Are they sitting on their tongues?

On CNN’s Prime Time with Chris Cuomo (May 3, 2021), Rick Santorum was responding to Charlie Dent regarding Republicans unwilling to cross Trump:

SANTORUM: –with all due respect, Charlie, I agree with you that there are many in this party, and I think it’s sad that there are many in this party, that have sort of a cult of personality attraction to Donald Trump, and they get a lot of play on the national media.

But I can tell you that the vast majority of Republicans, in the House and Senate, don’t have that personal connection to Donald Trump. But they are very, very much afraid about what’s going to happen here in the next couple of years, if Republicans don’t get control of the House of Representatives in 2022.

And what they don’t want is a civil war, where Donald Trump is splitting off and running candidates every – in every single election, dividing Republicans, and causing a victory for the Democrats, in 2022, which they think the consequences, not just politically, but more importantly, for the future of the country are dire.

So yes are they sitting on their tongues, and they’re – they’re not – they’re not going after Donald Trump. But they’re trying – what they’re trying to do is, what Kevin McCarthy and leadership has been trying to do is walk the razor’s edge of trying to hold the party together, and to see – so we can stop this march toward socialism that Joe Biden has put us on.

This is a beautiful mashup of “sitting on (one’s) hands” (to refrain from acting or helping) and “biting (one’s) tongue” (to struggle not to say something that you really want to say). The visual of this is a good one. This malaphor reminds me of one of The Master’s best (see my first book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and Other Malaphors” for an introduction to and discussion of The Master). He was talking about a situation where a few people were waiting to see if they received a promotion, and described them as “sitting on their hands and needles”.

A big shout out to Jim “Koz” Kozlowski for hearing this gem and passing it on!


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