In grammar, the use of redundant words. In logic, a tautology is a formula which is true in every possible interpretation. Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein first applied the term to redundancies of propositional logic in 1921
and then there is tauntology:
The practice of making remarks in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone.
Which one do you think our ‘commander in chief’ prefers? Obama gave a speech to an audience of college graduates at University of California, Irvine in which he expounded on his advanced views of climate change:
“They say, ‘Hey, look, I’m not a scientist.’ And I’ll translate that for you: what that really means is, ‘I know that manmade climate change really is happening but if I admit it, I’ll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot,’” he said.
“There’s going to be a stubborn status quo and people determined to stymie your efforts to bring about change. There are going to be people who say you can’t do something. There are going to be people who say you shouldn’t bother trying. I’ve got some experience with this myself,” Obama said.
“It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist. When President Kennedy set us on a course to the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” he continued.
“But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese,” Obama said.
Wow, grade school level logical fallacy. How…unpresidential.
I’m sure Obama’s mind, the taunting of the significant percentage of people in the United States who don’t think climate change is a significant problem worth doing something about is a winning strategy.
Except in this case, Obama isn’t smart enough to realize that divide and conquer isn’t a winning strategy. Of course when you feel like you can do things without a mandate, and just dictate policy instead of following the path of democracy, I suppose the phrase “what difference does it make?” might apply to unpresidential tauntology.