Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Staying the Course": Style Over Substance

President Bush's spinmeister, Karl Rove, has the money for every kind of focus group study possible. He tries out numerous slogans that might improve Bush's numbers. "Stay the course" is an empty slogan but it worked for a long time. But no longer.

Maureen Dowd has an article in The New York Times as Bush once again changes his public relations strategy but not his war strategy:
Things have become so dire for the Republicans that now even Bush is distancing himself from Bush.

The president is cutting and running from the president.

In a momentous event at the White House on Monday, Tony Snow made a major announcement about an important new strategy for Iraq. The president will no longer stay the course on the rallying cry "stay the course."

(snip)

In a White HOuse with a Fox News all-spin sensibility, officials don't think they need to change the strategy as much as they need to change their slogan.

(snip)

Unwilling to admit mistakes or face the urgent need to go past semantic changes in a protectorate that has fallen into a vicious civil war, in which Ameridcans are merely referees and targets, the White House is falling back on marketing. Just as Andy Card rolled out the war as a marketing event [back in 2002], the Bush team now thinks that all it needs to do is come up with a catchy and chesty new advertising pitch.

(snip)

To W., the words he says to Americans don't matter as much as the words Dick Cheney says to him.

One of Bush's new meaningless buzz words is, "Victory!" George W. Bush has never defined what he means by victory and he seems utterly clueless concerning the conditions in Iraq and how bankrupt his ever-changing goals are. Was it "victory" when we put Afghanistan on the back burner and allowed it to languish while we raced off to Iraq to launch what we now know was an optional war we did not need?

Was it "victory" when we found no weapons of mass destruction? Was the looting a sign of "victory"? Was the disappearance of billions of reconstruction dollars "victory"? Was Abu Ghraib the road to "victory"? Was creating more terrorists than there were in 2002 "victory"? Was the death and destruction, most of it now now at the hands of Iraqis against one another, "victory"?

The Republican majority in the current Congress indulged Bush's delusions for the last four years. Only now, as Bush's numbers fall and their own numbers fall, are some Republicans backing away from Bush. If Republicans maintain control of Congress, there can be no doubt that business as usual will be the order of the day for the remainder of Bush's presidency. We need a Congress we know for sure will bring Bush back to planet Earth.

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