George Lakoff built it?

Obama’s sneering disparagement of successful business owners in his Roanoke declaration seems to open a window to Obama’s political soul. Indeed, I believe it did. But one cannot avoid seeing the highly scripted nature of Obama’s declaration. Its proximate roots lay in Elizabeth Warren’s famous diatribe this past September.

Now come William Jacobson and Chris Bray to trace Warren’s diatribe back to left-wing Berkeley professor George Lakoff. Lakoff holds himself out as a “cognitive linguist.” Bray describes him as a “hapless totalitarian clown.”

Lakoff has pursued the thesis is that what prevents the left from dominating American politics is cloaking socialism in the right lingo. It’s all a matter of salesmanship. In The Little Blue Book Lakoff commends Warren’s lingo, which Obama has now test marketed on a national stage.

In the event, it served with the efficacy of an exploding cigar for Obama. Lakoff seems to have created something of a Frankenstein there in his Berkeley lab.

Obama’s Roanoke declaration may be just about as authentic as Joe Biden’s riff from the life and times of British Labor leader Neil Kinnock during Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign:

I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? [Then pointing to his wife in the audience] Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?

Well, we know the answer to that question — and not just because it’s rhetorical.

The backlash generated by Obama’s Roanoke declaration has surely given rise to second thoughts in Obama’s camp about Lakoff’s approach to peddling left-wing claptrap. Obama can put Lakoff’s rhetoric back on the shelf for the time being, but we will remember the sincere contempt he added to Lakoff’s handiwork.


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