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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 people.

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 to Obama.

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 "friend" them.

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 and decency).

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 administration.

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