Archive for the 'political spin' Category

So It Goes: the Pol Spinspeak Factory Grinds On

Monday, September 24th, 2007

 Random spin from the 2007-08 presidential hustings:

shared responsibility = chameleonspeak for big government coercion: the government takes responsibility for giving you a service that it defines; you take responsibility for gratefully accepting whatever is in the package and paying for it in taxes.

choice = once plain English now converted to Trojan-horse talk for you get to choose as long as you to what I tell you to do but feel good about it because you have “choice.” Of course, if you don’t do what I tell you to do, you don’t deserve a choice.

thoughtful = chocolatesaucetalk for describing anyone of the opposite party who is suddenly providing you with aid and comfort.

carbon footprint = diabolictalk (unless mitigated with the adjective “low” for what those who refuse to buy into the global warning doomsday scenario are doing to the world.

center = Chinese-lunchtalk for a moving point somewhere between not quite the extreme far left and not quite the extreme far right depending on the speaker and the auditor. The word is essentially employed as a self-awarded Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. (see below: move to center)

move to center = phony badgetalk for where a pol runs to bamboozle the general electorate after bamboozling a hard liberal left or hard conservative right into winning a nomination.

New Ethical Congress Takes Up Foodspin

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Voters should be happy to know that one of the first things that the new Democratic-controlled Congress has accomplished is to prevent wicked lobbyists from seducing innocent (but often hungry) congressmen with fancy dinners.

The new Beltway ethics legislation introduced by Majority Leader and Chief Ethicist Harry Reid (D-NV), master of pally real estate deals, forbids congressmen from accepting gourmet lures

But, according to the latest congressional foodspin, the bill does not ban accepting “toothpick fare.”

As long as you’re standing up (admittedly a challenge for some of the thirstier lawmakers), it’s OK to fill up on hors d’oeuvres no matter how pricey.

According to the foodspin philosophy in the bill, maybe you can buy votes from a “sitting” congressman with Dover sole in a dark candlelit restaurant, but a “standing” congressmen can not be had even with smoked salmon or Beluga caviar wrapped in pastry.

The foodspin in the bill does not make clear how many hors d’oeuvres you can have wrapped to go.

Spin Bulletin: Willietalk Award of the Week

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) expressed “extreme sadness” to learn that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will not be joining him and so many others in the Senate’s Democratic Wannabe President Club.

Kerry Wins National Spinney for “Botched Joke”

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), failed contender for some of life’s greater awards such as unalloyed respect and the White House, is far away the winner of a coveted National Spinney for his invention of the plastertalk phrase “botched joke.”

As much of the world now knows, the Senator said at a Democratic political rally in California:

You know, education–if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.

When most people who can understand the English language saw or read this including many prominent Democratic politicians, they clearly interpreted it to mean that the Senator was saying only dopes and academic losers were fighting in the U.S. Armed Services in Iraq.

After two days of trying out much Kerry spinspeak, Kerry finally apologized (sort of) but even then continued to insist that his comment was only, merely, just a “botched joke.”

“Botched joke” is a triumph of the art of spinspeak. Think of how it could have been used brilliantly in the past and will be in the future to plaster over unfortunate comments and phrases. For example:

“Peace in our time” (N. Chamberlain)

“Is Paris Burning?” (A. Hitler)

“We will bury you.” (N. Khrushchev)

“Israel must be destroyed.” (M. Ahmadinejad, stand-up Persian comedian)

That’s No Traitor, Alice, That’s Just a Whistleblower

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Whistleblower as a euphemism for treason is the hands down winner for admission this month to the Spinspeak Great Hall of Fog.

Not so long ago, even in the world’s more Machiavellian eras, very few people with more than a second grade education from public schools where they still taught students to read, write and figure had a problem with defining treason as the act of giving secrets to the enemy — particularly in time of war. A person committing such an act was called a traitor. And punishment was usually swift and public.

Not so in the case of CIA officer and former Clinton Administration official Mary O. McCarthy who has been fired from the CIA for secretly passing to the Washington Post secret information on terrorists held secretly in secret foreign prisons.

According to numerous stories in the mainstream media, she’s no traitor, she’s a whistleblower.

Furthermore, in the words of one broadcast commentator, it was also “an act of honor.”

Still furthermore, ABC-TV said everybody does it.

However, now Accuracy in Media reports that with the disclosure of major donations to the Democratic Party by both McCarthy and Whistleblowee Post Correspondent Dana Priest “the McCarthy scandal could unravel of network of Democratic Party operatives reaching into the Post itself.”

Polishing the Spin for Nominee #2

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Democratic spin on the demise of the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court sets up the spin that will be applied to the new nomination to come.

According to Democratic senators, the Miers nomination was sunk by the “right wing” (Sen. John Kerry), “the far right wing” (Sen. Byron Dorgan), “the extreme right wing” (Sen. Dick Durban), “the radical right wing” (Minority Leader Harry Reid), “extreme partisan pressure” (Sen. Mary Landrau), “extremists” (Sen. Ted Kennedy).

The talking point that goes with this is that Miers was “not extreme enough” to satisfy “the right wing crazies.”

This predictably sets up the Democratic liberal spinspeak for Nominee #2:  Clearly, unless a cloned Justice Souter with a sex change is put forward as a “mainstream” candidate, Nominee #2 will be characterized as an “extreme far right wing radical” or a “radical far right wing extremist” or a “far right wing extreme radical partisan” depending on the mainstream media news cycle.

Spinning Justice in the Senate

Monday, September 12th, 2005

Here are some guidelines to cut through the spinspeak swirling around the nomination of Judge John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

activist = (right-wing conservative version) a judge who writes new law from the bench based on penumbras detected by liberal judges in the Constitution; (left-wing liberal) a judge who wouldn’t recognize a penumbra if it were his own shadow and reverses new law written from the bench.

original intent = codetalk for the Constitution means what it clearly says — not what you may want it to say.

living document = libtalk for the Constitution says whatever makes me feel good today and not what a bunch of white males in wigs put on paper more than 200 years ago.

mainstream = rubbertalk for a part of the river that moves to the left bank or the right bank depending on whatever a political spinmeister is trying to justify; to switch metaphors, the middle of the road becomes the sidewalks.

lifetime appointment = Halloweentalk used to scare the Great Unwashed with the fact known to every fourth grader until the advent of New Age Public Schools that appointment of Supreme Court justices has been for life since 1789.

right to privacy = codetalk for the right to drive-by abortions for all 24/7 if desired.

legal philosophy = fogword phrase for “gotcha” inquiries on how a judicial nominee would vote on political hot-button cases.

method of reasoning = putdowntalk for members of Congress who are, to use proper public school spinspeak, mentally challenged.

Spinning the Latest Language Corruption Gambit

Monday, July 18th, 2005

When the Red Sox beat the Yankees, even the most ardent Yankee fans did not suggest that their team’s problem was lousy communications.

No one in the mournful New York bars believed that all that was needed was an expensive language adjustment to darken the skies over Boston with Yankee homerun hits.

Not so, the liberal Democrats: the spinspeak mantra – we just need “better communications” – has been trotted out continually since the Democratic debacle in the 1994 congressional elections. As Hillary Clinton put it: “We failed to articulate the vision.”

The latest communications salvation magic being sought by Democratic liberals is to be achieved by the magic of “framing“ — a cloudy form of Hegelian superspin that supposedly will win the day by incorporating a lot of ordinary spin that isn’t working into a much bigger, broader spinball that the voters might like better.

The NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE (“The Framing Wars” by Matt Bai) reports that the Democratic leaders particularly like the concept because the roots of “framing theory” lie in the academic jungle thickets of linguistics. As Bai points out: “If you wanted Democrats to pay attention, who better to do the job than an egghead from Berkeley (Prof. George Lakoff) with an armful of impenetrable journal studies…”

But Bai, who clearly understands the difference between spin and fact-based substance, notes: “The right words can frame an argument, but they will never stand in its place.”

Some Fresh Air from Germany: Appeasement by Any Other Name Is Guess What after All?

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Matthias Dapfner, Chief Executive of the huge German publishing house Axel Springer AG, writes in DIE WELT:

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European
appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word “equidistance,” now countenances suicide bombings in Israel” and Iraq… ignore (s) nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder….and react(s) to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere…by suggesting that we really should have a “Muslim Holiday” in Germany.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

Of course, as Dapfner makes clear, many Europeans prefer to do their appeasing and marching under the brave spinspeak banner emblazoned with “equidistance.”

You Must Add Speed To Make Apologies Really "Sincere"

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Spindocs are having a problem with “apology.”

The Spinspeak II dictionary definition for apology is a vacuumtalk figleaf that shows how compassionate you are and makes everything OK but involves no personal penalty or inconvenience.

Originally, such corrupted “apologies” usually were issued long after commission of the original outrage which they were to excuse. However, that no longer has much effect because of the blows of ever more devastating responses and reactions.

Accordingly, to reinvigorate the “sincerity” of a non-apology apology, it must be issued almost immediately post-outrage, possibly even in the next sentence. Only then can you get even the simpleminded to believe that, as you said, your opponent is a child molester but you are so compassionate that you are really, really sorry that you said it in public; or still better, you are really sorry that some witnsesses thought they heard you say it.

The most current example, of course, is provided by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He told some high school students when asked about his thoughts on President Bush’s policies: “I think this guy is a loser.” Shortly afterward, Reid, believed to be the greatest statesman to come out of Spotlight, NV, called the White House and asked presidential adviser Karl Rove to tell the President, who apparently was unavailable, that he apologized. Meantime, the Republican National Committee called Reid’s statement “a sad development but not surprising from the leader of a party devoid of optimism, ideas or solutions…” It was hard to determine from photo finish news reports whether the rejoinder or the apology came first.

Accordingly, for truly effective spin, an apology by definition now will include a timeline demonstrating how close the apology followed the outrage. For example: “Yes, in my speech I called the Vice President an unhung liar and a thieving swine; but please note that, although someone on my staff had already released the text of my speech to the press and it was unfortunately on the TV newscasts, I ad libbed an apology as soon as those words came out of my mouth.”