There are phrases that consume the press with a voracity one might not expect. Rep. Joe Wilson‘s (R-S.C.) “You lie!” comes to mind. Speaker John Boehner‘s circa 2008 “crap sandwich” reference to the Wall Street bailout bill also rings bells. This morning that phrase is “Satan sandwich.”
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), in referring to the debt deal as a “Satan Sandwich,” is getting him a boatload of media attention. Deeply religious, Cleaver is no stranger to injecting biblical references into his political theater. As a United Methodist minister, he prays in his office and apartment several times a day. But Satan Sandwich? “If you lift the bun, what you see is antithetical to everything the great religions of the world teach. Which is take care of the poor, take of the aged,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing Sunday night after first saying the phrase to a Roll Call reporter. “. . . I am concerned about this because we don’t know the details. And until we see the details, we’re going to be extremely non-committed, but on the surface it looks like a Satan sandwich.”
He reiterated his sandwich idea on Twitter this morning: “This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see.”
Mary Petrovic, Cleaver’s press secretary, assured that the quote came directly from Cleaver. “Oh this is a 100 percent original Cleaver quote,” she said. “It’s been very popular. We’ve gotten a lot of visibility on our Social Media sites. I’ve seen it quoted all over the Internet. I think he really nailed it.”
The Satan sandwich, however, is not new. The Urban Dictionary has a definition for it: “The chiefest of hell’s dark delights, it is said that just one bite of it arouses an unspeakable lust of terrific potency.” By early Monday the clever sandwich spread on a myriad of media outlets including MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mediaite and buzzed loudly on Twitter.
The Hill‘s Ian Swanson: “Cleaver is winning the AM”
TPM‘s Brian Beutler: “Bacon-coated Satan sandwich.” He added, “If we’re being honest, sugar isn’t a very good sandwich coating, no matter what’s between the bread.”
ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper: “Hold the Mayo”
NJ‘s Joshua Green: “Think I’ll skip lunch today.”
@WestWingReport: “What is this Satan Sandwich? Sounds like a hell of a good lunch. Is it deviled ham?”
Ben Shapiro, a conservative syndicated columnist who wrote 12 tweets on the Satan sandwich, came up with the “Rep. Cleaver Deli” and offered side dishes such as Lucifer roasted potatoes. The references grew weirder as he moved along. He began by saying he was “super confused” by Emanuel and wondered if the sandwich had deviled eggs in it.
After a female follower suggested it might be a “sewage coated booger sandwich made by Satan” he presumed that the congressman gets drunk. “Maybe @repcleaver always substitutes Satan for ‘s—’? So when he gets drunk before he votes, he’s Satan-faced.” Shapiro also played devils advocate, asking, “Wouldn’t a Satan sandwich be a good thing? After all, it means we’ve killed and roasted Satan, and presumably coated him in sugar.”
Note to readers: The top Satan sandwich was first spotted on PajamasMedia from a reader.