Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quote of the Day - "Modified Limited Hang Out"

Actually a portion of a conversation, with three participants, and context supplied by Johnathon Bernstein, in comments at his own blog.  I hope you know which President is involved.

PRESIDENT: You think, you think we want to, want to go this route now? And the--let it hang out, so to speak?
DEAN: Well, it's, it isn't really that--
HALDEMAN: It's a limited hang out.
DEAN: It's a limited hang out.
EHRLICHMAN: It's a modified limited hang out.
PRESIDENT: Well, it's only the questions of the thing hanging out publicly or privately.

For those craving context: the question, as it had been from the start, was how to confess to enough to satisfy critics without confessing to things that would send them all to jail. Thus "let it all hang out" means confessing to everything...but every time they consider doing that, they immediately realize that it isn't actually a viable strategy. So a limited, or modified limited, hang out.

BTW, this is why the cliche that it was the cover-up, and not the crime, that was the real problem with Watergate; had there been no cover-up, they would have all been confessing to multiple felonies. Including the president.

Hmmmm.  So that rat really was a crook.


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