June 15, 2005

Right-wing Verbal Acrobatics

Does anyone remember Bill Clinton's contortions: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is?"

Now we have Tod Linberg in the Weekly Standard squirming his way through the definition of the word "fix", as used in the Downing Street Memo. He wants us to believe that the meaning implied in that memo was not as in the fix is in (as in influencing the outcome), but rather that the evidence was being fixed or solidified or made firm, an entirely different meaning.

He rhetorically asks the question why no one in the room said anything about what he calls a "bombshell." He wonders why no one was surprised that Bush would be doing such a dastardly thing. And he concludes that because no one was outraged, the meaning of the word "fix" in this case must not be the pejorative, but rather the innocent. He simply can't imagine raised eyebrows or knowing glances, or the idea that this was not news to them. He sloughs it off with a slur against British liberals.

And now that we have even further validation that the fix was in from a report about the meeting of Bush and Blair two months before the Downing Street memo, it makes Lindberg's tortured logic look even that more silly.

Linberg even lamely suggests that because the Brits invented English, he trusts them to know how they are using words better than American liberals. Impressive and vellicated logic (look it up, Tod, in the Oxford English Dictionary).

Here's the phrase in the memo: But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. Don't you get it? Linberg has it entirely backwards. When you are planning a war, you don't fix the intelligence around the policy, you fix the policy around the intelligence!! If you fix the intelligence around the policy, you are, indeed, as the dictionary says, " influencing the outcome or actions of by improper or unlawful means ." You are fixing a decision to wage war and then "fixing" whatever evidence you need to make that war happen. The Brits clearly understood what Lindberg cannot possibly accept (his house of cards would collapse).

For Tod Lindberg, the fix has been in way before he wrote this arduous piece of irrationality. If George Bush walked up to him naked, he would continue to see Emperor Bush in his fine regalia.

Another hat tip to Rhoda


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