February 26, 2008
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.