Words, words, words

“Take the worst possibility here, which is Senator McCain misspoke,” Senator Kyl said. “And that because of the specific words used, what he said was not entirely accurate. O.K. so what?”

So it’s not that McCain has a thin grasp of the subject which is supposedly his greatest strength. The problem is just that his “specific words” were “not entirely accurate.” Well, in that case — no problem! What are words, after all, except arbitrary collections of sounds? I’ve studied enough philosophy of language to know that if you analyze any statement rigorously enough, you will discover that it is mind-bogglingly imprecise and murky. So what’s the big deal here, silly Democrats? “Pre-surge levels,” “Sunni,” “Shiite,” these are just “specific words” that aren’t important, so just don’t worry about them, okay, my friends?

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