Quote: “They’re going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year — and they have the audacity to hope you don’t mind.” John McCain.
Figure of Speech: antistasis (an-TIS-ta-sis), the repeat that changes meaning. From the Greek, meaning “opposing position.”
Want to undermine your opponent’s ethos? Puncture his favorite uplifting expression — not by arguing against it but by repeating it. The antistasis does ju jitsu on an expression by flipping its meaning.
That’s what McCain does with Obama’s Audacity of Hope, the audaciously pretentious book title. The straight-talkin’ Republican turns audacious hope into something shifty and underhanded and raise- your- taxes- in- secretiveness.
Of course, what McCain says about the Democrats’ tax plans isn’t true. But we’re talking rhetoric here, not truth. And as Figaro likes to say, rhetoric doesn’t hurt people. People hurt people.
Snappy Answer: “Which is why I’m offering every hard-working rich guy a tax cut.”