A conversation between a commando and a (retired) admiral from the movie Sahara:

Dirk: We could use some serious muscle here, admiral.

Admiral: Well, you're not gonna get it. Not fast enough. I'm getting the D.C. two-step bigtime.

It seems that "D.C. two-step" here means Washington-style bureaucracy, but I can't find any dictionary to support it. All I have found is "two-step" is a dance.

1 Answer 1


The "two-step" was a dance that moved back and forth but never moved the dancers any distance. For a while, it became a metaphor for any process that appeared to represent movement but was ineffective.

  • Can you supplement the answer with some real-life examples?
    – Eddie Kal
    Apr 28, 2018 at 3:13

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