Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit

Or if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.

Barack Obama took a question from a worker who wanted to know about taxes. He then spent 17 minutes answering her question. Twenty-five hundred words later, he was done and no one knew what he said:

Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package.

“We are over-taxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.

Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer – more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”). Washington Post

People who want to obscure the issue use lots of words and say nothing.

Barack Obama is good at that.

Big Dog

Gunline

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9 Responses to “Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit”

  1. victoria says:

    Oh, but he is the smartest most articulate President that we have ever had…(sarc)

  2. Blake says:

    I live in Texas, and cannot find THAT amount of BS anywhere but oozing out of the mouth of our rezident. That punk can really talk without saying ANYTHING that actually pins him down to ANY position.

  3. Obama has no choice. If you need to conceal an ugly fact without flatly denying it and risking being caught in the contradiction, you have to use a lot of words, though not necessarily in a coherent assemblage. It’s a return to socialist “news reporting,” of the sort that characterized the Iron Curtain countries before the Soviet Union fell. Adjectives and adverbs everywhere, and nary a factual assertion in sight.

    • Darrel says:

      FRAN: “to conceal an ugly fact without flatly denying it and risking being caught in the contradiction, you have to use a lot of words,”>>

      DAR
      Actually that’s exactly backwards. Using lots of words increases the risk of contradiction.

      Good to see Porretto speaking (and briefly) about something he has intimate knowledge of:

      “lot of words, though not necessarily in a coherent assemblage” and “Adjectives and adverbs everywhere, and nary a factual assertion in sight.”

      At least he’s consistent!

      • victoria says:

        DAR
        Actually that’s exactly backwards. Using lots of words increases the risk of contradiction.

        You should know with your full page posts.

      • Darrel says:

        VIC: “You should know [about risk of contradiction] with your full page posts.”>>

        DAR
        One just has to think about what they are talking about, know what they are talking about, have a good memory and be careful not contradict themselves. I spent several years studying contradictions and actually wrote a book about them, so they really are a bit of a specialty.

        If you ever catch me contradicting myself, please point it out.

        An out of tune piano is full of inharmonicity
        or, “contradictions.” After it’s tuned, everything is harmonious. So when I give Porretto or Mike a little tune up on their errors or point out how their claims contradict reality, it’s very much like being at work, tuning out discordance. I enjoy both but one pays better.

        D.

  4. Dennis says:

    If something smells, I think it’s B.O. How’s that for the soul of wit?