Don’t Call My Bluff? Huh?

Tonight’s big news story is President Obama pushing back against Republicans who refuse to be intimidated by him: “Don’t call my bluff,” Obama says, by passing a short-term debt limit increase, which Obama says he will veto.

It is a small point, but the Obama quote that the wire services are trumpeting makes no sense. If, in fact, he is bluffing, the Republicans should by all means call his bluff. Properly, Obama should be warning the GOP that he is not bluffing. Saying “don’t call my bluff” is the opposite of what Obama presumably means, sort of like saying that one “could care less” about something. It is a small point, and probably a meaningless one, but one more illustration of the fact that Obama’s vaunted verbal facility is, in fact, mediocre at best.

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