I vowed I would never get so obsessed with this blogging thing that I would ever post oftener than once a week. Okay, maybe a couple times a week. Fine, then. One per day, max. Where will it all end?
Sometimes things are just too timely to postpone. (Thanks, Jeff.) For example, in today's Washington Post, we read the following (emphasis mine):
While no Democrat has the powerful platform that the White House affords Bush and Cheney, the complaints about the mischaracterizing of positions on the war flow in both directions. Many Democrats accuse the president of advocating "stay the course" in Iraq, but the White House rejects the phrase and regularly emphasizes that it is adapting tactics to changing circumstances, such as moving more U.S. troops into Baghdad recently after a previous security strategy appeared to fail.
"Strategically, we are staying committed to the fact that this is an important mission and one that should be accomplished," said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Democrats, this adviser said, say "we're 'doing the same thing over and over' when that's not the case."
Okey dokey. Well, next is an excerpt from yesterday's press release from the White House, quoting George W. Bush's remarks in Utah (again, emphasis mine):
Iraq is the central front in this war on terror. If we leave the streets of Baghdad before the job is done, we will have to face the terrorists in our own cities. We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century.
Hmmmm. Well, one may deduce from this that: (1) the administration did a 180 on its entire Iraqi policy in the (unstayed) course of the past 24 hours; or (2) the game is afoot. I am inclined to believe the latter. History informs the present. I smell a Rove.
You are invited to draw your own conclusions, of course. Someone already has or soon will talk about this huge flip-flop. But here is something that has occurred to me with some frequency lately. I think Democrats must never use the term "flip-flop" again. Not ever. Rove has stuck that George Lakoff-defined "frame" on John Kerry, and made it stick. Every time I hear flip-flop, I make a quick foray into Kerry-land before I get to the flip-flop du jour.
Here is my suggestion. Clearly what's going on here concerning the "stay the course" nonsense is GOP flimflam. Please repeat after me: Flim. Flam.
Merriam-Webster tells us that flimflam means "deceptive nonsense; deception; fraud." Its etymology may be of Scandinavian origin, says M-W, akin to the Old Norse flim or mockery. No kidding!
Roget's New Millennium' Thesaurus give us a caboodle of excellent synonyms for flimflam, among them: baffle, befuddle, con, defraud, dupe, hoodwink, hornswoggle, trick and, my own personal favorite, jerk around. The opposite of flimflam is to be forthright.
Hence, much of what flows out of the mouth of the White House's current resident, his minions and most Republicans seeking election or re-election this fall is flimflamming. Hyphenated variation: flim-flamming. Your choice.
Please join me today in pledging to label speeches, press releases, press conferences, and most of the GOP campaign blather as flimflam. It's an accurate label.
No more today. For sure. Unless . . . .