Friday, November 17, 2006

The Glass is Half Full...of Bull

Politicians have an infuriating habit of claiming a victory even in contests where they were clearly humiliated. A lot of conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, have shifted their rhetoric from that of lamentation and outrage to one of, one supposes, disingenuous optimism. This sort of spinning a resounding defeat into a minor victory is certainly not unique to the right, and I condemn this sort of dishonesty in all politicians. The hope seems to be that claiming victory becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; that you can rally your troops around an ass-whooping, as long as you can convince them that it wasn't one.

Here's a decent example. It's not so much a flat denial of the facts as a very, very sneaky portrayal of them, but it gets the point across.

Claiming that the new class of Democrats is comprised of a lot of moderate "blue dog" dems is one (true) thing, but extrapolating this into the notion that the recent election is in fact ultimately "a victory for conservatism" is horse shit. The more relevant facts are as follows: the dems picked up seats in dependably red districts, they overwhelmingly ousted incumbents (a near-impossible feat in the House and no easier in the Senate), and while some of the newly elected candidates may be considered conservative relative to other Democrats, they are NOT Republicans. Why don't you say this: The people have spoken, and our party will respond accordingly.

I guess this sort of lying is probably harmless; go ahead and call a rose by any other name. But my disgust stems from the fact that they really think I am stupid enough to believe what is manifestly false, just because they say it so certainly! It's like politicians accusing the media of only showing the "bad stuff" in Iraq, when in fact it's going ever so smoothly. I am offended by their apparent conviction that strong rhetoric can trump reality. It cannot.