At Friday's (June 24, 2005) White House Press Briefing, produced, directed and written by Karl Rove,, with Scott McClellan in the lead role, there was an interesting and revealing exchange between McClellan and an unnamed (as always) reporter. From the exchange, it appeared as though it became somewhat heated. I am going to quote for you key words and phrases and you try to guess what McClellan was talking about.
"strategy for success"
"the way forward to succeeding"
"implementing that strategy"
"many challenges that lie ahead"
"not an easy task"
"peaceful and democratic future"
"powerful force for change"
"dangerous region of the world"
"ideology of oppresssion, and hatred, and tyranny"
"determined and ruthless enemy"
"no regard for human life"
"derail the transition to democracy"
"failed to stop the advance to democracy and freedom"
"those who seek to stop democracy from taking root"
"a number of our men and women who are serving in harm's way"
"we mourn and grieve when we lose our men and women"
"tremendous sacrifices in defense of freedom"
"the advance of freedom in a dangerous region of the world"
"complete the mission"
"we are making great progress"
"difficulties and dangers ahead"
"this is a very critical period"
"moving forward on drafting a constitution"
"moving forward to prepare for an election"
"a nation that is at war"
"trying to test our resolve"
"trying to shake the will of the international community"
"central front in the war on terrorism"
"it's a critical period"
"we are a nation at war"
"the progress we're making"
"the strategy we have for succeeding"
"important that the American people know the progress we are making"
"important that they understand the difficulties and dangers that lie ahead"
"this is a time when we are seeing that the enemy is determined"
"ruthless in the violence that they seek to spread to try to shake our will and shake our resolve"
"and that's why it's important to talk to the American people"
This logorrhea of jabberwocky is being fed the American press over and over and over. It is the daily bread at these press conferences. It is what is translated by the press and then fed to the American people. It is very calculated language that requires extreme repetition. It is simple, straightforward, uncomplicated by nuances or gray areas. It is delivered to highly educated men and women as if they were grammar school students and this was a civics class.
You will hear many of these phrases and words, or close variations of them, in Bush's speech this Tuesday night. Watch for him to be a bit humble in one spot when he says something like "maybe we have made mistakes", or "we have stumbled a little here and there" This will show his human side, his vulnerability, his willingness to say he made a booboo. But it will be fleeting and short.
The purpose of this speech is to rekindle support from the American people for the war in Iraq. Both he and support for the war are sinking in all the polls and this speech is the beginning of a major Karl Rove offensive to regain that support. If we were to imagine Rove's own words:
"It is a critical period for the President. Here is our strategy for the President to succeed. The Democrats are a determined and ruthless enemy. We will move forward to democracy and freedom with the President. We have a clear strategy and we are making important progress. There are dangers and difficulties lying ahead and that's why it is important for the President to talk to the American people."
It's the language that counts in all of this. At the end of eight years of a George Bush presidency, how his presidency and its successes and failures are described is what is paramount to Karl Rove. What matters most, right now, is how to pull George Bush's fat out of the current fires. And he has many fires: failures in Iraq and Afghanistan; clear and mounting evidence of his pre-war deceptions; a huge deficit, getting worse; an economy increasingly choked by high energy costs, increased pollution, and fewer good paying jobs; an international community whose respect for the United States has all but disappeared; and a citizenry that may be waking to the fact that this imperial President really doesn't have any clothes on.
How is Karl Rove going to make sure that Bush wins in Iraq, wins the war on terror, maintains his cowboy, freedom-fighting, mission-accomplished image, doesn't bankrupt the country, and doesn't get remembered as the most reviled President in American history? As George Bush goes, so goes Karl Rove. Listen to the language, it tells all.