Politico Speak Decoded
20 OVER-USED POLITICAL CLICHES
AND WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN
Jim Moore | June 18 2005
You’ve heard these clichés many times, on both TV and radio. But, chances are, you never stopped to think about what they mean.
If you did, you may have smiled (or even laughed) each time some politician (from either side) nonchalantly pulled one out of his hat and incorporated it in his speech.
In the event, however, you never gave political clichés much thought, now’s the time to give it some. It might help you to understand how far into the Land of Condescension these back-slapping, bought-and-paid-for con artists try to take us.
When a politician precedes a statement with this word he is saying that you don’t know the subject matter as well as he does, and he is determined, by god, to enlighten you, whether you want to be enlightened or not.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS
This statement tells you that he is about to reveal something deep and profound. Since he assumes you should already know what it is, he will usually say this with a sneer.
I DON’T ANSWER HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS
He says this when he is stuck for a response. This makes you look like an idiot for asking a question you know he won’t answer.
MY SOURCES TELL ME
If what the speaker says proves to be false, he can get off the hook by blaming his source. Why the source doesn’t stiff the speaker and spill the beans himself is no mystery. Better to be a snitch than a target.
HAVING SAID THAT
This speaker is about to contradict himself. This will prompt you to compare both statements to find out what the hell he meant. If anything.
AND THE LIST GOES ON
This ploy means that there are more items on the list but he doesn’t remember what they are. Thus, the cliché translates to: Do I have to tell you everything? Use your imagination, dummy!
Similar to “And the list goes on”, but used more often and more casually, and delivered with even more disdain.
A smarmy phrase that makes you look intelligent for asking the question. And also gives the speaker time to dream up an ambiguous answer without fear of you holding his feet to the fire.
There’s a risk in saying this. To categorically deny anything prevents him from denying anything that’s out of that category. An answer that covers more ground would be: I rhetorically deny that.
Said mostly in front of TV cameras. Yes, the public has a right to know, but you will have to wait for the tabloids or shock radio to hear what his comment would have probably been.
KEEP MY OPTIONS OPEN
This phrase lets crafty politicians change their minds mid-stream. While the public admires his flexibility, they soon realize this his mouth is more open than his options.
AS I MENTIONED BEFORE
This is used to remind the audience that what he just said is so important that it bears repeating. The fact that the audience doesn’t give a fuck, is of no importance. Unless he sees them yawning.
A FIGURE OF SPEECH
He can say his opponent is a damn fool, then later claim it was a figure of speech. However, he can be fined or jailed, because today even a figure of speech is a “hate crime.” Against who? Who cares.
IN MY JUDGMENT
A politician spouts this when he wants people to see him as wise as Solomon. Or wants to reflect a certain integrity and forthrightness. What you don’t know is that he sends tax money offshore, pilfers from campaign contributions, takes payoff money from lobbyists, and cheats on both women---his wife in D.C. and his lover in Cleveland.
LET’S CLEAR THE AIR
Said by politicians who believe they are masters of clarity. But after a half hour of bafflegab there is usually more fog in the air after they have cleared it. WELL
This word is generally followed by a statement. Such as, “Well, I believe that…” or, “Well, it seems to me..” and so on. If a politician answers a question without starting with “Well”, beware. He’s too sure of himself and could be dangerous.
I AGREE WITH YOU
This phrase is usually followed by “but” or “however.” Which indicates that he doesn’t agree with you at all. Or, that he agrees with you, but would rather die than admit it to anyone.
If anything in life were simple this word may never have surfaced. But since it has, the speaker is chastising you, by innuendo, for trying to complicate something he thinks is elementary, but isn’t.
MY HONORABLE COLLEGUE
Heard ad nauseam in the Two Houses. It’s a dignified way to call your opponent a jerk. The truth is, legislators may refer to their counterparts on the other side as colleagues, but not likely to think of any of them as honorable.
SENDS A SIGNAL
World leaders seldom meet; so they send signals. But even signals need translating. Suppose Bush signals Putin: “Congratulations, Vladimir. I hear you’re now siphoning oil out of the ground.” And it’s translated: “Vladimir, your new way of getting oil out of the ground, sucks.” Wars have started for less.
I will admit, in this article I made politicians my targets. That may seem unfair, since many people use these words occasionally. On the other hand, in this game you go for the target that is easiest to hit.
Re: Politico Speak Decoded
Clearly, the fact of the matter is that I don't answer hypothetical questions because my sources tell me that I shouldn't. Now, having said that, it was a good question, but the list goes on, etc., and I don't have time during this press conference to answer all of your concerns.
As I mentioned before I am going to keep my options open, but I categorically deny that I ever said anything like that in the past unless you can directly quote me.
It was just a figure of speech in my judgement. I agree with you, so let's clear the air,
Well, basically, my honorable colleague, you will have to send a signal.
Just havin' fun!!
Re: Politico Speak Decoded
Thanks Nohope and BA for that nice spot of humour on an otherwise ordinary monday afternoon. :-D
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