Figure of Speech: euphemismus, the euphemism.
Faced with a national emergency—the November elections—President Bush plans to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border. The Mexican president, Vicente Fox, expressed concern. So the White House responded with a euphemismus ("pretty language"). Don’t call sending heavily armed troops to the border "militarization." Call it "support of border patrol capabilities."
The euphemism can help redefine an issue. But the White House commits a rhetorical blunder when it repeats the original unfavorable term; that, and not the euphemism, is what tends to stick in the audience’s mind. We’re reminded of Mr. Burns, owner of a nuclear power plant and Homer Simpson’s employer. "Oh, meltdown," he says. "It’s one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus."
We prefer to call it a meltdown.
Snappy Answer: "Temporary, you say? Like Iraq?"