I was thinking of the various forms of superbole. Usually, it’s the market-speak variety designed to provoke a buying frenzy. Then there are the multi-syllabic brain-pokers; the erudite rants that nobody really understands anyhow (but we nod anyhow to feign comprehension). Of course, we shant forget colorful scatological metaphors that we learn on the playground before we work up to more sophisticated assaults. Then there are the uniquely succinct ones that just sneek up and poke you in the eye, like whatDick Cheney did the other night.
ABC‘s Martha Raddatz had him on-camera for a recent interview. She peppered him with the usual round of political questions du Jour. Then, late in the interview she cited polling that shows that two-thirds of Americans believe that the Iraq War is not worth the cost.
“They’re looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives,” she emphasized.
To whit, Dick said, “So?”
Obviously astonished by the cavalier toss off, Raddatz countered, “So you don’t care what the American people think?”
For a moment, Dick stared at her – to emphasize that, yes, indeed, he didn’t. I believe he almost chuckled before he finally smugly replied, “No.”
Of course, there is context. He went on to make the case that leaders should not be “blown off course” by ever-moving and ever-changing public opinion. And I would agree with that point and might have let this pass were it not for his obvious display of utter disregard for the question, especially in his position as a servant of the people.
Many in the foreign press also commented and several made great emphasis of Dick’s personality: a man of great arrogance. By my lights, Mr Cheney gets the award for the least number of syllables uttered in superbole.