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    We Prefer Virgin Sacrifices

    The president made a nifty Root Repeater, a.k.a. polyptoton, in this afternoon’s deficit speech. The device upends the audience’s expectations while making you sound very wise. If only the rest the speech had lived up to this great figure.

    We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. 

    Figure of Speech: Polyptoton (po-LIP-toe-ton), Greek for “multiple grammatical cases.” It repeats the root of a word while changing its ending — sacrifices and sacrifice in this instance.  Robert Frost used the figure when he said,  “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” 

    The rest of the speech earns a “meh” from Figaro. The stuff about all of us being connected is straight out of the squishy liberal The World Is a Community prayerbook. We wish he had used a strong trope to sell his argument for ending tax cuts for the wealthy. If we were Obama’s speechwriter, we would have written something like this:

    Obama: We’re lucky to be Americans. And those who, like me, are especially lucky need to pay our dues. 

    What we’d really like to say to the richest Americans is, “Can you please stop WHINING?” But that wouldn’t be politic.

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    Reader Comments (3)

    The curious thing is, I haven't heard a whole lot of rich people whining about needing tax cuts---the republicans just keep handing them over along with the Trickle Down Kool-Aid.

    Another excellent argument he could have made: We're just putting the tax rate back to where it was in 1999, when the economy was thriving and we were paying down our national debt and life was good. Hard to argue with that...
    April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLance Boyle
    You're right, Mr. Pus. The problem is, the argument is a bit complex for a sound bite. And 1999 is ancient history in our ADD culture.
    April 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    It does not follow that because we do not subsidize smoking, we should not regulate unhealthy activities. Costs and savings are not the only variable. The fact that obesity creates costs is merely an additional reason to regulate it, not the only one. The main reason is its danger to an individual. vdcyxn vdcyxn - <a href="http://www.red-wing-stores.com">Red Wing Black</a>.
    December 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterberlsr berlsr

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