Put on a bridle

Finally, a story about reasoning poorly and uncivilly is getting some momentum. Newsweek had this to say about Bush’s rhetorical strategy:

>Bush’s rhetorical strategy is twofold: first, issue a statement of fact about your own position; second, caricature your opponents to look foolish. First, the statement of fact: “We’re training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation. We’re helping Iraq’s unity government grow in strength and serve its people. We will not leave until this work is done,” he explained.

>Second, the caricature: “Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone,” he said. “They will not leave us alone. They will follow us.”

>Are there any senior Democrats who have said that troops should leave Iraq in the hope that “terrorists would leave us alone?” The Democratic argument is that troops should leave Iraq either to encourage Iraqis to take control, or simply to avoid greater casualties in what looks like a low-grade civil war.

Only it’s more than 6 years too late. He has always done this. The people who support him do this. The press has said nothing until now. Shame.

2 thoughts on “Put on a bridle”

  1. jcasey wrote: “He has always done this”

    Is it really something so unique to Bush’s administration, though? And that’s not rhetorical… I’m quite ignorant of history.

    Perhaps it’s just getting more obnoxious to people who care, but isn’t this just the continued drive down the hill that the televised Nixon-Kennedy debate launched us on and the entertainmentilization of the news and the general educational malaise fuel today?

    Could a paper not play the game and have any sway?
    Could a politician not play the game and get elected?

    How long has it been since it’s been about the truth?

  2. as and addendum to jeremy’s question, when has it ever been about the truth?

    also, i don’t know if the comparisons he draws with the televised debates really hold in this particular case, though. those debates were a perfect example of style over substance. kennedy looked better than a very sick richard nixon. flat out. in the case of our beloved chief executive, however, there is a complete lack of style. there is no charm, no wit, no wisdom. as dr. casey stated in today’s post, the preferred argumentative strategy of the president, the straw man, is “sign of a failed mind.” kennedy winked his way in to the white house; the president and his cronies bullied their way in. kennedy had the harvard mouth and gene kelly suave; the president has all the grace of a rhinocerous. kennedy at least cared about what people thought of him; this administration governs as if they were the only population that matters. neither is honest, but i don’t know that politics have ever been about integrity. but the current environment of infotainment was definitely birthed in those debates and that concept has largely contributed and bolstered the profound ignorance of the current administration.

    i think a paper could not play the game and succeed, but i think there needs to be a concertive effort by the news media to get at the truth. who knows if that would happen. the media right now reflects the highly polarized nation we live in. every issue is framed in the context of binary oppositions between conservative/liberal, republican/democrat, etc. so the media lazily plays along. it worse than bias, it’s casual indifference.

    the question about the politicians is much more poignant; i’m not sure. the political sphere has become so geared to the soundbite, stuffed-shirt culture, i don’t know if someone who proposed to stand for the truth would even be taken seriously. i know for myself, i feel like politicians have so diluted the content of their words and actions, i don’t know what to believe where it concerns a politician.

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