29 January 2011

I've said repeatedly....

Note: I have tried to keep politics out of this blog but this isn't a political post so much as a post about veracity and personal integrity.

Impressionists, cartoonists, and even historians rely heavily on identifying and amplifying the physical and verbal idiosyncrasies of public figures, especially presidents.

Their constant presence in the media means that their pet phrases and mannerisms become familiar to all (even against our will) as the inevitable caricatures demonstrate.

There was Reagan's "Well..." and a shrug of the shoulders, GHWB41's slow-motion karate chops on the top of the lectern, Clinton's raised index finger, etc.

Obama is a special case, however, as he rarely has anything to say of substance (or truth, if you like) beyond the verbal window dressing.

His "Let me be clear..." has already passed into legend for its annoying frequency of use and its contradictory nature - for what he says after rarely contains one iota of clarity.

Less frequent - but more insidious - is Obama's reliance on the pet phrase "I've said repeatedly." He occasionally changes it to "I've said in the past" or "I've said all along" but it is his go-to phrase especially in one-on-one interviews.

It sounds harmless enough until you realize several things:

1) He will claim to have said something in the past when no evidence of same can be found.

2) He believes that use of this phrase somehow confers a continuity of purpose, philosophy, policy or action when we know full well this is not the case.

3) He believes that an inherently wrongheaded idea or plan somehow gains validity if it exists for an extended period of time.

4) He uses it as a sort of after-the-fact clairvoyance. When the market dips, when home prices fall, when jobs are lost, Obama will claim to have "said repeatedly" that action X, Y or Z should have been taken. Of course, he never gets round to identifying or taking that action BEFORE negative consequences occur.

At the risk of drawing further attention to the more maddening aspects of this intellectual lightweight, I have reached the breaking point with this particular verbal trip hammer of his. It is his umbrella, his shield, his front porch. Count (if you can stand it) the frequency and quantity of "I've said repeatedly." This man cannot stand to be in the wrong. And if he is in the wrong (that is to say, most days), he will claim to have been in the right, safe in the knowledge that nobody within a 100-mile radius of the White House has the nerve nor the initiative to challenge him on the most rudimentary of facts.

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