Sunday, March 12, 2006

New spin
John Aravosis suggests we may be seeing a new talking point or eupemism du jour being introduced. I disagree.
Just got an email from an observant reader who noticed that conservative pundit Bill Kristol is starting to use, repeatedly, a new talking point that must have come from the White House. Mark my (or my reader's) words, let's see if anyone repeats this phrase this week:

"The war against radical Islam (ists, ism, etc)"

Kind of sad how Bush thinks his problem in Iraq is that he hasn't found the right word to name the battle.

The only positive thing I have ever been able to allow Bush is that he has not turned this into a war against a people (e.g. Arabs, Islam, brown folk). To a certain extent, I'm giving him more credit than he deserves. I think he always hopes to pry a few voters out of any group, so he wars against adjectives, not people.

Closer to his home base, he can't suggest the existence of such a thing as bad religion. In his five years in Washington, he has never uttered the word fundamentalism (-ist, -ite, etc.). We are able to make jokes about "faith based" this and that because Bush says publicly all religion is good. I don't pretend to know what he really thinks about this. I suspect his real beliefs are a mixture of political opportunism and self-delusion. As far as it affects us, what he really believes doesn't matter.

Because of the necessity of placating the radical religious right, I can't believe the White House is going to embrace this phrase. Bad radical Islam implies the existance of bad radical Christianity, bad radical Judaism, bad radical Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and so on down the line. If they embrace this line, it is a MAJOR change of message and one should be ruthlessly exposed/exploited by our side.

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