Doubling Down

Over on his blog, Jim Macdonald talks about cards and metaphors.

Madhouse Manor

All too often these days we read or hear in the news, “[Name of politician] doubled down on his earlier remarks…”

So what does it mean to “double down”?

The term comes from the world of gambling, specifically from the game of Blackjack (AKA “Twenty-one”).  The object of the game is to draw cards so that their combined value is a) equal to or less than 21, and b) higher than the dealer’s hand (such that the dealer’s hand is also less than 21).  All cards have values equal to their nominal values; face cards are all valued at 10, and aces can be either one or eleven, at the player’s discretion.  The players are dealt two cards, generally both face up; the dealer initially gets two cards, one face down and the other face up.  After all the players draw the cards they desire, the dealer reveals his or…

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