What kind of bullshit is “America is not a planet”?

During last night’s Republican debate, Marco Rubio made some intriguing astronomical observations:

“We’re not going to make America a harder place to create jobs in order to pursue policies that will do absolutely nothing, nothing to change our climate. America is a lot of things, the greatest country in the world, absolutely. But America is not a planet.”

Obviously, this is a type of bullshit, but not just any type. Horseshit? Mumbo jumbo? Malarkey? Bunk? Actually, the climate part is a good example of bunk, but the planetary stuff is something else.

I reckon it’s ackamarackus.

Ackamarackus is a type of BS that’s big and showy and distracting: it’s a five-star circus of bamboozlement. This 1954 example from the Sunday Times (and the Oxford English Dictionary) gives a good sense of the word: “The story is about an American circus in Germany, a spiv who picks up a German floozie, a high diver who marries her, and a dumb giant who brings her wayside flowers. In fact, it is the old circus ackamarackus.”

Pointing out that America is not a planet as a way of excusing our duties to the planet is, as Sterling Archer would say “classic misdirection.” And it’s classic ackamarackus too: all that’s missing is a tiger (or elephant?) jumping through a flaming hoop.


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