Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Orrin Hatch is an 83-year-old Republican senator from Utah, and, depending on which left-wing conspiracy theorist you read, the future president of the United States. He is also, to the chagrin of pretty much everyone who can read, out here talking about shooting wads. In a recent interview with Politico, he said of current Republican legislative priorities, “We’re not going back to healthcare. We’re in tax now. As far as I’m concerned, they shot their wad on health care and that’s the way it is. I’m sick of it.”

Was the onetime presidential candidate saying that the Republican party, anthropomorphized into the form of a human male, had already ejaculated over the prospect of healthcare reform and were no longer interested in having sex with it? The metaphor is tortured and unpleasant, but not altogether inaccurate. They have wasted the first six months of a new Republican presidency and dominant control over both houses of Congress trying to repeal a policy that, prior to its rebranding by Barack Obama, came from their own party, and now have little to show for it. Hatch’s general point, it would seem, is that, if the enfeebled and overwhelmingly male Republican party is going to muster up the energy to fuck again, it is going to be a new policy initiative. His lack of enthusiasm for it is understandable, even if his choice of phrasing is not.

Hatch later took to Twitter to correct us young, post-Civil War whippersnappers about the true nature of wad-shooting:

Ah yes, Hatch was merely referring to the euphemisms he heard elder musketry enthusiasts use as he was growing up, which surely even then did not function euphemistically. Mel has a detailed breakdown of the possible etymological meanings of Hatch’s aside, in which they explain his proposed wad-shooting thusly:

In weaponry ranging from a Napoleonic cannon to a modern shotgun, a paper, fiber or plastic wad is used to separate the projectile from the propellant. “Shooting one’s wad” simply means that the charge contains no projectile and is therefore ineffectual.

Advertisement

Anyway, the larger point here is that it provided a good opportunity for dick jokes.

Advertisement

And so on. Future politicians, please note Hatch’s mistake, and do not use euphemisms involving guns or sex when discussing legislative issues in the future, because both are deeply unpleasant.