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Barack Obama in a Word: Mountebank

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Creative vocabulary makes for inspired speech.And having the right word at hand is like having the right tool for the job.So my most worn and dog-eared reference book is a thesaurus.

As we close out the year, I will divert from political analysis and share my most recent collection of intriguing terms; a jog through jargon; the art of argot; the pleasance of parlance:

arrogate | 'ar??gat |


take or claim (something) for oneself without justification

Statists arrogate powers not enumerated in the Constitution.

perennial | p?'rene?l |


lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring

Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, Extortion 17, Rosengate, GSA partying, and Solyndra are floats on the administration’s perennial scandal parade.



dreamlike, psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, surreal, unreal, hallucinatory, fantastic, fantastical, chimerical

Susan Rice’s story that an obscure video caused the Benghazi attack was a phantasmagorical representation.

force majeure |?fôrs mä'ZH?r |


unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.

The force majeure of truth has superseded promises to Americans that they can keep their current health care plans and doctors – period.

laconic | l?'känik |


(of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words

The White House Press Corps keeps hoping for a laconic reply from Jay Carney on any of the perennial scandals from the Obama Administration.

inveigh | in'va |


speak or write about (something) with great hostility

Sarah Palin is brutally inveighed for coming across as simultaneously unsophisticated and wise.

subterfuge | 's?bt?r?fyo?oj |


deceit used in order to achieve one's goal

Barack Obama, subterfuge.

mountebank | 'mounti?baNGk |


a person who deceives others, esp. in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan;a person who sold patent medicines in public places.

Barack Obama, mountebank.

limbic system | 'limbik |


a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).

Liberals suffer the condition of reasoning with their limbic system.

soliloquy | s?'lil?kwe |


an act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, esp. by a character in a play

The ability to actually have a soliloquy moment has been all but eliminated by the ever-present observations of the NSA.

vituperation | v??t(y)o?op?'raSH?n |


bitter and abusive language

Congressman Trey Gowdy delivers the most constructive examples of vituperation while questioning IRS leadership during hearings for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

asceticism | ?'seti?siz?m |


severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons

Respect for the Tenth Amendment would seem to Harry Reid as asceticism.

recherché| r??SHer'SHa, r?'SHer?SHa |


rare, exotic, or obscure

The actions of Democratic Party leadership are perhaps a bit recherché for the average Democratic Party voter.

coda |'kod? |


the concluding passage of a musical piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure;a concluding event, remark, or section

A Hillary Clinton presidency would serve as a coda for the Bill Clinton administration.

muckraking |'m?k?rakiNG |


the action of searching out and publicizing scandalous information about famous people in an underhanded way

Nothing keeps good people from serving in public office like the threat of personal muckraking.

stochastic | st?'kastik |


randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely

Surely, 21st Century technology could offer stochastic congressional redistricting to put an end to the practice of gerrymandering.

Scupper| 'sk?p?r |


sink (a ship or its crew) deliberately; thwart

While insurance companies supported Obamacare with the promise of new customers, the actual intent is to scupper their industry.

codicil | 'käd?s?l, -?sil |


an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one

The 13th Amendment was the codicil that put an end to the Democratic Party’s longstanding argument for preserving slavery.

rueful | 'roof?l |


expressing sorrow or regret, esp. when in a slightly humorous way

Staring at the net amount of his first paycheck, the recent grad was rueful regarding his history as a College Democrat.

docent |'dos?nt |


a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.

Over $54 million is being spent to hire docents who will navigate citizens through the awkward process of signing up for Obamacare.

abreaction |?abre'ak sh ?n |


the expression and consequent release of a previously repressed emotion, achieved through reliving the experience that caused it

Inspector General Russell George paused in abreaction during his testimony before Congress on the IRS scandal.

pettifog |'pete?fôg |


quibble about petty points

Hillary Clinton called it pettifogging with, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

lacuna | l?'k(y)oon? |


an unfilled space or interval; a gap

There remains a glaring lacuna in Eric Holder’s testimony on Fast and Furious.

theodicy | THe'äd?se |


the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil

The Hippocratic Oath remains a contrasting theodicy for Obamacare.

insouciance | in'soose?ns |


casual lack of concern; indifference

Nancy Pelosi’s insistence on the socialist agenda reveals her liberal insouciance.

cant| kant |


hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature

Liberal whining against censorship is demonstrably cant.

raillery | 'ral?re |


good-humored teasing

There is nothing like dictionary raillery to wrap up the year with Townhall readers.

Happy New Year to my fellow wordsmiths.

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