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Alex Baer: Using the Same Words to Reveal or Conceal

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squawking chickenIt's a chicken-and-egg sort of a situation, wondering how much language determines thought, and the amount that's the other way around.  Maybe there's no way to know which came first, or whether it's at all relevant -- or if "both" is the correct answer.

Somehow, I find it easy to get distracted by such chicken-and-egg considerations, especially whenever the feathers really get flying at the Congressional chicken coop, and when every besotted member of that prideful roost feels the urgent, imperious need to crow, squawk, cry, or flail around in the dirt and mud.

While it is not useful behavior, it does provide backers, constituents, and media a puffed-up show of Big Foul's power, I suppose.  (Although just why it is these chicken-hawks, chicken-hearts, and youngsters-playing-chicken would want to advertise such empty, boneheaded actions is anyone's guess.)

These periodic explosions of feathers and eruptions of busy-beaked cacophony are also twin signals that the adults have left the room, leaving the children to govern.  Thing is, all of these children are hitting the full stride of their Terrible Twos all at once, en masse, as a terrorizing group.

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This stage of development of our leaders of state helps explain why it is all those members have their arms uniformly folded across chests, their heels dug in, and their easy familiarity and stabbing overuse of the word "no." It goes a long way to explaining the unending string of hateful, belligerent temper tantrums, too.  The blue language and purple prose of these GOP outbursts can leave the oldest, tale-telling salt with a set of glowing, red ears.

(Boehner's recent, impossible biological instructions to Reid, for example:  How to see that one as professional communication from a statesman concerned about doing the People's business, and not as a profanity spat from a petty thug?)


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