Rare is the catchphrase that makes the jump to the public consciousness. If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit: Johnnie Cochran at the O.J. Simpson trial
(they acquitted). Read my lips; no new taxes: George H.W. Bush (he enacted new taxes).
Mayor Gavin Newsom's spokesman, Tony Winnicker, is apparently attempting to break into the catchphrase pantheon via his current all-purpose soundbite to defend the city's stance on reporting undocumented immigrants to the authorities: "We report, we don't deport." As in, Immigration will use its discretion in making sure to deport the right people -- our hands are clean.
At our count, this phrase has now been printed in the Chronicle
three times in the last three weeks alone. It first popped up after Immigration and Customs Enforcement's decision to save an Australian family
from deportation after the city reported their young son. Winnicker said the move validated that the mayor's program was working. "We report, we don't deport."
The new federal program that requires the sheriff's department to check the fingerprints of everyone they pick up
starting next month? No problem, bro: "We report, we don't deport."
The Chron even decided to award it with "Quote of the Week" status on Sunday, and reprinted it. Must we encourage this? But that reprinting makes three -- and in journalism, that marks a trend.
Or in this case, a jingle. Of course, not too many people in the sanctuary city are singing along with the mayor on this one.