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The Real Grover Norquist

Did the antitax activist tell a Spanish newspaper that the Greatest Generation was "anti-American"? Sort of.

6:18 PM, Sep 28, 2004 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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So, where did the AFP quote come from? It is an accurate translation into English of what appeared in El Mundo in Spanish. And it should be said that if you take something uttered in English, then translate it into Spanish, and then have a third party translate the result back into English, you are probably not going to end up with what you started with. Still, it does look like Pardo paraphrased the locquacious Norquist, and then put his paraphrases in quotes. For instance, nowhere in the interview does Norquist say members of the Greatest Generation "are the base of the Democratic Party. And they are dying." When I asked Pardo about this on Tuesday, he said simply, "that's mine."

Pardo also points out that you cannot translate "un-American" directly into Spanish. He uses the Collins English/Spanish dictionary, 1980 edition, in which "un-American"--Norquist's phrase--is translated as "antiamericano"--the word Pardo used in his El Mundo piece. Of course, all this may be a distinction without a difference: the American Heritage Dictionary defines "un-American" as "considered contrary to the institutions or principles of the United States," which sounds a lot like . . . well, "anti-American."

Correction appended. The original version of this transcript read "one side spits off" instead of "one-size-fits-all".

Matthew Continetti is a reporter at The Weekly Standard.