Newspeak …

Katherine Harris goes from 22 points down to 29 points down in new poll; expresses confidence that she will “continue to go only up.”

… is now the official language of the GOP.

Poll: Nelson Holds Wide Lead in Fla. Race

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Apr. 20, 2006


(AP) Republican Rep. Katherine Harris, who became a household name amid the 2000 presidential election dispute, remains far behind in her bid to oust Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, a new poll released Thursday shows.

Nelson was favored by 56 percent of those surveyed, compared to 27 percent who preferred Harris in the poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

A similar poll two months ago had Nelson ahead 53 percent to 31 percent.

“It’s a tough environment for Republicans now,” Harris said Wednesday when asked about the latest numbers. “I’m confident that we’ll continue to only go up.”

Savor with me the word “continue.” She’s gone from 22 points down to 29 points down, and predicts that “we’ll continue to only go up.”

I have this filed under “Lying in Politics,” but as Orwell said in “Looking Back at the Spanish War,” this sort of stuff is actually much further from the truth than an ordinary lie. It’s more like surrealism or nonsense verse than it is like politics.

It’s Richard Pryor caught in flagrante saying to his wife “Who ya gonna believe? Me, or your lying eyes?” It’s Jimmy Durante in Jumbo, caught by a policeman stealing an elephant from the circus, replying to the officer’s “Where do you think you’re going with that elephant?” with a bland “What elephant?”

But these people aren’t kidding. And they’re in power. And they’ve bullied reporters into transcribing their lunacy without comment.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

5 thoughts on “Newspeak …”

  1. I don't know if Richard Pryor ever used the line "Who ya gonna believe" or not, but Chico Marx certainly did, in 1933. From the IMDb:
    Mrs. Teasdale: Your Excellency, I thought you'd left!
    Chicolini: Oh no, I no leave.
    Mrs. Teasdale: But I saw you with my own eyes!
    Chicolini: Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

  2. On this, I would say "Unfair"–both to the GOP, which is not wholly responsible (well, mostly, but not wholly) for its nutcases, and to the reporter, who simply provided an accurate quote that allows anyone paying attention to see what a fool Harris is.
    But, thanks for providing the quote, which matches the much-lamented Bagdad Bob in "Annals of Spin (Subcategory Delusional)"

  3. After reading Kevin Phillips ( I am wondering even more if the press is willingly serving Bush's themes (in addition to being bullied). I used to think in monetary terms only (rich vs. poor type of thing), but religion may be a better explanation (for the weirdness of it all). The same thought would also apply to congress, i.e. perhaps explain the strange lack of opposition to Bush's nuttery.
    If you agree with the above article, it is indeed hard to find any fault in Bush's "performance" – he seems right on target.

  4. That the press has acted as stenographer to Bush is indisputable. Crediting this to bullying is optimistic, not to say superficial. The press is characterised by laziness, credulity, ignorance of history, and an unexamined belief in American exceptionalism and hegemony. Spread like margarine over all of it is the meme that "Every issue has two sides, and the press' job is to report what each side 'says.'"
    Bullying is needed only for a few. Electing non-bullies won't change the rest.

  5. In terms of 'nutcases', Harris is the GOP candidate for Senate. Of a very important swing state.

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