Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WORDS: "Taint"

Speaking in defense of Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris as Senator of Illinois, Bobby Rush said of him that "Roland Burris is worthy. He has not, in 40 years of public service, had one iota of taint on his record as a public servant." Rush's subsequent remarks were designed to distinguish Blagojevich's tainted name—tainted by the "allegations" lodged against him by Patrick Fitzgerald—from Burris's supposedly untainted record. TV commentators seized on the word "taint" to talk about what has become of Blagojevich's reputation in Illinois politics. Though they seemed to be doing so for lack of a better term, this one actually fits the bill pretty well. One definition in the OED of the verb to taint is "to accuse of crime or dishonour." In this regard Blagojevich is clearly a tainted man on both scores.

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