September 18, 2006

You Keep Using That Word... Oh, Forget It

I'm not about to read anything John Yoo writes, but something struck me from this bit Charles Pierce quotes:

The changes of the 1970’s occurred largely because we had no serious national security threats to United States soil [as Pierce says, WTF? but that's not what I want to talk about], but plenty of paranoia in the wake of Richard Nixon’s use of national security agencies to spy on political opponents.

Given that Nixon had used national security agencies to spy on political opponents, isn't the proper term not 'paranoia' but 'justified concern'? We aren't even in "don't mean they're not after you" territory.

Posted by Matt Weiner at September 18, 2006 09:14 AM

Prose like his shows the futility of your project of carefully analyzing language. He puts sentences together the way trains are put together--pow! pre-fab slab of language crashes into another pre-fab slab of language and the couplers stick them together. (Well, that's how Lionel trains went together.) I refer particularly to "in the wake of." Versus "after"? On second thought, maybe it's to dodge "because of.

Now, this is interesting:
To his critics, Mr. Bush is a “King George” bent on an “imperial presidency.” But the inescapable fact is that war shifts power to the branch most responsible for its waging: the executive.

First, I thought Republicans were against big, powerful gummint. Second, it could explain why we have a war, couldn't it? Oh, wait, that's paranoia. And third, chipping away at the presidency probably mostly happened when the president was Democratic and the congress was Republican, didn't it?

Posted by: Matt's mom at September 18, 2006 12:57 PM