Battlepanda: Strong and Wrong beats Weak and Right


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Strong and Wrong beats Weak and Right

Yes. Howard Dean is right. What of it? He has been right ever since the beginning of the war, and where did it get his campaign? The Democrats have been right in pointing out the folly of this whole Iraq campaign. It has not endeared us with the voters. Is it the way we say it? Should we improve our message delivery? Our framing? Or is the American people determined to keep shooting the bearer of bad news?
MATTHEWS: Just say the word victory over and over and over again, if people think of victory.
DEFRANK: Well, because people need to feel like there‘s a chance that victory is around the corner in Iraq. It‘s better for the president. I mean, a month ago, or during his August vacation, he made a speech on the war in Idaho. He mentioned the word victory three times.
In Annapolis he mentioned the word victory 15 times. And in the preamble to his white paper last week, I think it‘s—the word victory is used 36 times. That‘s not a coincidence.
MATTHEWS: Yes, in the old days, Gene McCarthy, one of my heroes, used to say, Dana, “if you want to be seen as an issues candidate, just keep saying the word issues. I‘m here to speak to the issues. I‘m running on the issues. This is an issues campaign.”
But will word victory stick there or will it be like paint thinner after awhile? Will people say, “yes, I‘ve heard that word victory for three months now and I haven‘t seen any victory?”
MILBANK: No, I don‘t think so. I think it‘s actually quite clever. And when you‘re talking about victory, it doesn‘t mean the ultimate victory. Victory can be whatever you say it is when you pull the troops out. But what they‘re doing, and I don‘t think people realize this, is say, “OK, we‘re for victory.” The other guys, the Democrats, are there for defeat. And Howard Dean just walked into that.
MATTHEWS: Boy, didn‘t he?
MILBANK: You can see that mousetrap set up with the cheese there and he just went right for it. And so now they are able to say we are for victory, they are for defeat, even though as we were just discussing, they‘re all having this rather narrow debate about when you yank the troops.

I feel like I've written this same post before, back in my old blog which is unarchived, during the Dean campaign. Better strong and wrong than weak and right. What a detestably accurate quip about politics.