What kind of bullshit is “We will utterly destroy them by targeting the bad guys”?

During last night’s GOP debate–the 666th of the year, approximately–Ted Cruz had some tough talk for ISIS: “ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism will face no more determined foe than I will be. We will utterly destroy them by targeting the bad guys.”

Cruz also said, “We need to focus on killing the bad guys…” and  “…the focus of law enforcement is on targeting the bad guys” and “I’m very proud to have joined with conservatives in both the Senate and the House to reform how we target bad guys.”

This nuanced approach seems to be taken straight from the playbook of Mr. Mackey, whose “Drugs are bad, m’kay?” philosophy has long guided federal narcotics policy.

But what kind of bullshit is “We will utterly destroy them by targeting the bad guys”?

I say its guff.

Guff, like a lot off words for bullshit and nonsense, has to do with hot air. The original meaning was a puff or whiff of air: the Oxford English Dictionary spots examples of this meaning back in the 1820s. Later in that century, it started applying to empty words too, like in a 1897 review that mentioned “Histrionic guff and bugaboo, instead of fine acting.” That applies well to Cruz’s phony-baloney, kindergarten-level tough talk.

I was tempted to say Cruz’s words were bloviation, but a word with four syllables seems beyond the realm of Cruz, who appears to live in a simple-yet-deranged universe, not unlike professional wrestling in the eighties.

Those were days when the bad guys were no-good, four-flushing foreigners and the good guys were flag-waving, steroid-swallowing Americans. The only real similarity between those spandex-clad sagas and now is that the so-called good guys are racist.

 

 

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