March 26, 2017

Apophasis.

I used the word in a comment just now [where it, unfortunately, misautocorrected]. And I'm reading the Wikipedia article on the subject. This jumped out:
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan said of Michael Dukakis, a presidential candidate who was rumored to have received psychological treatment, "Look, I'm not going to pick on an invalid."

US President Donald Trump has been noted for repeatedly using apophasis. In 2015, Trump said of fellow Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, "I promised I would not say that she ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, that she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired. I said I will not say it, so I will not say it." In 2016, he tweeted of journalist Megyn Kelly, “I refuse to call [her] a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct."
I didn't remember Reagan as being such an asshole! Sheds a different light on present-day efforts to distinguish Trump from Reagan, like Maureen Dowd in her column today "Donald, This I Will Tell You":
You mused that a good role model would be Ronald Reagan. As you saw it, Reagan was a big, good-looking guy with a famous pompadour; he had also been a Democrat and an entertainer. But Reagan had one key quality that you don’t have: He knew what he didn’t know.

You both resembled Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons, floating above the nitty-gritty and focusing on a few big thoughts. But President Reagan was confident enough to accept that he needed experts below, deftly maneuvering the strings.

You’re just careering around on your own, crashing into buildings and losing altitude, growling at the cameras and spewing nasty conspiracy theories, instead of offering a sunny smile, bipartisanship, optimism and professionalism....

72 comments:

Krumhorn said...

My favorite Reagan put down:

The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.

- Krumhorn

AReasonableMan said...

The problem is Paul Ryan, not Donald Trump.

Darrell said...

Trump is only wrong if you get your news from the NYT. Real people have stopped doing that.

Inga said...

Maureen Dowd, right on the mark.

dreams said...

The only good thing I can say about Maureen Dowd is that she is aging well physically.

Birkel said...

Reagan was not as ass hole. When did close observers of politics come to believe politics is beanbag? And why does that position apply only to one side?

Fuck that.

dreams said...

Yes, the problem is Paul Ryan, he has had almost 8 years to get the health care bill right.

Darrell said...

Maureen Dowd supported Hillary. That destroys her credibility right there.

robinintn said...

Dowd's column seems to support Scott Adam's contention that the Rynocare failure promoted Trump from #literallyhitler to #incompetent.

AReasonableMan said...

How Paul Ryan played Donald Trump

AReasonableMan said...

Ryan doesn't speak for Wisconsin's 1st district or America. He speaks for his DC donors.

Laslo Spatula said...

In response to the comment I responded in part:

Okay, so I looked up "apophysis":

a·poph·y·sis
əˈpäfəsəs/
1.a natural protuberance from a bone, or inside the shell or exoskeleton of a sea urchin or insect, for the attachment of muscles.
BOTANY
2.a swelling at the base of the sporangium in some mosses.
GEOLOGY
3.a small offshoot extending from an igneous intrusion into the surrounding rock.

What am I missing in the usage of this word?

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

The Albuquerque Journal (D) this morning has an article similar to my post yesterday: Trump is going to let Obamacare fester for a while and wait for the medical insurance industry to work on their Congress critters to come to the table.

Laslo Spatula said...

Althouse's comment from the previous post: "One of these days I'm going to remember the word apophysis and not need to look it up."

From Wiki:
Apophasis: Not to be confused with Apophysis (disambiguation)...

Althouse mistakenly added the 'y' in the spelling to make me look up the wrong word.

She is playing games with me.

I am Laslo.

AReasonableMan said...

Coulter to Trump: Get Back to Immigration, Trade, Infrastructure, Building a Wall — Not Paul Ryan’s ‘Standard GOP Corporatist Stuff’

Coulter is correct and, thanks to Ryan, Trump now has a very narrow time window to get something done that will improve our manufacturing competitiveness and reduce the trade deficit, and he has already wasted much of his already very limited political capital.

It's almost as if Ryan didn't want Trump to succeed in these areas.

mockturtle said...

I didn't remember Reagan as being such an asshole!

That's because he wasn't.

Achilles said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
"Coulter to Trump: Get Back to Immigration, Trade, Infrastructure, Building a Wall — Not Paul Ryan’s ‘Standard GOP Corporatist Stuff’

Coulter is correct and, thanks to Ryan, Trump now has a very narrow time window to get something done that will improve our manufacturing competitiveness and reduce the trade deficit, and he has already wasted much of his already very limited political capital.

It's almost as if Ryan didn't want Trump to succeed in these areas."

That's my shtick.

Do you actually want Trump to succeed in those areas or are you trolling?

mockturtle said...

ARM proposes: It's almost as if Ryan didn't want Trump to succeed in these areas.

Gee, do you think??

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

you're likeable enough, Hillary

I didn't remember Obama being such an asshole!

Achilles said...

It feels strange not needing to say something because ARM already made the point. Something is wrong about this.

tcrosse said...

you're likeable enough, Hillary
Wrong again.

Laslo Spatula said...

From an Althouse Poll from several days back:

"Somehow I feel I need another option. Althouse didn't give me enough. Yes, I could just explain my theory in the comments, but I'd have to criticize Althouse for failing to include MY idea. Well, Althouse is on to you. She doesn't want to hear about how her polls don't have every possible subtlety of whatever a person might think. But she knows you won't just skip the poll, no, that would be too easy..."

Is this "Apophasis"?

I am Laslo.

Kevin said...

"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience," Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President."

Sam L. said...

I don't care what MoDo says.

Michael K said...

"The problem is Paul Ryan, not Donald Trump."

ARM and I agree. It's almost April Fools Day.

Maureen Dowd always make me think of Grandma in "Parenthood."

Susan Buckman Merrick: [after breaking the lock on Gary's bedroom door and searching it, Helen finds some sex tapes and plays one - graphic sex sounds from the television as Susan and Grandma enter the room] Helen? Oh, the door was unlocked.
[sees the sex action on the television]
Grandma: What channel is this?
Helen: No Gran, this is a tape.
Grandma: [to Susan] She needs a man... Now!
Helen: Gran, this isn't mine. I don't watch this!
Grandma: [to Susan again as they are leaving the room and speaking of the sex action on the television] One of those men reminded me of your Grandpa. God bless him!

YoungHegelian said...

Don't see the "apophasis" very much. Thanks for highlighting its use, Professor.

Now, Apophatic versus Cataphatic Theology, those words get thrown around chez YH all the gol-durn time!

grackle said...

… President Reagan was confident enough to accept that he needed experts below, deftly maneuvering the strings …

A meme similar to the Reagan-is/was-a-puppet meme – or perhaps more of a variation. A combination of giving the commonplace undue significance(EVERY Presidential administration needs and employs “experts”) and the double implication that an unconfident Trump is either too unsure of himself to employ the “needed experts” or is so delusional as to believe that he can perform the duties of the POTUS without them.

Dowd constantly searches for new hooks to hang her false narratives on.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse mistakenly added the 'y' in the spelling to make me look up the wrong word."

Sorry, but that was autocorrect. I caught it doing this post, but didn't see it happening there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is this "Apophasis"?"

I think so.

robother said...

Reagan had his apophaser set to stun: Trump's is dialed up to 11.

MikeR said...

Nonsense. Reagan was asked about Dukasis' mental health. His response was a joke. Maybe not that funny, but not a good example at all.

LYNNDH said...

Why extend a hand to the Dems, and have it chopped off?

rhhardin said...

GWEN: You know, normally, the penis and the heart are kept together and mummified along with the body, but in Pepi's case, they removed it and preserved it in this separate gold-encrusted jar.

PINCUS: God. I can see why he was king.

GWEN: You okay?

PINCUS: Yeah. I've got to get used to looking down at a shriveled, old penis, eventually. Oh, geez. I see he died happy.

GWEN: That's it. That's enough.

PINCUS: He must have had huge hands.

Ghost Town (2008)

traditionalguy said...

Dowd is spot on Scott Adams' prophecy yesterday. Better Ryan's toy than Hitler.

Now he fires Ryan...for being a Russian/Koch Doyle agent. Then Dowd will write a puff piece on Puff The Magic Donald.

traditionalguy said...

The Tags section is an editorial of its own.

Fernandinande said...

The first rule of Apophasis Club is: You do not talk about apophasis.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucien said...

YoungHegelian:

In Cataphilic theology my cats believe they are gods, or each believes it is the one God -- they argue about these things all the time. Either way, I propitiate them with food & treats, and the dog cleans their butts for them.

William said...

John D. Rockefeller suffered from alopecia. Alopecia is an immune disorder that causes the sudden and complete loss of hair. This hair loss made John D look sickly, but he was actually quite healthy and lived to his nineties. Things aren't always what they seem. Trump's health care program suffers from alopecia, but the host body may yet prove to be robust........At a time when Ida Tarbell's father was constructing oil barrels--wooden ones--, John D. Rockefeller was constructing metal tank cars for railways--fleets of them. I don't know why, but Maureen Dowd's criticism of Trump put me in mind of Tarbell's criticism of Rockefeller.

Mary Beth said...

Reagan had one key quality that you don’t have: He knew what he didn’t know.

If I were asked which president always thinks he's the smartest man in the room, my first response wouldn't be Trump. It would be the one who said, "I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director."

Laslo Spatula said...

"If I were asked which president always thinks he's the smartest man in the room..."

My response would be Lincoln. That Bullshit Artist.

I am Laslo.

mockturtle said...

Wilson would qualify but Obama certainly fills the bill, as Mary Beth points out.

Drago said...

Michael K: "ARM and I agree. It's almost April Fools Day."

Not at all. In fact, this seeming "agreement" between an ARM, Achulles, Michael K and other "strange bedfellows" is the point of Trump's election.

Now don't get me wrong, I am philosophically aligned with the Freedom Caucus but those guys screwed up tactically.

They don't yet see that the end result will be something much less amenable to conservatives as Trump, The outsider unbeholden to anyone, simply goes in the direction of a working non-establishment coalition.

Trump wants a deal to relieve consumers pain. He wants to be liked. He wants to cut the deal and "win".

The conservatives may have written themselves out of that final legislation.

khesanh0802 said...

I think that Maureen Dowd couldn't be more wrong. Trump is very aware of what he doesn't know. He doesn't pretend that he knows something and he doesn't pretend he is the smartest guy in the room. He is not afraid to ask questions of people who do know things which is the best way to get an education. The trick is being smart enough to ask the right questions. I think Trump is. In the world of academia asking questions and pondering answers is generally called the Socratic method- the method of choice at many top-rated graduate schools.

BTW a headline in the WSJ says that Trump is beginning to look for "moderate" Democrats to work with him and the Republicans to get things done. Chuck Schumer is going to have a stroke. I said yesterday Trump is goal oriented and is going to do what it takes to attain his goals. Here we go. Next thing you know he is going to demand that Congress work 5 day weeks as, I think, Bruce Hayden demanded yesterday.

Michael K said...

"I am philosophically aligned with the Freedom Caucus but those guys screwed up tactically. "

Me, too. Jordan is a very sharp guy and looks great on TV. They should come up with their own version of the bill and sell it to Trump.

They've got to solve the "pre-existing conditions" problem. It is not insurance and cannot be included. They need to talk to a couple of governors and get some ideas on how to do it.

Maybe some version of Medicaid.

khesanh0802 said...

@LYNNDH The answer to your question is: "to get things done". If I were really sappy I would say to "get things done for the American people", but that is such an arcane concept no one would believe me.

Drago said...

Michael K: "Maybe some version of Medicaid."

Yep. Tightly controlled.

Jay Elink said...

You want assholes, I got yer asshole right here: Chuckyou Schumer.

He can't keep his mouth shut, and when he's offering his vicious slams against Trump and the GOP he grins like a masturbating idiot.

Jay Elink said...

Trump's biggest flaw is in thinking the Dems want to negotiate, when they want to "negotiate" as much as ISIS does.

Why "deal" when you can destroy?

robother said...

Grand Bargain: Trump offers Dems single payer HC in exchange for merit based immigration, border wall and tax reform. Could get 10-15 Dems in the Senate plus the 35 Dems in the House to cover the Freedom Caucii defectors, no?

Etienne said...
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rightguy2 said...

"Maybe some version of Medicaid."

75% of the previously uninsured are now insured by Medicaid, not ACA. I wonder about extending Medicaid to the remaining 25%, as well as the folks with pre-existing conditions. And do it with vouchers so that Medicaid recipients would have a choice and insurance companies could compete for Medicaid business.

Etienne said...

Lord bless the "nitty-gritty" and the "deplorables". Amen.

The bottom line, so far, is that Trump can't deliver. The reason he can't deliver (anything execpt an Executive Order), is because there is no viable Legislature.

Without a Legislature, a Republic is like a tattoo over your ass: costs money, and no one see's it except the person banging you, and they don't even like tattoo's.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"Grand Bargain: Trump offers Dems single payer HC in exchange for merit based immigration, border wall and tax reform. Could get 10-15th Dems in the Senate plus the 35 Dems in the House to cover the Freedom Caucii defectors, no?'

no.

And what the heck is merit based immigration. Do we have them take the SAT?

Etienne said...

"You’re just careering around on your own"

I think the author mean't "careening"...

...but I hate to correct any menstruation-challenged woman (Dowd).

I once careened into a woman's derriere accidentally, and while she did not appreciate it, she did give me ample time to move out of the reach of her purse.

mockturtle said...

Etienne, FYI, 'career' is a verb as well as a noun. Verb: "move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction: the car careered across the road and went through a hedge." In other words, much the same meaning as 'careen'.

Etienne said...

According to Webster

"The word career comes from medieval jousting tournaments, where it referred not only to the courses ridden by knights but also to the act of riding a horse at a rapid clip in short bursts."

"To careen a boat, you need to tilt it on its side. Careen gradually became used to describe the act of a boat tipping over in rough waters, or the similar tilting of other things..."

"Traditional usage commentators insist that careen shouldn't be used for something that is only moving at a headlong pace without any kind of side-to-side motion. But popular use tends to drown out those objections."

Interesting. This just goes to show how useful a mongrel language is.

AReasonableMan said...

"These votes were gettable, Bannon believed. As he would later tell me: “The working class, and in particular the lower middle class, understands something that’s so obvious — which is that they’ve basically underwritten the rise of China. Their jobs, their raises, their retirement accounts have all fueled the private equity and venture capital that built China. Because China’s really built on investments and exports, right? People are smart enough to know that they’re getting played by both political parties. The two may be different on social issues, but when it comes to fundamental economics, they’re both the same. That’s why the American working class is interested in trade. It’s linked to their lives.”"

David Baker said...

The Brooklyn Bridge: He bought it, but what's he going to do with it? Sell it back to Paul Ryan?

If you haven't read the Mo Dowd piece, you're doing yourself a disservice. And possibly living in denial.

I voted for Donald Trump, and I'd vote for him again today given the same choices. But I also knew it was a gamble, that his particular skills might not translate politically. Yet I never suspected he could be made a patsy, a tool, a tower of gullibility and ignorance. Which kinda makes a fool out of me, but still less of a fool had I voted for Hillary.

Now the question is; will he wise up? Or, was he never what I imagined, and that's what he'll remain; the proud new owner of the Brooklyn Bridge.

AReasonableMan said...

"Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday said that the House "moved a bit too fast" on its bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which he compared unfavorably to the process Democrats used to pass the original health care legislation in 2010.

"I think the House moved a bit too fast. 18 days is simply not enough time for such a major landmark legislation," Cotton said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

He said that Republicans will have to "revisit" the bill, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House both appeared eager to move on to other areas of policy after the legislation was pulled on Friday less than an hour before it was scheduled to go to the House floor.

"We now have the time to do it in a more deliberate and careful fashion," Cotton said. "To release a bill that was written in secret and then expect to pass it in 18 days I just don't think was feasible."

He unfavorably compared Republican efforts to bring the bill to Trump's desk to Democrats' work on health care legislation in 2009.

"For 60 years at least they had been pursuing a national health care system, yet they didn't introduce legislation for eight months," Cotton said. "They didn't pass it for over a year of Barack Obama's first term."

He said that Democrats used public hearings and testimony, and noted that Obama held town halls on the plan, which he also discussed in a speech to a joint session of Congress.

"I'm not saying that we needed 14 months to do this," Cotton said. "But I think that a more careful and deliberate approach, which we now have time to do because we're going to have to revisit health care anyway, would have gotten us further down the path toward a solution."

Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed, Republicans have railed against the law, which they claimed Democrats "rushed through" Congress.

House Republicans released their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on March 6 and originally scheduled it for a vote on March 24 — as Cotton noted, only 18 days later."

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robother said...

Merit-based immigration is what Australia and Canada now have. Only immigrants who score high on a matrix of self-supporting wealth, job skills in demonstrated shortage are permitted in. No (or very limited) family reunification immigration. I recall even Bernie Sanders noted that you couldn't have open borders and a robust welfare state (before the Dec primaries got going).

glenn said...

Ann. Lotta people in your generation who have problems calling a spade a bullet.

rightguy2 said...

"Ann. Lotta people in your generation who have problems calling a spade a bullet."

I thought a spade was a shovel.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Maybe some version of Medicaid.

Non-coverage of pre-existing conditions was the only reason healthy people purchased health insurance policies. Democrats, out of what may be well-intentioned but poorly thought out compassion, took that motive away.

Like all socialists, who deem some product or service as such an essential commodity that it requires it's price to be controlled and it's production regulated, no consideration is given to the actual cost of that product or service, resulting in losses to the supplier, resulting in shortages and rationing. Because cost and price are not the same thing.

Democrats treated health insurance with the same ignorance of economics and human behavior that Venezuela treated bread, which is also price controlled and unsurprisingly now in short supply.

So far, more than 650 counties appear on track to have just one insurer on the exchanges in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking withdrawals as they become public.

Like the empty bread baskets and gasoline pumps in Venezuela, how many counties will have ZERO insurers on the exchanges in 2018?

Socialism does not work. It has never worked. It will never work.

n.n said...

Merit-based immigration is an inconclusive criterion. Immigration should not morally and cannot practically exceed the rate of assimilation and integration after assimilation and integration of "the People" and before Planning/Choice/selection/abortion of "our Posterity". We should avoid social justice adventurism that is historically a first-order forcing of catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform.

Bruce Hayden said...

"75% of the previously uninsured are now insured by Medicaid, not ACA. I wonder about extending Medicaid to the remaining 25%, as well as the folks with pre-existing conditions."

Please, no. My partner was accidentally covered my Medicaid last year for about half the year. We never applied, and her enrollment was automatic. We also had a very nice BC/BS multistage plan, that was scheduled to be terminated, thanks to her unwanted Medicaid coverage. I had to work hard to get her off it, so she wouldn't lose her regular coverage. We spend half the year in MT, and MT Medicaid doesn't pay out of state. She would have been effectively uninsured for that half the year. We like the policy she is on right now, despite the cost.

rightguy2 said...

"Please, no. My partner was accidentally covered my Medicaid last year for about half the year. We never applied, and her enrollment was automatic. We also had a very nice BC/BS multistage plan, that was scheduled to be terminated, thanks to her unwanted Medicaid coverage. I had to work hard to get her off it, so she wouldn't lose her regular coverage. We spend half the year in MT, and MT Medicaid doesn't pay out of state. She would have been effectively uninsured for that half the year. We like the policy she is on right now, despite the cost."

That is a very odd and hopefully rare problem. (I do know that if you are uninsured and in the hospital, social workers will come around and assist your enrollment in Medicaid.)

Its hard for me to imagine this kind of thing happening if people (who qualified)were given vouchers for Medicaid.

Truthavenger said...

Please, cut Reagan some slack for his shot at Dukakis. This was 1988 after all, and he was probably exhibiting some of the first signs of Alzheimers.

mockturtle said...

Bruce, this is none of my business, but I can't help but wonder why an attorney would be eligible for Medicaid.

veni vidi vici said...

"apophasis": How "hypothesis" sounds when the scientists drink too much.