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.