Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005
How I'll remember this administration
Peggy Noonan, in an article defending Bush's war approach, makes the following critcism of the White House that I totally agree with. This will be one of my life-long memories of the Bush administration - how uninterested they were in honest and open dialogue (how many press conferences has Bush done?), instead sticking to unwavering repetition of prepared talking points:
And there is I think another part. It is that this White House believes way too much in spin.
David Brooks noted last Sunday on "Meet the Press" that in private Bush aides are knowledgeable and forthcoming about the war--this is working, this isn't, we made a mistake here and are fixing it in this way--but that in public they rely too much on platitudes and talking points.
It's true. The Bush White House treats the message of the day as if it were the only raft in high seas. Hold, cling, don't let go. Their discipline seems not persuasive but panicky.
They think their adherence to spin is sophisticated and ahead of the curve, but it is not. What is sophisticated is to know that the American people have been immersed in media for half a century and know when they're being talked to by robots who got wound up in the spin shop. They are not impressed by rote repetition, cheery insistence or clunky symbolism. They see through it. When you have the president make a big speech and he's standing under the sign that says VICTORY, the American people actually know you're trying to send an unconscious message: Bush equals victory, Bush will bring victory, victory is coming. It's not so much nefarious as corny.