The Politicians of Fear


The big news of last week was of course the House passing a resolution disapproving of the President's Iraq "surge" plan.  But the actual text has seldom been published in any newspaper article about it.  Do you wonder why?  Well, let's have a look at it:
"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that:

1. Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect

the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have

served bravely and honorably in Iraq and

2. Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W Bush

announced on 10 January 10 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional

United States combat troops to Iraq."
Like I suspect many of you may have, I found myself surprised when I read the actual resolution after hearing and reading about it for days.  What was it about the actual words of the resolution that was so different than how it was being spun in the media?  Here are my observations:
  1. The specific wording of the resolution has almost never appeared in media coverage, because the Democrats want to allow the public to assume that the wording is totally negative, while actually incorporating some fairly supportive wording that will allow some Republicans to vote for it.  The technical term for this is "talking out of both sides of your mouth".
  2. The hiding of the actual wording allows the Democrats to use the resolution as justification of their next steps in the "slow bleed" strategy.  That strategy explicitly requires that they ignore the first point of the resolution, doesn't it?  This neatly illustrates the futility of compromising with a political party that controls the media - anything they get included will be trumpeted, and anything you get in return will cease to exist.  In fact, part 1 of the resolution never really existed at all - it was never reported and so has had no presence in the real world.  It was there only to allow the faint-hearted to fantasize that they had done something not wholly self-serving.
  3. The real surprise treat is the fact that this is a "concurrent" resolution.  Note the parenthetical "the Senate concurring".  This was an attempt to garner more support for the Senate version after the fact, just as the Saturday timing of the vote was an attempt to reduce the number who might be able to vote at all.  But the Senate did not concur, so therefore this resolution is not only non-binding, it is also non-approved, by its own definition.  Of course had the Senate approved it, the word "concurrent" would have been featured in every news story.  But for now it has gone into the memory hole, just as "resolved" item number 1 has.  Poof.
Let's take a hard look at this in summary.  This portentous resolution has been:

  • - Rejected by one of its two claimed co-sponsors.
  • - Crafted to give feckless opponents cover
  • - Hidden from detailed public view to allow the supportive half to be ignored
  • - Voted on in a precedent-breaking weekend session designed to handcuff opposition in the Senate where it had already failed once, and
  • - Worded as double-speak to allow Democrats to claim to be on the right side of any outcome, their position to be selected at some future date.
If one looks past the media tub-thumping that tries to frame the discussion of these things, we can see this resolution for the piece of tinsel it really is.  The anti-war Democrats labored for weeks to come up with a few sentences of Orwellian doublespeak that they could only manage to stick-handle halfway to the goal.  You almost expect to see the terms Eastasia or Oceania in there someplace.

In this weak performance there lurks a profound truth that Democrats are desperate to hide: Americans aren't ready to quit - they will have to be pushed into it.  The Democrats are quite prepared to do just that, and the death-drooling media and pollsters are eager to help by telling us how fearful we are.  What is the motivation?  It is nothing more than gaining political power and destroying a President they despise.

Remember all this the next time you hear someone wailing about that favorite boogey-man of progressives everywhere, "The Politics of Fear".  Be warned, if they are a Democrat they probably know exactly what they are talking about.

Dave in Seattle