For some reason the use of the phrase “make no mistake” by Bush and his cohort has always rubbed me the wrong way. (I have wondered how a jury might respond to my telling them in closing argument, “Make no mistake. . .”)
I suspected that what bothered me was the arrogance of a person who makes mistakes (we all make mistakes) commanding others not to make a mistake. Maybe it was the arrogance of telling people (who generally try not to make mistakes) not to make a mistake.
Timothy Noah, writing for Slate, says he hates the expression because it’s “the words not merely of a bully, but of a bully who lacks panache.”
That works for me.