Barry Eisler

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Outsourced Presidency; New Linguistic Clues on Iraq

Looks like my friend the Slugg nailed it back in April when he suggested the Presidency was being outsourced.

Bush Sr. has now appointed Robert Gates, his Director of Central Intelligence, as de jure Secretary of Defense (subject to Senate confirmation); James Baker, Bush Sr.'s Secretary of State, is de facto Secretary of State (who has more influence on US foreign policy today: Condi Rice or James Baker? You won't see it on an org chart, but Rice reports to Baker). Between oversight from the new Bush Sr. appointees and a Democratic legislature, I'm hopeful that Bush Jr.'s performance will improve.

On Iraq, as usual, I'm fascinated by the clues to be found in President Bush's diction. He no longer speaks of "democracy" in Iraq, but instead of "representative government." And apparently we no longer seek to "win" there, but instead to "prevail." "Victory" is no longer the goal; rather, "success."

I consider these linguistic changes signs of progress. I've argued before that one means of extricating ourselves from the Iraqi quagmire will be to change our own perceptions of our role and objectives there. That change in perception requires a change in language. Bush's new delivery is a good start.
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Monday, November 13, 2006 5:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Winter said...

I, too, have sensed Senior's presence in recent months, quiet and hardly overt. I have to wonder, too, if Clinton's criticism of W a few months back was part of that plan.

"Hey, Bill, you're an ex-president and former rival. Why don't you give sonny boy a nudge or two on Fox News?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 4:41:00 AM  
Anonymous oakknoll said...

I am reminded of a 7th grade instance.

the local bully took his best shot. swung hard and tagged me. I didn't move, didn't react or retaliate, just stood.

then walked away.

he was my best ally ever since.

maybe it's time

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua James said...

Bullies are, in my experience, quite often cowards at their core.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Charlie Stella said...

What I'm finding interesting the last two days is the problems Dems seem to be having now that they have the house and Senate ... is the sudden reality confusing them?

Redeploy or get out of Iraq?

Handle the ethics problem (crap) or Iraq?

It'll be interesting to see if they can figure out what they really want and how they're going to get it, although I don't have much optimism in their linguistic stumbling.

Then again, this is the party that redefined "is" forever.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 7:06:00 PM  
Blogger Miscellaneous Thoughts said...

The linguistic changes that Bush is using are words his handlers have chosen for him, no more, no less.

His handlers might just be trying to pull him from the firestorm he created but Bush, himself, does not have the ability to consider new language to describe the dilemma in which he has placed our country.

Thursday, November 16, 2006 9:09:00 AM  

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