Obama-ese – Using Catch Phrases To Say Absolutely Nothing


There are some days when reading through numerous news reports, reading a book for self-education or writing an article or comment piece produces an overwhelming desire to engage in some silly but interesting word play. As someone who does not care for the current sitting President, the word play game began while researching some of his more memorable catch phrases to see what fun I could have in using “Obama-ese.”

The first catch phrase that has been uttered more than Scarlett O’Hara’s famous “fiddle-dee-dee” is – Let me be clear. One could gather from this phrase that the next words would be very important, or a warning is being issued or there would be no misunderstanding in the meaning. The statement following could stand alone as being straight-forward. It seems Obama uses this phrase to let everyone know where he stands. It ranks on the same level as “Read my lips.” So reading lips means “this is my stance” and qualifying a statement with the preceding “Let me be clear” would mean the statement signifies Obama’s stance; but does it? Liberals often use qualifiers as they have a hard time communicating what they actually mean. So the statement, “Let me be clear, if you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them” means exactly what it says. So why is it that reports have circulated that individuals may not be able to keep their providers? Maybe he wasn’t quite so clear or maybe that wasn’t really his stance. It means exactly what is said. What was left out was, “we won’t pay for it though” and “you’ll have to use what plan we tell you to in order to keep them and have us pay for it.”

The next catch phrase has to be an all-time favorite – Win the Future. This one gets the Suzanne Hamner award for rib splitting, sides hurting, laughing hysterically real insight into the Obama indication for the future. Just look at the acronym – WTF. It leaves no misunderstanding whatsoever about what we all will be saying and the look on our faces if the “WTF” keeps happening under this administration. As the future is, nothing concrete can change. Decisions and events in the present are not guaranteed and cannot be predicted. What is there to win because nothing can be won or lost if you didn’t have it in the first place. Onward now, “back to the future” another time.

We can’t wait” has to be the one that best describes how this administration works. They can’t wait to finish putting the knife in and turning it into the body of the Constitution before stabbing it with another. No one can wait to thoroughly read anything or thoroughly think things through before presenting it for a vote before Congress. I guess they can’t wait to flush the country down the toilet to actually rest in the septic tank. Obama can’t be bothered with too much government business as he can’t wait to get to the golf course or go on another vacation. I guess with a 220+ year old government you have to expect some urge incontinence in both the bladder and bowel area. Maybe, some in Washington have “lost their grip.”

The ever famous “We don’t quit” reminds me of two things: the Energizer bunny running across the TV screen beating a drum and that device with like 6 stainless steel balls hanging from the strings where putting one in motion produces that ever annoying and continual “clack, clack, clack, clack” sound. It’s obvious that quitting isn’t in the Washington dictionary as they continue to trample freedom, liberty and God-given rights under their feet. In order for them to stop, it looks like the battery has to be yanked from the back of that bunny and those stainless steel balls jerked right off the string. That would definitely take “the wind out of their sails.”

Let’s give credit where credit is due. After all, this administration only wants “An America built to last.” Funny thing, this country was founded or built 220+ years ago. Someone forgot to send the memo to let the country know it was still under construction or the paper origami shape that is the United States is not strong enough to withstand the ages. One would think we were all standing with Obama down at GM, Ford or Dodge working to make Dodge or Ford trucks and Chevrolets. The country has been built; it needs to be properly maintained and nurtured. Again, Obama is perfectly clear as his idea for building an America to last is similar to “out with old, in with the new” as we all have heard “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

The premise of being “Greater together” falls along the same lines as “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Unfortunately, the strong chain of America has been weakened through the coupling with a paper clip. With the track record so far, the trick is figuring out who is involved in the “together” referenced. It’s obviously not referring to a candy bar and one could surmise since “the sum is greater than its parts,” it would signal a “meeting of the minds” between the “young and the restless” and “the old and decrepit.” Well, the “old and decrepit” might be more “young and restless” than is thought.

Change we can believe in” still has the question of who is the “we.” For me, that “change” is the quarter sitting in the cup-holder of the car used to get the shopping cart from the bin at the local discount chain food store or the bowl of hair dye the stylist uses to enhance my color. Change means many things and without any specifics, it’s like that box of chocolates Forrest Gump’s mother references – you never know what you’re going to get.

The promise to “fundamentally change America” signals a strike to the very foundation, the Constitution, of this country. Every woman knows what a “foundation” sale involves. Any woman can tell you a foundation too small or fitting too tightly causes discomfort while a foundation too large or fitting too loosely can leave one without support bouncing to and fro, almost out of control. The appropriate “foundation” provides comfort and support without compromising either. It’s hard to surmise which “foundation” direction we are heading as someone is trying some days to put “a square peg in a round hole” and on others to carry a drop of water in a bucket.

It’s very easy to rely on clichés and use catch phrases to make points and sway individuals as it relies on nothing more than “smoke and mirrors.” The key is playing to what everyone wants without promising anything and letting them think you have made a commitment to what each wants while saying nothing.

Here’s my example:

Let me be clear, we can’t wait to fundamentally change America; and, to have change we can believe in and win the future, we have to be greater together in making an America built to last.

This simple sentence put together using catch phrases means nothing, promises nothing, and explains nothing, but someone would swear it did because of what is read into it. It’s a shame that in the battle of the wits, some are unarmed.

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an america built to last barack obama change we can believe in fundamentally change america great together let me be clear obama-ese suzanne hamner we can’t wait we don’t quit win the future