Malaprops were a signature of Yogi Berra. “Déjà vu all over again.” “We were overwhelming underdogs.” “Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.” Yogi’s malapropisms were always funny and in good spirits, but that was before Donald Trump took the stage.
Marine Corps drill instructors have an amusing half-serious prod for indecisive recruits – “Do something even if it’s wrong,” a lesson Mr. Trump has taken as scripture. The latest iteration is the aborted attack on Iran. Not only did he launch an attack and then change his mind, but he couldn’t even get the terminology right.
In a fumbling attempt to explain the reversal of his order, Mr. Trump used tough-talk terminology that must have amused the generals:
Mr. Trump, was trying to appear militarily hip but misspoke when he asserted that “We were cocked and loaded…” If President Bone Spurs had ever served in the military he would have known the correct military idiom is “locked and loaded,” a reference to the procedure for preparing an unloaded M-1 rifle for firing (i.e. the bolt must first be locked back to the rear so the clip can be loaded into the magazine). My Marine compatriots and Drill Instructors would laugh hysterically at the mistake, except for the fact that Ol’ Bone Spurs was talking about an attack on a foreign adversary with the likelihood of escalation in retaliation.
Instead of locked and loaded Mr. Trump went off half-cocked. He didn’t understand that the drill instructor’s dictum of “do something even if it is wrong” was a sarcastic prod to decisive appropriate action. But then, The Donald has never understood the subtleties of language.
It may just be that Trump had a song Cocked and Loaded from the Revolting Cocks (Trump?) song from the 2006 L.A. Guns album. It wouldn’t surprise me, except that Mr. Trump doesn’t know much about music or art either. It’s better if we just leave him half-cocked. He can’t do as much damage in that state.