Thursday, September 25, 2003

"Bush hating" 

Don't do it! We've got to be clinical about this. We need to learn from our enemies, and do what works. That's why language is important. And it's a DIY effort because the SCLM won't help us. Josh Marshall makes the good point that:

For quite some time this White House has functioned like a heavily leveraged business, an overextended investor that suddenly gets a margin call. To extend the business metaphor, the White House has been surviving not on profits but expectations of future profits or, in other words, credibility. The White House has been able to get the public to sit tight with a lot of objectively poor news (a poor economy, big deficits, bad news from abroad) on the basis of trust.

One of the things that we are doing here and many other places in the blogosphere is developing a language to show why trust in the Rovelicans is undeserved; in other words, to make the only real asset they have, credibility, depreciate as rapidly as possible.

So language that is fun to use, but doesn't depreciate Republican assets, should be discarded.

For example, calling Bush "stupid" or "chimpy" may feel good, but it's preaching to the choir, and doesn't work toward the goal of getting those guys outta there.

Calling Bush aWol, however, seems to work. More and more people have picked it up, and "aWol" has three nice features: (1) it subverts the "W" thing (which the Republicans aren't using anymore, have you noticed?); it (2) provides a teachable moment—we call him aWol because he was; which (3) goes to depreciate the Republican asset of being seen as strong on the military. Oh, and (4) it's short and sweet and will fit nicely on signs.

Of course, the Rovelicans would like to stigmatize this exercise in rhetorical research and development as "hate speech." It isn't. It's clinical.

But being clinical doesn't mean we can't have fun!

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