GEORGE W. BUSH
I alluded earlier to the sort of "flippity-floppity" nature of Bush's recent unveiling of their non-staying the course strategy, but I like how Josh Marshall said it better, as he notes the New York Times and the New York Post reactions:
"The White House said Monday that President Bush was no longer using the phrase “stay the course” when speaking about the Iraq war, in a new effort to emphasize flexibility in the face of some of the bloodiest violence there since the 2003 invasion."
Flexibility? I thought it was 'stay the course' versus 'cut and run'. One or the other. Who heard of 'flexibility'? That sounds so friggin' John Kerry.
Peter Baker with the Post expounds:
But the White House is cutting and running from "stay the course." A phrase meant to connote steely resolve instead has become a symbol for being out of touch and rigid in the face of a war that seems to grow worse by the week, Republican strategists say. Democrats have now turned "stay the course" into an attack line in campaign commercials, and the Bush team is busy explaining that "stay the course" does not actually mean stay the course.
Political rhetoric, of course, is often in constant motion as well. But with midterm elections two weeks away, the Bush team is searching for a formula to address public opposition to the war, struggling to appear consistent and flexible at the same time. That was underscored by the reaction to a New York Times report that the administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to disarm militias and assume a larger security role.
To which Josh properly replied:
Struggling indeed. 'Cut and Run' lacks nuance. And after, what, 18 months of hearing how timetables will embolden the terrorists, it turns out we're giving the Iraqis timetables.
Why does Bush want to embolden the enemy? Why does Bush hate America?