Gaffe: A Comment Revealing What You REALLY Think – Not ‘Misspeaking’

The use of the word “gaffe” is getting on my last nerve. “Journalists” are paid to say what their words mean, or depending on the philosophic outlook, to lie. Using the word “gaffe” by “journalists” who consider themselves on the other side of center from the speaker, a misspeak is sometimes characterized as a “gaffe,” and usually an embarassing gaffe. When the speaker is on the same side of center as the journalist, it is never a gaffe, but simply “misspeaking.” When one misspeaks it is obvious, i.e. Obama arrives in Kansas and says it’s good to be back in Texas. With so many travel stops, we can overlook it if he has the schedule mixed up, and we can forgive him if he simply turned the words around. When you have a gaffe, you intentionally or unintentionally say what you really think or believe. G.W. Bush had a list of “gaffes” daily, as interpreted by the same media which interprets Obama’s gaffes as misspeaking. Now the target is Mitt Romney and particularly his recent trip to London and Israel. He will never be allowed to misspeak (if he ever does), but his media-born gaffes will likely set a record.

pics on Sodahead

Mitt Romney doesn’t just ‘think’ Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, he knows it, historical documents still unchanged, on the Nation of Israel’s founding, proves it, and the 1967 Six Day War sealed the deal. No gaffe.

Romney’s so-called devastating gaffe:

Romney, speaking to a group of donors, meant to praise Israel’s success. In the process, he demeaned Palestinians — pointing to “a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between the Jewish state and the occupied territories. His diagnosis: “Culture makes all the difference.” Then, among other factors playing to Israel’s favor, he cited “the hand of providence.”

You have to be an blind or ignorant not to the see the “dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between Israel and the area Hamas runs, that UNRAW tends to, and the whole world tries to feed, including Israel – something like 10,000 to 14,000 pounds a week.

But then, much of the poverty in the area known as Palestine is a sick joke on the rest of humanity. Many, many parts of Palestine are modern and thriving and seldom shown to the West. Those Palestinians are a lot like Democrats. There’s not much “charitable” giving in the Arab lands, other than to terrorist groups. The hovels and bombed out buildings we see are the truly poor, put there to be in the public eye when Israel has to defend itself, people to whom Hamas hands out goodies – just enough to keep their devotion, to keep them strapping on the suicide belts, just enough to keep them from rebelling and taking back their cities. It’s a “community-organizing-kind-of-thing.

For centuries and centuries, Arabs wandering and dwelling in the area of Palestine produced nothing. The Jews produced everything, long before there was a “Palestine. Not only is there a stark difference in economic vitality, there is a hugely stark difference in psyche between the two peoples. I repeat: no gaffe.

No gaffe, but the response is all too familiar – our current administration is teaching the rest of the world, by example, that claiming “racism” is a winner among the circle of losers (yet another of those community-organizing efforts).

“What is this man [Romney] doing here?” said Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian official. “Yesterday, he destroyed negotiations by saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and today he is saying Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture. Isn’t this racism?”

The London “gaffe:” Mitt Romney, former CEO and President of the 2002 US Olympics Organizing Committee quoted concerns, only because he was asked for his opinion, about the 2012 London Olympics. He recounted reports in the London papers or something he had heard somewhere in the media:

“You know it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney said in an interview with NBC News Wednesday evening. “There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

“Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?” Romney asked. “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”

No doubt the better part of caution was to say something with no substance, but there is nothing gaffe-ish about his comment. Nothing misspoken. Nothing untruthful. Nothing undiplomatic. The truth is, no matter how efficient the management of such an enormous event, no one can foretell, with certainty, success or safety, and someone in their own media was musing about it as well. No gaffe.

Examples of gaffes – defined as accidentally or purposefully saying what you really mean. If the reporter and the speaker is left of center, it is classified as “misspeaking.” If the reporter is left of center and the speaker right of center, it is classified as a “gaffe”). Here on a conservative blog, I assert that the following are gaffes, revealing a deeply held conviction:

1) [Barack Obama] “We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. —on Wall Street reform, Quincy, Ill., April 29, 2010

2) [Barack Obama] “The Cambridge police acted stupidly.” —commenting on a white police officer’s arrest of black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Mass., at a news conference, July 22, 2009

3) [Barack Obama] “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” — defending his tax plan to Joe the Plumber, who argued that Obama’s policy hurts small-business owners like himself, Toledo, Ohio, Oct. 12, 2008

4) [Barack Obama] “What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith…” –in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who jumped in to correct Obama by saying “your Christian faith,” which Obama quickly clarified (Watch video clip)

5) [Barack Obama] Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.

6) [Barack Obama] My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”

7)  [Barack Obama] I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.”

8) [Barack Obama] “I’ve been fighting with Acorn, alongside Acorn, on issues you care about, my entire career.”

9) [Barack Obama] Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.

10) [Barack Obama] “Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.

If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.”

(Maggie: But of course, the taxpayers work to fund fighting fires. Taxpayers pay the salaries of those building the roads. Taxpayers send their sons and daughters to university to be engineers to build the roads and bridges, and at one time, the parents actually did pay for the education of their children. Those starting their own businesses fund it or take the risk of funding it, the responsibility of making it work (or not), of finding competent personnel and then paying taxes on their success. That good teacher along the way in your success, was paid by taxpayers, who worked to pay his/her salary. Today, 49.5% of all adult American pay no federal income taxes).

11) [Barack Obama] It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one.

It’s in fact not the US motto, but rather the motto of the great seal of the U.S. By law the motto of the United States of America is, “In God we Trust”. (This one wins dual coverage under Gaffes and Ignorance (or maybe Lies – we can’t be sure. (Maggie: Must be horrifying that US Law claims “In God we Trust)

12) [Michelle Obama] For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country

13)  (called a gaffe, but just telling the truth) [George W. Bush] “I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah.” –at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001 (Listen to audio clip)

14) [Bill Clinton] “[Congress] will probably have to put everything off  [Bush Tax Cuts] until early next year,” Clinton said during an interview with CNBC. “That’s probably the best thing to do right now.”

15) [Nancy Pelosi] We’ll have to pass the Bill (ObamaCare) so that you can find out what is in it.

16) [Nancy Pelosi] Unemployment Creates Jobs

17) [Quote from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden]: he [Obama] wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.


Examples of Misspeaking:

1) “On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.”

2) [Barack Obama, RedState] “Good to be back in Texas.” (he was in Kansas)

3) [George W. Bush] “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

4) Bush inadvertently mocked Queen Elizabeth II, saying at a welcoming ceremony that she first visited America in 1776.

5) [George W. Bush] “They misunderestimated me.” –Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000


Examples of Ignorance and/or Narcissism and/or Lies:

1) “I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.” –at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon (Watch video clip)

2) [Barack Obama (thanks to Ann Althouse] This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. June 3, 2008

3) “Poland’s prime minister said Wednesday that remarks by President Barack Obama erroneously identifying a Nazi death camp as Polish had hurt all Poles and he expected more from the US than “regret”. (AFP, May 30, 2012)

4) [Barack Obama, Scared Monkeys] First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq.  When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there.  I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”

…problem. Actually, a rather large problem. …  Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006 and he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously,

5) While speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama mispronounced the word “Corpsman” as “corpse-man.” (three times) RealClearPolitics

6) (lie) Speaking about the economy recently on the campaign trail, President Obama stated, “We tried our plan and it worked.” Yet new data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm that the president is living in an alternate reality if he truly believes that statement. Americans for Tax Reform

7) (lie) [Barack Obama] If you like your [insurance] plan, you can keep your plan.

8) (lie) [Barack Obama] To be fair, The United States has less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves.

9) (ignorance or lie) [Barack Obama] It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one.

It’s in fact not the US motto, but rather the motto of the great seal of the U.S. By law the motto of the United States of America is, “In God we Trust”. (this one wins dual coverage under Gaffes and Ignorance (or maybe Lies – we can’t be sure)

10) (This one is definitely in the “lie” category) The Obama administration, in its zeal to blame everything on somebody else, refers to the 2009 budget deficit as the deficit he “inherited.” Approximately $1.3 trillion dollars.

What is never mentioned is that the 2009 budget was a Democrat document (Reid and Pelosi) and that it was never signed by George W. Bush because it was never presented to him for signature. Reid and Pelosi passed continuing resolutions until Bush was out of the White House and then the 2009 budget was signed by none other than Barack H. Obama.

The last budget G.W. Bush signed, the first budget of the Reid/Pelosi control of Congress ran a $641 billion dollar deficit. Prior to Reid/Pelosi, budget deficits were actually going down. The 2007 budget deficit (pre-Pelosi) was $162 billion.

What the Democrats actually “inherited” was a $162 billion deficit, which they then ran up until we arrived at deficits of over a trillion dollars annually. Source: Pat Slattery at Conservatives on Fire

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009.

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is “I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th, 2009.

11) [George W Bush] “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” –on “Good Morning America,” Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

(Maggie) Not so ignorant. Bush knew better than anyone the billions of dollars handed to the state of Louisiana, to New Orleans and to the Army Corps of Engineers over decades. What he didn’t know (because which of the three would spill it to the world?) is how abused and mismanaged those billions were.

12) (lie related to Gaffe No. 15 above) [Bill Clinton Next Day] I’m very sorry


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  • Obama’s gettin’ to be a short-timer — 93 days and a wake-up — and I’m damned glad his feckless tour of ‘duty’ is just about over.

    • Bob, I believe he surely is in the White House to teach us a horrifying lesson, and we’ve learned it (except about half of us).

  • And then there is the 57 States. And NASA’s true mission is to promote Muslims in Science.

    • findalis, I have the 57 states as No. 1 under “ignorance. I’ll add NASA, that’s a great one.

  • I quite liked your definition of gaffe and the interesting classification between gaffes, misspeaking and ignorance/lies.

    While Romney’s trip has been slammed by media as full of gaffes, I think he has been mostly misinterpreted. If this were not an election year, such remarks about Israel’s culture would not have even caught anybody’s attention.