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    The Gang That Shoots Straight

    UncleSamPoolShot.jpgQuote:  “We remain committed to our principle, that we will not do anything that undermines the program’s capabilities or the president’s authority.” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

    Figure of Speechcircumlocution (cir-cum-lo-CUE-tion), the rhetorical end run.

    Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee say they have reached a deal, sort of, with the White House on warrantless wiretaps.  The administration will get to do what it wants for 45 days at a time, provided it tells a few more members of Congress that it was necessary.  “We will continue to spy on Americans regardless of Congress and will not allow it to check any of the president’s self-proclaimed authority,” said the White House spokeswoman.

    Actually, she didn’t say that at all.  She only meant that.  Circumlocution (“speaking around”) has been an essential tool of politics since ancient Athens.

    Speaking in the negative has become a Washington taboo.  We’re a positive country; we’re Pro Everything.  So poor Perino had to tie herself into a semantic pretzel to avoid saying the White House is Anti the Will of Congress.  It’s “Pro Not Doing Anything That Undermines Etc.”

    Snappy Answer:  “Can you repeat that principle again?”

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    Reader Comments (4)

    Pardon me, could you repeat that, I have a bug in my ear.
    March 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergb
    "Sorry, I didn't quite get that, could you run it around me again?."
    October 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermate' parentich
    So instead of undermining the president's authority, you have chosen to stick to your "principle;" and you have chosen to, instead, undermine the principle that says, "The people want their privacy."
    April 15, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterniceoboe
    Diametrically opposed, but the parties will use rhetoric to find the middle ground. Heinrichs, one of end chapters. Chapter 20?
    If a law passes, and if the law allegedly invades the President's prerogatives, The President can litigate in the big guy's court: The U.S. Supreme Court which is supreme under the Supremecy Clause of the U. S. Constitution. They will decide.

    Robert H. Foster, English 276 Ohio State University.
    November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert H. Foster

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