Corpuscle's Rules of Rhetoric (1)
Instance: "Petty Politics".
From an article off the A.P wire.:
White House chief of staff Andy Card accused Democrats of "petty politics" for blocking the swift confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state.
Purpose: The phrase "petty politics" is used here as an attempt to put on the defensive those who would delay the immediate confirmation of Ms. Rice.
Advice: Use this shtick with caution. This technique only works when your side is in good odor with the voting public.
Discussion: As the 2nd Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled House and Senate proceed with their irresponsible agendas, things will further go to hell and this shtick will come back to bite them on the ass.
Over the last four years, Ms. Rice has shown herself to be incompetent and --
Oh, by the way, while we're on the subject, here's something I don't get...Rice clearly is an accomplished person and I've noticed that much is always made of her intelligence.
"I think it's good for the American public," Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Wednesday. "I am very confident Dr. Rice will perform well. She's extremely intelligent.
But every time I see her answering questions in front of some committee or being interviewed, she gives every impression of having a rigidly funneled mind. Not focussed. Funneled. She never, like, you know, answers the damn question. She seems to think nobody notices this. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I've always felt people with minds like that always end up showing themselves to be kind of stupid. But, whatever. Like I was sayin'...
Over the last four years, Ms. Rice has shown herself to be incompetent and so I think the American public, at large, is quite happy to see Ms. Rice's nomination further debated on the floor of the Senate. I think we don't trust her very much. And so when the Republicans call this insistence on further debate "petty politics", they risk making themselves look even more irresponsible and untrustworthy. One might even say they begin to seem Out Of Touch With The American People.
Frankly, I hope Republicans keep resorting to this sort of LuntzSpeak, over and over, as the disaster that is the Bush Administration's second go-around proceeds apace. As the Democrats stand up to this sort of vacuous and irresponsible spew (by insisting on further debate), they begin to look more and more attractive to voters. The public wants the Democrats to engage in this thing the Republicans are calling "petty politics", and so this rhetoric aimed at Democrats ends up looking like an insult to the intelligence of the public at large.
Not, I hasten to add, that this insistence on trying to put the brakes on the runaway freight train constitutes any sort of New Vision For The Future on the part of the Democrats. Let's get that part of it together, okay, there, Democrats?
No, alls I'm sayin' is that at this point Republicans use this rhetorical trick at their peril. It only works when and if things don't stink. Unfortunately for the Republicans, we already know that less than half of the public thinks things don't presently stink. Less than half. If the stench gets any worse, which it will with these incompetents and ideologues in charge, this brain-dead Republican LuntzSpeak is going to morph into a variety of the well-known and much-dreaded Fart In Church. And it will be a big one too. Verily, it will astound the congregation.