because, as I used to say, is “the Id [a Freudian term meaning the primitive instincts and energies underlying all psychic activity] of the Republican Party.” Also, the L-dotters, when not indulging in knee-jerk hatred of all things Obama, are often very witty.

Kristor writes:

Good for Axelrod. He could equally have said, “from his bowels,” which the modern vernacular means by “from his guts.” Wonder what the L-dotters would have made of that?

I was intrigued by the quote from Job. I’m reading Job right now, but had not noticed it. The doctrine of the Oriental martial arts is that properly coordinated and therefore maximally effectual action springs from the hara, a point in the vertical center of the body and about one third of the distance from the navel to the top of the pubic bone. The hara is one of the chakras. I don’t really know much about all of that.

But, I can sure tell you this, based on personal experience: if your loins aren’t engaged (due to medical issues) you are a house of cards awaiting collapse.

LA writes:

For a record of the L-dotters’ disgust at “loins,” here are the first 17 comments in the thread:

Reply 1—Posted by: Mike PHX, 11/3/2012 12:48:43 AM

Someone better tell Michelle he has them.

Reply 2—Posted by: jl80863, 11/3/2012 12:51:13 AM

Loins? Wouldn’t that be Clinton?

Reply 3—Posted by: BirdsNest, 11/3/2012 12:58:25 AM

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Reply 4—Posted by: Mrs.Claypool, 11/3/2012 1:07:05 AM

Eeuuuwww. So wrong on so many levels.

Reply 5—Posted by: blizzard, 11/3/2012 1:07:31 AM

Paging Reggie Love….

Reply 6—Posted by: Crasher, 11/3/2012 1:13:21 AM

There they go mixing church and state again!

Reply 7—Posted by: globalwarmer, 11/3/2012 1:18:58 AM

Thanks, and a hat-tip to Chris Mathews.

Reply 8—Posted by: lylacat, 11/3/2012 1:22:55 AM

What is wrong with these sleazy people? Yuke Puke Eeewww

Reply 9—Posted by: melanie, 11/3/2012 1:26:42 AM

Icky poo.

Reply 10—Posted by: ragu, 11/3/2012 1:35:46 AM

Great, now I won’t sleep tonight with that disgusting image in my mind.

Reply 11—Posted by: ocjim, 11/3/2012 1:41:11 AM

Disgusting Axelgrease is trying to tell us that Obama is, ahem … turned on about the final days of the campaign.

If Axelgrease has to try and convince us that Obama is enthused in his loins, then he isn’t. No class Axe doesn’t have a guileless or authentic bone in his body, nor does his top client of many years. Everything they say or do has a purpose and their purpose is to bamboozle the uninformed, the stupid and the clueless.

Their lame message is that Obama is enthused so you should be too. If at this late date, you have to tell people to get enthused, you’re beat.

Hopefully Obama will get a politically swift kick in his loins via the ballot box Tuesday. The thought of that gets me enthused.

Reply 12—Posted by: Garage Logician, 11/3/2012 1:42:59 AM

The Rodster’s been drinkin’ early lately.

Reply 13—Posted by: Mayzie, 11/3/2012 1:50:08 AM

All I can think about is the travesty of Benghazi. Obama is a gutless and loinless wonder.

Reply 14—Posted by: veritas, 11/3/2012 1:54:38 AM

Yeah. The shape the country’s in, Goodwill wouldn’t take it as a donation, and this Axelrod [pre-deleted] wants to get “the L-word” into an article.

Can’t just one lightning strike that would otherwise just hit some tree or building be put to use on Axelrod?

Or has he been living inside a Faraday cage?

Reply 15—Posted by: steveW, 11/3/2012 2:01:32 AM

You know they’re desperate when they start using “racist” innuendos against their own candidate, to deflect from the constant lies and cover-ups.

President Romney. It does have a nice ring to it.

Reply 16—Posted by: CDR, 11/3/2012 2:27:32 AM

he is hung like a field mouse

Reply 17—Posted by: Aubreyesque, 11/3/2012 3:03:21 AM

EWWWWW. Not only do is Obama Marxist creepy, he’s pervert creepy. Who actually thinks that is appealing? STAY AWAY FROM THEM … and keep the kiddos away too!

Dan R. writes:

Stephen Colbert is not officially in the pay of Barack Obama, but he’s far better-known than David Axelrod and just said something on his show of considerably greater crudity—it’s grotesque, actually—than anything that could be implied from Axelrod’s comment. How low can these people go?

And then the writer for the Hollywood Reporter calling Colbert’s stunt “solid television?”

LA replies:

Dan, I don’t feel like linking and quoting posting the article you sent.

As I’ve often said, there is already so much depravity around us, that there is no need for us to quote the worst depravity, which only toxifies ourselves. The mid-level depravity is enough to destroy decency, and is enough for us to understand what the depravity is about. Therefore we don’t need to quote the worst.

It’s the same with an obscene human being like Bill Mahr or a lunatic like Chris Matthews. The conservatives are fixated on them, automatically posting and obsessing over every disgusting, hate-filled, outrageous thing they say, which only gives them more importance, whereas, in my opinion, the conservatives should IGNORE them.

Notice that at VFR you never see Mahr’s or Matthew’s latest garbage bomb. Similarly I had a long-term policy of never quoting Christopher Hitchens, an evil man whom the conservatives, to their ever-lasting disgrace, lauded and adored.

Dan R. replies to LA:
I can’t argue with that. Your response alone is an good measure of how depraved the comment was. I would add: that Colbert could compare his offer to Trump with Trump’s offer to Obama is yet another indicator of how insane these people are. Are we really supposed to continue living in the same nation with them?

N. writes:

I support you in your dismissal of Maher, Colbert, Matthews, etc.

What conservatives are doing when they engage the vulgar rants of these people is including them in conservative conversations.

Years ago there was a co-worker whom I had a conflict with that was not going away. It got to the point where I was brooding over this person during my commute home, stomping around my dwelling angry over this co-worker, etc. One day I suddenly had an insight: by constantly thinking about this person’s bad behavior while away from work, I was in essence bringing the person home with me.

I was in a sense carpooling with this person, spending my time off with this person—inviting them into my home.

Conservatives who go on at great length about these vulgarians are inviting them into the conservative conversation, the conservative debate, the conservative “home”. Why should that be done? There is no reason for it.

Nothing these people say is worth discussing. You are correct to ignore them.

Harry S. writes:

” … reuniting the sensibilities…. “

Ridiculous. Axelrod is neither Shakespeare, reading the same, nor is this A.D. 1611. When have you ever read or heard such an expression in current modes of speech? The use of the expression is bone-headed and this on the heals of Biden’s disgusting “whole load” remark in Sarasota recently should only naturally lead one to presume a sexual innuendo—even Axelrod was immediately prompted by his own discomfiture to offer a disclaimer.

Come to think of it, in light of Democrats’ propensity to compulsive crude speech, perhaps I should give Axelrod some credit for a modicum of self-conscious modesty.

LA replies:

You may be right. But it didn’t strike me that way. It struck me as colorful, imaginative speech.

My father, who was born in 1910 and was brought up in Wisconsin and then Chicago, had an almost Victorian sense of language. Often he would not say things in the usual way that everyone used, but would look for some elaborate, extravagant way of saying it. I felt something of that in Axelrod’s remark. Again, I could be wrong as to his intention.

LA continues:

By the way, my father wasn’t a writer or intellectual; he was a businessman.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 03, 2012 03:50 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):