Saturday, June 25, 2005

Beating Rove with a Figurative Baseball Bat

I know you’re pissed. What Rove said was wrong. But Rove would gladly be burnt in effigy, kicked in the teeth, or beaten with a baseball bat in order to discredit liberals. Yesterday, I said the media narrative revolves around the question “Are the Democrats anything more then annoying flies to be swatted aside?” Karl Rove actually is an insignificant fly. He’s a staffer.He actually is to be swatted aside. What he says can be dismissed.

But if you really want to hurt him you have to beat him with a figurative baseball bat: call Republicans corrupt crony capitalist thieves. Amanda calls it a double bind, I call it a Bogeyman, either way it’s exactly like hippy; it’s a characterization close enough to the truth that it is dangerous for its target to acknowledge it, even to deny it.

An example of a quote that puts this into action:

RUSSERT: Should Rove apologize?

DEMOCRAT: Well, Timmah, apologize or not, Karl is just trying to distract attention from the corruption of Delay and Abramoff. From day one, this Republican leadership has been looking for ways to bilk the American taxpayer, from No-Bid Contracts to missing billions in Iraq, to the Prescription Drug plan, to Social Security and now we are learning about Tom Delay getting bribes from Jack Abramoff. Of course they want to make a distraction.


UPDATE: This was originally intended as a clarification of my post from yesterday, although it could also be construed as a response to Digby.
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4 Comments:

Blogger Medium Lobster said...

Nice to bring up corruption, but you present it as a classic "change-the-subject" maneuver - which is always identified with the offending party (and the weaker stance). That is, when a politician says something along the lines of, "I don't want to talk about X. I want to talk about Y, which is really important and which my opponent is trying to distract you from," it's going to come across as, "X makes me look bad, and I give ground there. But look at Y, where my side is strong."

Sometimes this is a necessary maneuver. Conceding, however, that the Democrats are either (1) great big hippies or (2) traitors who willingly encourage the defeat of the United States overseas would be an unsound move, to put it lightly. Democrats need to rebuild their brand, and part of this rebuilding needs to happen on traditionally weak fronts like national security; shrugging and saying, "Well, yes, I suppose we're great big pansies, but you, sir, have ties to some rather dirty lobbyists" isn't going to help much.

The better plan is to flip this back at Rove and his party. Why, pray tell, should any Republican be allowed to look strong on national security when by any sane measure Republicans are losing the war on terror on multiple fronts, and through every fault of their own? Invading Iraq was the decision of a weak leader; Abu Ghraib was the result of a weak leader; retaining Rumsfeld was the decision of a weak leader. Don't let hippyism be the benchmark for "weak" when Bushism is costing the US the war.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I agree. Don't change the subject, hit back on the administrations stupidity and incompetence in responding to 9/11: failed to capture or kill OBL, invasion of Iraq "just for the hell of it" without equipping the troops or thinking through the aftermath, indulgence in prisoner abuse without thinking about the danger to our troops, Generally squandering America's moral world leadership credentials.

These are subjects we should be glad to address.

2:22 PM  
Blogger TheJew said...

Ok fine:

TIMMAH: Should Rove apologize?

DEMOCRAT: Well, Timmah, of course Karl should apologize but the fact is that he is just trying to distract attention from the corruption that is crippling our effort in Iraq. From day one, this Republican leadership has been looking for ways to bilk the American taxpayer, from No-Bid Contracts to missing billions in Iraq, to the Prescription Drug plan, to Social Security and now we are learning about Tom Delay getting bribes from Jack Abramoff. Becasue of this corruption we went in unprepared to Iraq, and now the results of that are showing. Of course they want to make a distraction.

3:00 PM  
Blogger richard cohen said...

forgive an impertinence from a guest but the black background is very unfriendly and scary.

i like reading you and thanks

9:40 AM  

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