“To err is human” starts that old quote from Alexander Pope. The very real tendency for missteps often lends a little humor to the average news day. We’re not talking about bad decisions that point to underlying concerns about inequality or media spin — see the Republican staffer’s comments on the Obama’s girls choice of clothing, or the Minneapolis mayor accused of flashing gang signs — but simply old-fashioned slip ups and general weirdness.
Here are five fairly innocent goofs that Republicans made this year — to which we say, thanks for the chuckle. After all, as the second half of that famous quote goes, “To forgive, divine.”
Scott Walker’s “Molotov” moment
Like a beautifully wrapped gaffe present delivered just in time for the holidays, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had a sweet message for a Jewish constituent: “Thank you again and Molotov.” Presumably, Walker meant to say “mazel tov” — the Hebrew or Yiddish phrase that means “good luck” or “congratulations” — rather than “Molotov,” which is a type of improvised bomb. Read more to find out why Walker accidentally offered the nonsensical sign-off.
Tiny fan leads to insane debate moment
The midterms may seem like ages ago, but we’re still delighted by the crazy awkward moment that emerged during the Florida gubernatorial debates. The incident came courtesy of a small fan placed at the feet of Democratic candidate and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, believing the fan to violate the rules of the debate, refused to come on stage, leading to several minutes of jeering by audience members and uncomfortable vamping by debate moderators. Despite all the “fan-gate” hubbub, Scott went on to win re-election.
Boehner blanks on ideas for strengthening the economy
Social media often serves as the first stop of ridiculous gaffes. That was the case earlier this year for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who thoughtfully sent out a list of “5 Points for Resetting America’s Economic Foundation.” The problem? He pressed the trigger before filling in the blanks. The empty list left the door wide open for mockery as the Twitterverse fired back with helpful suggestions.
GOPer accidentally supports marriage equality
Look, we’ll admit it: While we all strive for perfection, typos happen. That becomes problematic, though, when key letters are left out. For one Republican Texas senator the letters “w” and “o” in front of the word “man” would have made all the difference. Instead, the typo had the staunch conservative accidentally defining marriage as being between “one man & one man.” Not only was this a lesson in proofreading, it also an example in classic gaffe response: Blame the intern.
Senator shows up at wrong subcommittee hearing
That’s not to say all slipups rely on technology. One senator simply ended up at the wrong meeting. Given the familiar faces in the room, Indiana Sen. Dan Coates took a minute before realizing his mistake. “I’ve got the right room number but the wrong hearing,” he said to collective laughter. Hey, at least it’s better than that nightmare of showing up for class in your underwear.
Republicans were not alone in funny goofs, of course. Vice President Joe Biden arguably earns the honorary title of “Master Gaffer.” Check out this roundup of some of his most hilarious slips:
Oh, Joe: The Vice President’s funniest moments
Did we miss any hilarious gaffes? Drop a line in the comments and let us know.