Flit over the hedgerow for today's rant (which started as a pin prick and grew).
They use language to confound. They use language to delay judgement, to defer further discussion to another day (at which point they have moved on). They use language to obscure their intentions and blur the meaning of their actions.
This is an active, studied use of language. This is what you get if you spend billions on propaganda research (known in Republican NewSpeech as "think tanks") This is a nearly unstoppable verbal juggernaut. When it comes to confronting them in a court of law, they will resort to tantrums and declarations that the court is illegal. We have seen this done this week, both in this country (Hello, Tom) and abroad (Hello, Saddam. Is there a reason you are not sitting?).
Simply put, the Republican/GeoDick & Co./"Religious" Right/NeoFascist cabal engage in shameless, unending Sophistry:
The essential claim of sophistry is that the actual logical validity of an argument is irrelevant; it is only the ruling of the audience which ultimately determine[s] whether a conclusion is considered "true" or not. By appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the judges, one can garner favorable treatment for one's side of the argument and cause a factually false position to be ruled true.
I applaud Derrick Jackson for throwing their words back at them, and thank TeacherKen for amplifying them here on dKos. We need more of this. We also need to NOT let them speak even one full sentence without immediately examining it and questioning their meaning. Do we not torture? Would the average Joe think of it as torture? Why redefine torture? Gonzales? Who is we? How about last year? Why are they no longer on European soil? The war is "worthwhile" Mr. President? How do you define "worthwhile"? How many human souls dead? What steps have been taken to minimize death? How much money? Who collected the evidence? Can you corroborate that? References please. What, again, is the connection between 9/11 and Iraq? There was NO connection? How did that justify spending a nation's fortune there? Once again, what do you mean by "worthwhile"?
The WH press corps should be in open revolt. I know horses are scarce in the Capitol -- do they not sell tomatoes or eggs in Washington? "Scottie, you're a lying sack of shill for a lying corrupt gang of thieves who can't, won't, and don't govern. Your presence is an insult to the press and an insult to language. Drop your pitchfork and STFU!"
Headline: WH Press sec'y refuses to answer simple questions, ducks "issues".
Does anyone remember the "W" keys story? That the "rowdy, youthful" Clinton gang vandalized WH computer keyboards by pulling off the W keys before they left? This got fairly wide play in the MSM -- it makes a good story, and fell right in with the "restore dignity" crap the Republicans were shoveling. Except it wasn't true. None of it. Just another, early example of two truths:
- They lie.
- They project their own degeneracy onto those they perceive as enemies.
Stop them now. Question every noun and every verb. Force them to speak in facts. Accept no utterance unchallenged.
The strategy is not to "reframe the debate". There is no debate with liars. The strategy is to splinter the frame of lies with the moral authority of simple truths. The war is failing. The pretense was false. The expense is stupid. Their governance is theft.