The GOP's language problem

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico) recently spoke for about 5 minutes on the House floor. He spoke about the importance of words. About how words matter. And about how the president is using words in an extremely manipulative way.

Of course that's not news to most of us. But it is refreshing to hear someone speak about it in such a straightforward manner, putting the topic front and center.

I think the Congressman could have gone farther, but it's a start. He tried to demystify some of the language coming out of Washington and pointed out how words are being used to intentionally mislead the public, providing several examples. It was refreshing to hear someone speak the truth, plain and simple.

Coincidentally, National Review Online recently published a piece by Thomas Sowell that addresses how lamentably inarticulate Republicans are. And, of course, Sowell is right. With few exceptions, GOP elected officials are not very skilled at crafting a clear, concise, and compelling case.

When the government was shut down during the Clinton administration, Republican leaders who went on television to tell their side of the story talked about "OMB numbers" versus "CBO numbers" - as if most people beyond the Beltway knew what these abbreviations meant or why the statistics in question were relevant to the shutdown. Why talk to them in Beltway-speak?

When Speaker Boehner today goes around talking about the "CR," that is just more of the same thinking - or lack of thinking. Policy wonks inside the Beltway know that he is talking about the continuing resolution that authorizes the existing level of government spending to continue, pending a new budget agreement. (snip)

Today, the Democrats' buzzword is "clean" - as in the endlessly repeated statement that Republicans in the House of Representatives should send a "clean" bill to the Senate. Anything less than a blank check is not considered a "clean" bill. The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the responsibility to originate all spending bills based on what they think should and should not be funded. But the word "clean" is now apparently supposed to override the Constitution.

The left, on the other hand, engages in Alinsky tactics every day. They are unified in how they fight, repeating volatile words that exploit emotion. Or using obscure words that confuse the listener. And through it all, they just plain lie.

So I welcome Representative Pearce putting the issue of language on the table, albeit with a tepid delivery.

More please!