The SOTU Speech And A Sip Of Water.ColumnsFeaturedPolitics

Sixteen words. Ninety-two characters. A sentence that would fit in a Twitter post.

But what a stir it caused.

From the right, “Why, that’s preposterous!”

From the left, pretty much just crickets. They had an issue of their own, which I’ll get to later.

What was that sentence? This one:

Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.

Let me analyze it a bit for you. Well, at least for me. In its simplest form, it’s a double negative followed by President Obama’s favorite metaphor.

A double negative is always difficult to translate into the real meaning of the speaker. Perhaps that’s why those of us in the South have raised it to an art form. But is the sentence above a disingenuous lie?

No, taken at face value, it’s 100% true. A spending increase should never increase a deficit.

The key word being should. The metaphor that follows serves to make the real meaning less clear. If it turns out to actually increase a deficit, it certainly won’t be by a single dime.

Let’s look now at the sentence as it was heard, or interpreted, by many conservatives. “Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight would increase our deficit, by any amount.”

Well, that’s obviously not true. But ‘not true‘ is what we have come to expect from our president.

I’ve spent almost 300 words deconstructing a sixteen word sentence, and we still don’t know what the speaker really meant. We do know what the sentence means, but is that what the speaker meant?

With this guy you can’t really say with certainty.

Next. When is a sip of water not a sip of water? When it occurs during a conservative speech.

The left wing media has used up a weeks worth of words describing that sip of water. None of it in flattering terms. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer even wishfully asked if it was a career ender.

They are still not through with it by this morning.

We’ve all seen a speaker pause for a sip of water. It’s not an unknown phenomena.

Hell, many of the left’s favorite comedians even take a sip of Scotch on stage. It ain’t no big deal.

How much better it would be to see some substantive two way discussion of both speeches. That’ll happen when the kid next door walks on the moon.

@altonfoley | Facebook | Alton’s posts | E-mail me

  • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

    Let me translate Obama for you with my Clinton-era parsing skills:

    “You guys are a bunch of rubes who will swallow any pleasant-sounding crap I feel like shoving down your gullet. Have a nice day, morons!”

  • MD Russ

    C’mon, Alton. Watergate was awkward if not downright funny. If Rubio was a liberal Democrat, you and everyone else on BD would be ripping him a new butt-hole. Don’t make lame excuses when one of your heros screws up. They do enough of that over at Smurf Virginia.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alton.foley Alton Foley

      I would? Your evidence, please?

      • MD Russ

        Alton Foley posted a comment in Obama Shows Up To National Prayer Breakfast Sleepy And Chewing Nicorette… · 3 days ago

        Proof that he sleeps next to a Wookie?

        • http://www.facebook.com/alton.foley Alton Foley

          Put that into its proper context, please.

        • http://www.facebook.com/alton.foley Alton Foley

          You’ll have to do better than that MD.

          • MD Russ

            No, I don’t. Obama did something in public that was awkward and you made what many people, myself included, would consider to be a racist comment.

          • http://www.facebook.com/alton.foley Alton Foley

            I did? I questioned what you thought was a racist comment. Can’t you read?

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