Retirement and Social Security Reform
Denying Truth And Rewriting The Dictionary
Investor's Business Daily
October 7, 2009
By Ernest S. Christian and Gary A. Robbins
We rise in defense of Merriam-Webster's. Dictionaries
are important, President Obama to the contrary notwithstanding.
So is truth and so is the English language. It has expressed
centuries of Anglo-American freedoms with precision and grandeur
- from the Magna Carta to the Constitution.
Dictionaries also provide insights into the character of our
new president and his efforts to change (to make radically
different) America's long history of free markets and free
Barack Obama has an elastic (capable of being stretched) approach
to reality. Facts that do not suit him are set aside and replaced
with fabrications. The "L" word of Joe Wilson fame
is insufficient to describe the skill with which the president
deceives millions of people into believing fables.
He is a master practitioner of "sophistry" (subtly
deceptive reasoning or argumentation). In Washington, nearly
everything said or done is calculated to deceive. Many of
its residents are of the fabulist persuasion, but none compares
He casts a spell over susceptible people, rendering them unable
to distinguish fact from fiction. He then whips out his magic
pencil (the one with the big eraser) and rewrites the script.
In the president's revised version of history, he has not
had a long and close association with Acorn. He did not nationalize
General Motors and reward his supporters at the United Auto
Workers with a chunk of the stock. He is not in thrall to
the big labor bosses at Service Employees International Union
and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees. And the Democratic Party has not sold its political
soul to trial lawyers who hound doctors and hospitals and
increase medical costs by billions of dollars each year.
The president has also written a "let's pretend"
storybook of the naive genre.
- Not all taxes are taxes; government spending is free and
debt never has to be repaid.
- He and Congress have our best interests at heart and are
smarter than we are. They should run everything.
- Too much high-quality medical care is bad for us. We must
switch to the government brand. It's almost the real thing.
It's also "free." Just take a ticket and be patient.
- Energy must be made scarce and more expensive. Never mind
the job losses (more than a million per year from "cap-and-trade"
alone). Forget about the economic destruction (at least
$2 trillion over a decade).
- After America's factories are shut, the Chinese will give
us jobs in theirs.
Oh, and don't forget: The president also says that we should
not worry about the mullahs in Iran and their nukes. He will
The president's declining approval ratings imply that 30%
of the people who voted for him in 2008 have regained consciousness
and now think differently. They are searching their dictionaries
for suitable words.
We suggest "fizzle" (to fail or end feebly after
a promising start). Perhaps they were duped by a "simulacrum"
(an insubstantial form or semblance of something). The 1913
Webster's says "sham." Voters were "sold a
bill of goods."
President Obama continues to be a winsome young man, gifted
in speech and confident in manner, but he is now exhibiting
signs of "narcissism" (excessive overestimation
of one's own abilities). Given his unabashed agenda to remake
America according to his personal specifications, he seems
also to suffer from "megalomania" (a condition marked
by feelings of omnipotence).
There is another word for Barack Obama's desire to control
every aspect of American life from Washington. It is "totalitarianism".
Thus far, Obama's reach has greatly exceeded his grasp. Months
of confabulation and confusion have produced little more than
stagy, badly crafted ruses that fool no one. His mistakes
are reinforcing the notion among voters that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid
regime is both wrongheaded and incompetent. A word that comes
to mind is "sophomoric" (conceited and overconfident).
But the Obama administration may not always be so inept -
and he personally is obviously no pushover. He is well-financed
and already armed with a battery of scary federal laws. Now
he and the Democrats in Congress are seeking an even bigger
arsenal of weapons for the federal takeover of America.
The first place to draw the line is on ObamaCare. Defeat him
there and freedom in America has a chance. Lose and we get
even bigger big government.
It is an "enormity" (a grave offense against right
Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant
secretary of the Treasury in the Ford administration. Robbins,
an economist, served at the Treasury Department in the Reagan