Friday, March 27, 2009


OPPOSITION, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from running amuck by hamstringing it.

The King of Ghargaroo, who had been abroad to study the science of government, appointed one hundred of his fattest subjects as members of a parliament to make laws for the collection of revenue. Forty of these he named the Party of Opposition and had his Prime Minister carefully instruct them in their duty of opposing every royal measure. Nevertheless, the first one that was submitted passed unanimously. Greatly displeased, the King vetoed it, informing the Opposition that if they did that again they would pay for their obstinacy with their heads. The entire forty promptly disemboweled themselves.

"What shall we do now?" the King asked. "Liberal institutions cannot be maintained without a party of Opposition."

"Splendor of the universe," replied the Prime Minister, "it is true these dogs of darkness have no longer their credentials, but all is not lost. Leave the matter to this worm of the dust."

So the Minister had the bodies of his Majesty's Opposition embalmed and stuffed with straw, put back into the seats of power and nailed there. Forty votes were recorded against every bill and the nation prospered. But one day a bill imposing a tax on warts was defeated — the members of the Government party had not been nailed to their seats! This so enraged the King that the Prime Minister was put to death, the parliament was dissolved with a battery of artillery, and government of the people, by the people, for the people perished from Ghargaroo.

2009 Update: In politics, the counter-idiocy.


Jamie Dawn said...

What a gory, yet humorous story. I think disemboweling oneself would be hitonious!!

Your definition is funny and brilliant!

Opposition: Ones who have the guts to Just Say No.

the amoeba said...

Bierce's fable is a classic example of the principle, "A little education is better than none." For a modern iteration of this principle, see (to name one) YALE UNIVERSITY.

If, in a two-party system, the opposition is the counter-idiocy, and the party of opposition changes at nearly every election, then idiocy is a communicable disease.

OPPOSITION, n. The posture of a point of view. A chiropractor's nightmare.

the amoeba said...

Sorry. "A little education is more dangerous than none." No caffeine yet this morning ...

quilly said...

It is a little known fact that OPPOSITION used to be a two word phrase, "opt position". Which meant "pick your position". The common most way of choosing still remains to this day: flip-a-coin.

Jim Kang said...

Doug, thank you, you have closed a loop for me. Now I know why a kangaroo court is called such. Old King of Ghargaroo changed the family name to Kangaroo avoiding the stigma of being responsible for such atrocities as spelled out here.

I might resent being called a counter-idiot even though I oppose a lot of things going on. It borders on disparagement of my name. Thank heavens King Kangaroo is gone!

Nessa said...

Something about a horse of a different color or a rose by any other name is still a rose.

I was here.

I didn't say I'd make any sense.

skywind said...

There is a positive, there will be negative. There is support, there will be opposition.
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weirsdo said...

The way the Republicans nail themselves to their seats or a handy mast, and the Democrats nail one another.

cooper said...

This is too hard for me. I thought it was the position you were put in when you were having surgery.

Minka said...

opposition, n. the next generation and gravity to those over 30

Doug said...

Ones who find the guts to say no when the other party's in power, probably, JD. Hitonious, indeed.

Amoeba, if idiocy isn't communicable then neither is syphilis.

Quilly, I can only hope to serve lexicography the way you do etymology.

Maybe he's back, Jim. Duke and Dauphin style.

I didn't say you needed to, Nessa. Always good to hear from you in or out of mind.

And so it shall be. Mane was quite the prophet, as proven by prediction and his heretic followers.

It's true, Weirsdo. Republicans are only an auxiliary opposition these days.

And whyposition for a check-up, Coop?

Minka, in my experience I'd say 32, probably.