In President Bush's December 4, 2007 press conference, he said, "that was the sticks-and-carrots approach."
He later corrected this improper use of the phrase by saying, "One thing is for certain: The NIE talks about how a carrot-and-stick approach can work."
(See full transcript of the press conference here.
The idiom refers to the image of a horse or donkey being led in the master's desired direction, by dangling a carrot on a stick
in front of the animal from the carriage seat.
The President is not known for his diplomacy, assumes a posture of a superior, paternalistic empire while insulting another country, in this case, Iran.
Another subtle insult was the use of the term regime
for the Iranian government. No one refers to the U.S
. It is a term for a government, but often with a negative connotation, a government that is perhaps new, unstable, or criminal, such as a fascist regime
In politics we see the subtle use of language and terminology making differences in perception and opinion, right on down to who is an "enemy combatant"
. In the press conference Bush would say, "the most disappointing thing about Washington has been the name calling."
Strange to hear from one whose buddies, the right wing talk show "pundits" such as Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus (see previous article
) and Michael Savage revel in assigning negative labels such as "femi-Nazis" to those they have chosen to make their enemies.
Labels: carrot and stick, expressions, idioms, language