Saturday, February 24, 2007

Weasles in Positions of Authority

This is politician speech. Weasel words:

“You cannot say as the president of the United States, ‘I welcome disagreement in a time of war,’ and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country,”
- Nanci Pelosi, regarding a disagreement with the Vice President

What she meant to say, if she said it in plain English, was

The President can't say he welcomes disagreement in a time of war and then have the Vice President go out and disagree with my disagreement by saying what I really mean but have been carefully avoiding explicitly saying.

It really pisses her off. How dare the Vice President do his best to assess what her position is and say it when she won't say it herself! How dare he try to pin a weasel down as to what her position is! Why, if she were forced to actually publicly take a clear position and state her plan of action, somebody might be able to, you know, criticize it. I'm sure that's like a violation of her free speech, or something.

Here's what Cheney actually said:

"If you're going to advocate a course of action that basically is withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, then you don't get to just do the fun part of that, that says, 'We'll, we're going to get out,' and appeal to your constituents on that basis"
Nothing in there about Nancy's Patriotism. He's saying she should stop weaseling and spell out her position. He wasn't questioning her Patriotism. He was questioning her honesty. He was challenging her to be upfront and honest with her constituents (and the rest of us).

Did she do it? No. Did she argue with anything he actually said? No. Her response amounts to "Daddy! Dick's saying I'm adopted again!!!! Tell him to stop!" when all Dick was doing was saying she should stop hedging about whether or not she intends to clean her room. He doesn't think, based on what she hasn't said and what she has done, that she's even thinking about it.

Well, Nancy, how 'bout it?

Can you tell me what Al Queda's strategy is? (Can you tell me, for that matter, what the "insurgent" strategy is -- when their actions can be differentiated from Al Queda's? )

Can you tell me what your perferred Iraq strategy is? ("Not whatever Bush does" is not a valid answer.)

Dick thinks your strategy is to abandon Iraq. Is he wrong? Dick thinks that Al Queda's strategy is to prey on the West's poor stomach for blood and do just enough to stay in the headlines so that America will leave and Al Queda can declare victory. I've read a few documents of theirs and listened to Bin Laden and Zawahiri say pretty much excactly that.

Is Dick wrong about that?

What are the consequences of leaving Iraq unstable right now? (note that "well it's all Bush's fault" or "we shouldn't have gone in the first place" does not answer that question).

I think Dick's dead on to what you're about and he struck a nerve. You struck back by going directly to chapter one in the Progressive Argument Handbook. Call 'em a name and change the subject.

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