Today’s WSJ called to my attention that Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has adopted the slogan “Forward.”. I read this initally as a command as in “Forward, March!”.
Of course the problem here is that the part of the command that results in execution is missing.
Next I tried reading it as “Forward (full stop)”. While this might seem like something from a ship’s engine telegraph, it is not. And somehow I do not think that this is what the campaign had in mind.
If we read the complete sentence literally and diagram it:
(implied "I", "you", "we", or "they") | forward | (implied object) |
Here, the ill-defined actor subject adds to the confusion of who is doing what. That sounds familiar in this President’s administration. But what is clear is that the implied object has been misdirected. Perhaps it has a future, eventually being delivered, that is if the Post Office survives bankruptcy. I suspect the more likely result is that the false promises of the current administration and Congress will be “lost in the mail”. Again.
More likely, a continuation of the “blame someone else” and “kick the can down the road” that have become the hallmark of Barack Obama’s presidency. Three years into an admistration, it is past time to be blaming your predecessor. The president should be leading Congress, but both parties in both the House and the Senate seem to have no strong desire to follow the President off a fiscal cliff.
I am reminded of the slogan of Peabody, the dog who had a time-machine and a pet boy, Sherman, in the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” feature. The two would shout “Forward…into the past”. I say, “Oh, no, not again, not 4 more years”.