Wait, wait… Go back and read that headline again. Let it sink in real good. That is something I actually heard a real, professional radio reporter say in describing today’s Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s immigration law.
“Arizona’s attempt to criminalize illegal immigration.” My understanding of the law has gotten a little rusty ever since I stopped watching Law & Order when Angie Harmon left (still the best sexy assistant lawyer in the history of the show; indict me, baby!), but I could swear that something that was illegal had already been criminalized. In fact, to know that, you don’t really have to know the law at all. You just have to know… English.
So that’s where we are now. Large swaths of the English language, including the word “illegal,” don’t really mean anything anymore. Or, they only have meanings inasmuch as those meanings serve the needs of the political class. That is double plus ungood.