February 26, 2008

the turban flap and the final word on flip flopping


Hillary Clinton, when asked about it, didn't exactly deny the charge that her campaign chose to circulate the above picture that first appeared on the Drudge report. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe called the move “...the most shameful offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election."

It remains to be seen what effect the disbursement of this photo will have on American voters who most likely are not appreciative of the finer points of Taliban-esque fashion.

However, my concern here is the endless use of the term "fear mongering" by those on the left side of the aisle. It is overused and almost exclusively employed by those on the left. Further, the term starts to become a caricature of itself (for lack of a better depiction) when you stop and consider that by running around proclaiming "fear mongering" in everything that the people making the charge are themselves fear mongering. The net result is to attempt to make people afraid of fear mongering. Democrats are, at this point, fearful of fear mongering.

And like a few other bumper sticker tag-lines that Democrats use, it has been used so often and applied to so many situations that it is watered down to the point where it has almost no meaning. The term "swift-boated" , which apparently now applies to any negative campaign attack no matter how substantive is another term that I would ask be retired for similar reasons. Also, the expansion of the definition of what many on the left believe constitutes a "flip-flop" has watered the term down to the point where it apparently applies to every politician who has ever changed their position on any issue, for any reason, over any period of time. When a term is applied so generically like this it loses any distinctive meaning. For example, back in 2004 John Kerry flip-flopped when he said that he voted for the 80 million "...before he voted against it." This was an example trying to have it both ways within the span of one statement. This was back when "flip-flop" meant changing your position within a very short amount of time for political reasons. Apparently now the term flip-flop applies to any policy position change that occurs for any reason during any amount of time. Since this would apply to almost every politician under the sun, the term has now lost meaning and like the terms "fear mongering" and "swift-boated", it should be retired due to bastardization, co-option, and overuse.

4 comments:

Kent said...

McCain, in his own words, is "going to be respectful," of Obama. He likes him, etc.

That's great. He realizes -- as I have -- that this is not any ordinary election year. The Democrats have finally found a viable candidate in Barack and the movement is well underway.

Karl Rove realizes it, too, and has cautioned against the entire "Hussein/Muslim" line of attack.

Republicans must run a positive campaign in '08, accentuating our strengths, contrasting McCain's record with Obama's.

Tony Blankley encourages a laser-like focus on issues, like a thousand cuts, in defeating Obama this November.

Tuesday night, I had dinner with a group of friends in LA, all Democrats. They are in love with Barack. They don't care about national security, they don't care about his middle name -- actually quite proud of it, in fact -- they don't care about experience, they don't care about economic growth. They just want Obama.

Jaz said...

I wish I could say that I was surprised to hear that Democrats are not all that concerned with substance and merit. They choose to base their decision on feeling and emotion than logic and critical thinking.

It's becoming a tried refrain and comes up over and over again as a theme on this blog.

Are there still lefties who deny that they generally use emotion to guide them rather than logic?

Illogically enough, many on the left would still argue that they are of course highly logical. Then I would simply ask them to explain the logic behind their Obama rapture.

Jaz said...

Also, I don't really think that ultimately it is a worthwhile campaign tactic to attack Obama for his middle name, but this notion that somehow mentioning his middle name is off limits is absurd. Since when does a candidate or his surrogates get to determine what they are criticized for and scrutinized on? And beyond that, it was the Clinton campaign that is doing all of this lower level smear type stuff. Mentioning drug use, releasing the picture of the turban clad candidate, Bill playing the reverse race card.

Unless you're a hacky fellow Democrat, there are plenty of more substantive and policy based critiques to be made on Obama. His naivete on Iraq for starters.

But having said that, I still say that we cannot let the Obama campaign dictate what is appropriate or not in regards to critism of the candidate. What if people have genuine concerns about his possible sympathies with/ties to Muslims and arabs?

I hope you don't buy into this notion that the McLame campaign is peddling that somehow mentioning the man's middle name is slanderous and out of bounds.

Lyndon "Baines" Johnson, John "Fitzgerald" Kennedy, George "HW" Bush, William "Jefferson" Clinton, Richard "Milhouse" Nixon, George "W" Bush, Hillary "Rodham" Clinton. I seem to recall the mentioning of a lot of middle names, but somehow we can't go there with Barak. I don't buy it.

Jaz said...

And I hope that McStain is prepared to attack the Democratic nominee with at least one tenth the zeal with which he attacked Romney, a fellow Republican.

So far he seems to hold Obama and Hilary in much higher regard than the open disdain for which he harbored for Mitt Romney, a man who could teach McLame a thing or two about class and decorum. Oh sure McCain is cordial and gracious...to the oppostition!

John McAmnesty, king of "reaching across the aisle" and by reaching across the aisle I mean adopting the position of the opposition.

If I don't start to see some harsher criticism from McCain against the left soon he'll have lost my vote (again).