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Out: ‘US Government’ — In: ‘Federal Family’

By Doug Powers  •  August 29, 2011 03:44 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

“The good hands people” and “like a good neighbor” were already taken, so it was the next obvious choice:

But before Irene fizzled, the Obama White House wanted to make sure that Irene was no Katrina and that, in fact, the president and his aides would be seen in compassionate command of the situation.

Hence the introduction of what may be the most condescending euphemism for the national government in its long history of condescending euphemizing: “federal family.”

This new phrase was supposed to, Power Play supposes, make anxious East Coasters feel the love of a caring federal government — tender squeeze from the Department of Homeland Security, a gentle embrace from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The phrase was a centrally distributed talking point, appearing in op-eds, press releases and statements from across the administration.

So keep in mind that even if the storm is a category 1, you can expect a caring category 5 embrace from your federal family:


If my “family” was $14 trillion in debt I’d put myself up for adoption. Oh, and the “federal family” member who would have normally caught the spelling error in “preperations” was out tending to family, so we can forgive that oversight.

This has helped soften the image of the federal government to such a degree that the IRS is now considering referring to themselves as America’s “little audit buddies.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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