It seems that every time I write about politics, it's about something I hate or something that bugs me or something I'm sick of. I'm afraid this post will be no exception. One of the most loathesome, overused phrases in political parlance is "playing politics". It usually comes up when some politician is asked to respond to criticism from someone in the opposing party. They use it in place of an actual answer to the question. An example:
Pundit of your choice: Senator Douchebag, in a recent article in Cat Fancy Magazine, Senator Slightly-Less-Of-A-Douchebag compared your position on gay amputee midget marriage as, "stealing a page out of Goebbel's playbook". How do you respond?
Senator Douchebag: Senator Slightly-Less-Of-A-Douchebag is just playing politics.
It is such a blatant skirting of a legitimate issue - in this case, the rights of gay amputee midgets in love. Of course they are playing politics! In case you forgot - you're a fucking politician! That's what you do! It's like saying, "That Peyton Manning, he's just playing football." Obviously.
**Edited to add: Any politician who uses the "playing politics"-line is, in effect, playing politics. The proper use of the phrase is probably right at the top of the poltician's playbook. As soon as one politician accuses another of "playing politics", they immediately become a hypocrite - in case they weren't one already, which they most likely were.