22 August 2005

GOP to America: Don’t burst our bubble

As more Americans begin to take note of failed foreign policy, Bush and other GOP leaders and officials are taking to the streets to defend themselves. The theme of the effort seems to be to clothe the Iraq mission in machismo. A highly successful marketing ploy (frame, if you will) in America, it is the “husband,” so to speak, of using female sexuality to market goods. But will it sell failure?

The machismo clothing has been a theme of the Bush administration in particular. Even Bush, a college cheerleader and addictive personality (the common alcohol-to-religion type), is believed by many to be a rough-and-tumble honest, hard workin’ country boy. One woman in a focus group replied “cowboy” to the question “what is the image you think of when you hear the name ‘George W. Bush?’" NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip derided Kerry for having a mansion and praised Bush for having a "farm".

In this campaign, the GOP is framing its foreign policy in terms of courage and cowardice. The phrases being used to frame
the opposition suggest running away from a fight. “Tuck and run”, “duck and run”, and “cut and run” are some that I’ve heard. The sublimbinable message: stay the course if you believe in good old fashioned American toughness, run and hide if you’re a lilly-livered faggot.

As the mass media continues to pat their backs, the republicans will continue to burp their talking points. But will it work? That depends on the strength and savvy of the opposition (unfortunately). Can it create an effective echo chamber through elected officials? Can it use its antiwar fundraising for something besides ads in the NYTimes? Can it develop effective marketing strategy and framing of its own?

The republican bubble now shielding us from reality is as thin as its been since Nixon. If the opposition can’t break it now, somebody hand the Democratic Party (which is the main organization in the opposition) a glass of water and help it drown; it’s continued presence could only make it worse.

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