Sophistry (Part 1)

With apologies to Billy Joel – please read the following imagined exchange between POTUS and Kirstjen Nielsen to the tune of “Honesty.” I imagine that her interview to become the Secretary of Homeland security went something like this:

“I can’t really find someone

With whom Dems with symphathize

Though I wear this crest upon my sleeve

So I just need a pretty face to tell my ugly lies

What I need is someone they’ll believe


Sophistry – Is such a lovely word

What you say should be mostly true

‘cause honesty of my ugly words

Is never what I want from you!”

Though, I assume that he asked her for contributions for his campaign first.

So, what am I talking about? Well, Ms Nielsen was testifying on the hill yesterday and when asked direct questions she did everything but outright lie to avoid actually telling the truth. Technically, “I do not remember hearing he say that specific word” is probably true – we have already learned that he might have said “Shithouse” instead of “Shiuthole.” But this is pure sophistry!

soph·ist·ry (ˈsäfəstrē)


  1. the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.
    • a fallacious argument.

plural noun: sophistries

synonyms: specious reasoning, fallacy, sophism, casuistry

She answers (or half-answers) the questions asked, and is evasive on her explanations. Then, when the committee asked him if the president said anything substantially similar, she refused to answer THAT question and answered on that wasn’t asked: “There was a lot of profanity used by almost everyone.” The problem with that answer is that it does not tell us anything appropriate to the question! The question was something about what the president said – feigning ignorance, is not an answer.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will demand more from your elected officials.

Don Bergquist – January 17, 2018 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA