I don’t have time this morning to scour the web, but I’m wondering if there is such a thing as dictionary for laymen of political doublespeak. For example, close observers of Governor Richardson’s administration have learned that when they hear “I’m forming a task force,” what that really means is that “this is an issue too many people care about right now, so I’m going to wait awhile until it cools down, so that we can ignore the problem.”
Now, I have to be honest. Up to this point, I thought this was primarily a Richardson form of doublespeak. However, it has now become clear to me that this is a part of the lexicon of any politician wishing to avoid performing their job (subscription):
Mickey Barnett, an Albuquerque lawyer and former Republican national committeeman, e-mailed Iglesias in September 2004, chastising him for appointing a task force to investigate voter fraud instead of bringing charges against suspects.
“Most of us think a task force is a joke and unlikely to make any citizen believe our elections and voter registrations are honest,” Barnett wrote.
E-mails released by the Justice Department show Barnett and Pat Rogers, another GOP lawyer in Albuquerque, complained about Iglesias to Justice Department officials in June 2006.
E-mails show Barnett asked the White House Office of Political Affairs for a meeting with Justice Department officials to “discuss the USATTY situation” in New Mexico. Rogers and Barnett met with Justice officials the next day.
“The meeting was to discuss perceived management issues and his failure to give priority and attention to voter fraud and corruption cases,” Rogers said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Well, now that we’ve got “task force” clearly defined, maybe next time we’ll look at what a politician means when they say, “We’re making progress.”