January 22, 2005

Laphamization Watch

...a fine example here (for a definition of Laphamization, go here).

Clearly the folks at the Nation are chomping at the bit to declare the Iraqi elections a failure. In this vein, the editorial is comical, to a fashion. You do, if barely, espy that the Nation's editorialists know the elections still haven't happened ("in the run-up", "upcoming poll") and are still 10 days away. But, via Laphamization, they appear to have made up their minds the elections shall prove an abject failure. Indeed, via clever phrasing, use of tense, and the like--one can skim the piece and really get the feeling the elections have already taken place. And, of course, proven a total failure. I particularly like the first sentence of the second graf ("As conditions deteriorated, it became harder for the Bush Administration to spin the upcoming poll to choose an Iraq National Assembly as a major step toward restoring security"). "As conditions deteriorated." How retrospective! And, some "poll" (you mean, the elections that still haven't happened yet?). It feels like we are casting our eyes backwards, with sorrow alas, at the grisly specter of the apres-"poll" postmortem. Then, quite neatly, the last graf of the piece takes us into February. The Chimp, it seems, is out and about to "demand" another big supplemental from Congress. And by screaming "no more money for war", pace the good folks at the Nation, we would provide the "best example of democracy we could offer the Iraqi people." Those not left to be slaughtered like lemmings, that is, by assorted Baathists, jihadists, terrorists and radicalized militia groupings--given the massive power vacuum that would ensue should American forces pull out precipitously (sorry, in "orderly" fashion) as the Nation--and, reportedly, Ted Kennedy--would recommend.

Posted by Gregory at January 22, 2005 01:55 AM
Comments

in re: "poll" --

since it was only the "polls" that the left won here in November, perhaps they are thinking that it's the "polls" that are valid and "elections" that don't really count?

Posted by: Michael Tinkler at January 22, 2005 02:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dewey defeats Truman!!!

Bueller . . . . .Bueller

Posted by: Jason at January 22, 2005 02:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The idiots who read that magazine just might fall for their scam.

Posted by: Jerry at January 22, 2005 03:02 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I don't think it's Laphamization so much as the fact that they already know that, no matter what the outcome, the election will be a failure. It's already determined. There is no option.

How do they know? Because success is not an option.

Posted by: Charlie (Colorado) at January 22, 2005 03:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, their success is not an option, that's for sure.

Fortunately the circulation of The Nation is quite small; it's not as if an entire political party would follow them into this slough of despond.

Posted by: Mike G at January 22, 2005 03:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Once upon a time the liberals believed in elections. It seems they may obsess about Ohio but could care less about the people of Iraq having the same rights they demand for themselves.

It took a decade to get Japan to where they think Iraq should be right now. But then they did not have an idiot press up their butts day in and day out either.

If we abandon these people they will die. You would think considering their preoccupation with Viet Nam the antiwar folks would remember the Viet Namese that were slaughtered or sent to reeducation camps after we left, not to mention the boat people, the Khmer Rouge. Millions of people paid with their lives, somehow I don't think the Iraqis would think we were doing them any favors if we did the same thing to them.

Posted by: terrye at January 22, 2005 03:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Good analysis GD, thanks. To carry one point a bit further, pulling out would also set back the prospect of any future democratic progress in countries where it's needed -- no reformer or reform movement would ever trust us again. Fortunately, according to his recent speech, GWB won't be taking the Nation's advice.

I also disliked their use of the word "spin" which implies an interpretation of a past action, not a claim or argument for or against that action, as well as lying by mischaracterizing events after the fact. A defensive, not proactive effort. So GWB has no strategy, only manipulation, in their construct, and thereby they not only disagree with the President but belittle him. Nice people.

Posted by: George W at January 22, 2005 03:28 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Nation's editors are getting as desperate as Zarqawi. Remember the Four Phases of Leftist/MSM treatment of inconvenient truths:

1) Ignore the Story

2) report story as false (Deny Facts)

3) Admit Facts, Deny Significance

4) Change the Subject

First the Nation and the MSM refused to mention the elections. Then they implied that the elections would not take place. Then they admitted that the elections will take place but spun them as illegitimate (Sunnis Disenfranchised!!). On Jan 31 they will no doubt be headlining more Abu Ghraib fallout, or talking about violence in Gaza, or Condi's obduracy or somesuch. Or maybe playing up another Invisible Ink/Elections Stink! pseudo-story.

Posted by: thibaud at January 22, 2005 03:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Charlie (Colorado) and a couple of other posters are right. The Iraqi election is slated to be a failure, and a failure it will be, no matter who wins.

If the Interim Government people win, they'll say, "See? It's just a puppet government, so it wasn't a real election!"

If anyone else wins, it will be logged as proof of a rejection of Bush.

Either way, Bush loses.

But we'll know better ;).

Posted by: mamapajamas at January 22, 2005 03:59 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Left no longer cares about elections (See recent inauguration protests). Having convinced themselves that Red States are filled with morons and Blue States with candidates for Mensa, the (New) Left easily justifies any coup and any putsch.

Who'da thunk the liberals would turn out to be fascists?

Ayn Rand, that's who. See: The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, c. 1965.

Posted by: Steven at January 22, 2005 04:32 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yah, brahs, Rand pretty much called all of this. It's as if the entire left had become clones of Ellsworth Toohey.

Watched something interesting last night. The same day of the inaugural, a gaggle of lefties gathered at the Cooper Union in New York to discuss with each other where to go now. One woman called the legitimately elected president of the United States a "creature who crawled out from under a rock". Another guy, this time from the audience, kept going on about the Diebold machines in Ohio. One writer was convinced that Socialism in One Country could be sold to the American people if the Left became just like the Right became after the Goldwater catastrophe in 1964.

And all at once it hit me: the "progressives" had become the reactionaries. Watching these people react to Bush's battle cry for human liberty was like watching a group of old country club Republicans try to decide whether Bucky or Tucker would cast the Black Ball to keep the negro applicant out of the country club. There was no there there. There were no new ideas.

What the more discerning among us are catching (at least, those of us who are neither Robert Fisk nor John Pilger) is that Bush is not going to go in some Christian Crusade to convert the Muzzies to the True Faith. He does understand that a key to reducing the tendency towards violence is to increase the choices available for people in the Islamic world. Why the Left, who inveighed so mightily against Pinochet, the Indonesian malfeasance in East Timor (the subject of countless Anthony Lewis columns), the Greek Colonels, the Apartheid regime of Pretoria, has a huge problem with this at first mystified me. Then, upon watching these reactionaries throw their blackballs, I understood that when you've run out of ideas you've run out of hope.

You've also run out of the right to govern. The Left hasn't figured that out yet. The American electorate figured that out last November.

Posted by: Section9 at January 22, 2005 12:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Section9, your observation of the Left as reactionary seems to be beoming a meme. John Powers in the LA Weekly said as much this week, and another blogger was pretty explicit about it back in May of 2003 when he described the Democrats as "The New Conservatives":

I'm serious. Take a quick look at their big domestic issues now:

Don't weaken abortion laws.
Don't weaken affirmative action laws.
Don't weaken the public school system.
Don't weaken the unions.
Don't weaken welfare.
Don't weaken environmental laws.
Don't weaken gun control laws.
Don't weaken liability laws.
Don't weaken Medicare.
Don't weaken Social Security.
Don't get too far into debt.
And of course, stop taking so many chances overseas.

There is no innovation here, no new plan or new future, nothing bold or risky or daring. It's a gigantic holding action. The only real change ever discussed is an increase in scale, an increase of quantity rather than kind. You can run the same speeches from the 1980 race and nobody would notice the difference.

What about real reform, new ideas that might work or that might not? School vouchers, tort reform, individual Social Security accounts, eliminating subsidies, basing affirmative action on need rather than race - these are big ideas, things that just might take off and really work out well. These are not illiberal ideas, but they challenge the status quo and the Democrats generally oppose them.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Republicans are not exactly great innovators either, but they are supposed to be conservative. When these folks are beating you at the new ideas game, you know you got some serious problems.

Democrats claim (sincerely, I believe) to be devoted to the interests of the least among us, but in practice they seem devoted primarily to the status quo. Sure, our schools suck, but don't innovate; sure, Social Security is going broke, but don't change it; sure, lawsuits are eating us alive, but don't alter the rules of the game. In each case we are told it is unproven, it is too risky; this is the language of the conservative. The actual effectiveness of any program is always secondary to maintaining the stability of the program.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at January 22, 2005 02:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Re Thibaud’s “Four Phases of Leftist/MSM treatment of inconvenient truths,” check out two articles, one in today’s NY Times and one in today’s Washington Post. They’re probably pretty good indicators of the predominant messages in the weeks and months to come.

1. Washington Post: “No Foreign Observers to Monitor Iraq Vote: Only One Outsider From International Mission May Assess Elections on Site” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27880-2005Jan21.html) wherein Robin Wright informs us that “There will be no neutral outside group deployed across Iraq to determine whether voters are impeded, ballot boxes are stuffed, any party tries to interfere with the process or votes are counted fairly. No congressional delegation will monitor the polls, and the European Union announced last week that it had declined an invitation from Iraq to send observers. The Carter Center, which has monitored more than 50 elections overseas, also decided not to send observers.

‘That means you don't have an independent voice that can really report credibly on the quality of the election -- in a context where there are already extremely difficult circumstances and doubts about the process,’ said David Carroll of the Carter Center, who was an observer in the Palestinian elections.”

(Phase 3: Admit facts, deny significance)

2. In the NY Times, Dexter Filkins offers “Mystery in Iraq as $300 Million is Taken Abroad” (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/22/international/middleeast/22baghdad.html?hp&ex=1106456400&en=308db6b264aca618&ei=5094&partner=homepage), which focuses on the conflict/intrigue between Defense Minister Hazim al-Shalaan and Ahmed Chalabi, each of whom has charged the other with corruption. Filkins even gets a great quote "I am sorry to say that the corruption here is worse now than in the Saddam Hussein era," said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser.

(Phase 4: Change the subject)

Posted by: macgough at January 22, 2005 03:12 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE! THE NEW IRAQI "DEMOCRACY" IS PINOCHET PART 2, YOU NEOCON FASCISTS WILL BE STOPPED BY THE WORLD!!! END CORPORATE BUSHCO RULE!

Posted by: STOP BUSH! at January 22, 2005 03:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Thank you, "Stop Bush" for clearly illustrating the points made above regarding the absence of ideas coming from the left.

Posted by: wildmonk at January 22, 2005 04:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You know, per the discussion above, I remember, fondly the "The NAtion" of old. Gore Vidal and company with their well-reasoned slaps, and many of us on the right, left meekly spinning "well, sure...but.."

No longer. What a sad joke the left has become. And if you think a "STOP BUSH" or two here every once in a while is bad - pity the poor letters editor at The Nation nowadays....Yeesh.

Posted by: Art Wellesley at January 22, 2005 05:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Does anyone else get that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" vibe from STOP BUSH?

Posted by: james warren at January 22, 2005 06:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm glad to see the "progressives become reactionaries" meme taking off. The terms just don't work any longer. It's time to Rethink the dialectic.

Posted by: mrsizer at January 22, 2005 07:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

So when does Rummy get fired?

Posted by: Josh at January 22, 2005 08:51 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

/msm

forgot that part

Posted by: Josh at January 22, 2005 08:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hey can anyone help "ST*P BU$H" he seems to not be able to turn off his Caps. Apparently the Lefties are also Luddites.

Posted by: jimcee at January 22, 2005 11:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I miss the old Conservatives. The ones who, when they heard the word "free elections" in Chile or Guatemala or Iran or whatnot, instictively reached for their revolvers. Now they've just become like the Liberals, recycling platitudes aboy how great the electoral process is. Just a bunch of spineless sissies, now. Until the next election whose results don't quite fit into their world view....

Posted by: Chris at January 22, 2005 11:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

in re: "poll" --

The primary meaning of "poll" is an election. Its secondary meaning is a sampling of opinion (see Webster's Third, for example).

Posted by: RWD at January 23, 2005 12:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

RWD:

See Webster's Third for the difference between "connotative" and "denotative".

"poll" in 21st century American usage has nothing to do with an election.

Dictionaries print existing meanings - they're post facto. They do not create or define words.

Posted by: mrsizer at January 23, 2005 05:08 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hey mrsizer, instead of looking up "connotative" and "denotative" in the dictionary, why not take a minute to google phrases like "poll worker" and "polling place" to see if the word "poll" has anything to do with elections in 21st century America.

Posted by: RWD at January 23, 2005 08:45 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"... chomping at the bit ..."

champing at the bit.

Posted by: MDP at January 24, 2005 12:13 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Excuse me, Dictionaries do not define words?
Really?
I don't have a Webster's Third, but I'll go out on a limb on this one and suggest you look up 'analytic'.

Posted by: falcoJugger at January 24, 2005 07:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

falco:
Look at the title of this post and see if it's "defined" in a dictionary. Usage defines words. Dictionaries document usage.

What does "impact" mean? Look in a dictionary from the mid 20th century and it won't have anything to do with "affect" or "effect". "Contact" went through a similar transformation - it used to mean only physical contact (and a really old dictionary circa 1920 will confirm that). The examples are legion.

RWD:

Take a survey of Americans and ask them if they took part in a poll last November. For everyone who says "no", ask if they voted.

The plural of index is still "defined" as indecies, but it's not in common usage any longer - it's not in Microsoft spellcheck!

Sorry to hijack the thread...

Posted by: mrsizer at January 25, 2005 06:26 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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