Lying; or, Enhanced Truthiness

Apparently Senator-Elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts, when he isn’t pretending to auction off his daughters from a podium, is thinking that “waterboarding is an enhanced interrogation technique; it’s not torture.” Multiple sites and sources have commented on his view of waterboarding, including

Before I analyze his view a bit, I should hasten to add that I think, as in most elections, neither candidate in Massachusetts deserved to win. In fact, I think “No one” should appear on every ballot, and if “No one” gets the majority, then another election should take place until someone gets a majority. If no one ever gets a majority, then the position should go unfilled. (For a while, I immersed myself in different kinds of solitaire, of which there are dozens of types, one of which is called “Try Again, Sir Tommy; voters should have the option of telling political parties, “Try again, Sir Tommy”) Coakley and Brown both seem like clowns to me, but I’m thousands of miles away from Massachusetts, so there’s that.

In any event, to assert that waterboarding isn’t torture is willingly to lie. But to assert that waterboarding is an “enhanced interrogation technique” is willingly and surrealistically to lie. To enhance means to improve, strengthen, sharpen (as in focus), and so on. So what exactly is waterboarding an enhanced form of? Offering someone a cup of water? “Would you like an enhanced drink of water? What we do is blindfold you and force the water down your throat. I know it sounds like torture, but it’s really just ultra-refreshing and, you know, enhanced.”

Coakley said no terrorists were left in Afghanistan. How could she possibly know such a thing? Brown said waterboarding isn’t torture. They were Massachusetts’ candidates. This is the best we can do for a senatorial seat? Really? Put a tent over this circus, and try again, Sir Tommy.

At least Brown’s daughters had the good sense to be mortified, embarrassed, and angry when he offered them to . . . anyone.


One Response to “Lying; or, Enhanced Truthiness”

  1. wildbillhaltom Says:

    Multiple authors have floated the idea of “None of the Above” as the bar over which candidates must jump.

    I love the concept of “enhanced truthiness.” Ordinary truthiness denotes a construction taken for true by some community to preserve beliefs or prejudices. Enhanced truthiness denotes a construction taken for true by some community to preserve a propagandist. Is that it?

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