Quote: “The president’s getting pounding on the right for not granting a full pardon.” White House spokesman Tony Snow
Figure of Speech: eunoia (you-NOY-a), disinterested good will. From the Greek, meaning “well mind.”
The White House is trying to whip up some serious eunoia over the president’s commute of Scooter Libby’s perjury sentence. Eunoia is one of the three characteristics of a persuasive character (the other two being phronesis and virtue). People are more likely to trust your decision if they think you made it independently, keeping only the audience’s well-being in mind. That’s disinterest. We often mistake it for “uninterest,” but the word actually means “free of special interests.”
Today’s quote is not eunoia itself, but a tactic to achieve it. If you want to appear to stand nobly above the fray, complain about being attacked by both sides. You’re the moderate independent.
Figaro took a quick look at the leading conservative blogs and didn’t see a whole lot of outrage over Bush’s decision. There’s more speculation that Libby will end up with a full pardon at the end of the term. But perhaps Figaro read only the disinterested blogs.
Snappy Answer: “Maybe he should beg pardon.”