White House Abandons Ship
Tuesday, 24 October 2006
The White House announced today a major rhetorical bailing, jumping ship from its sharply criticized “stay the course” policy in Iraq, which was seen to have more holes in it than Windows. For those familiar with George Bush and his past political misundernavigations, we see here yet another disencharted vehicle, now crumpled in the circular file beside the “road map to peace”. Forever the Father of the Homeland metaphor system, Bush seems unwilling to stop and ask directions in these models, and is quick to chide Democrats with “Don’t make me stop this war!!“
Bush Crew hits hostile waters, cuts anchor, runs aground then abandons ship. Many mentally lost, at sea.
A Republican mutiny is reportedly underway as candidates in the coming election are getting that sinking feeling about the polls. Last week, in a surprising turn of events, Bush virtually handed strategic leadership to military commanders in Iraq. This move should’ve signaled Observers that the S.S. Rhetoric was about to be decommissioned and replaced by something that was actually designed to hold water.
So what is next for White House symbolism? Farming and herding systems have a good chance here, since members of a herd enjoy an egalitarian life, led by the persuasion of a patient straw-sucking guy in rubber boots and plaid. This non-militaristic, non-mechanized model disintegrates the vehicle from a single inanimate puritan vessel into a flock of harmless vegepedestrians with a few carnivorous black sheep within. As the sectarian violence in Iraq builds pirate warships, something is needed to rhetorically water down their threat, lest America be officially revealed as losing the war. As of recent polls, two thirds of Americans feel that this is already the case.
After the unsuccessful arrival of the “Mission Accomplished” tub, rhetorical models have backtracked, consistently relying on pre-arrival themes involving movement and destination, including “path“, “road” and “course” as central objects. Thus it has been easy for critics to conceptually target the administration for having made no progress and convey it rhetorically as “stumbling“, “taking wrong turns” or “not making headway“. This ease of attack in the headlines may well have cost the administration, since short pointed sentences that easily skewer their target tend to stick in people’s minds. Case in point: Lou Dobb’s has successfully kindled his “Broken Borders” into platform bonfires.
We’ll see in the coming weeks what new metaphor the White House idiom-jockeys decide to ride. We may even see yet another change of wordhorse if the Congress and Senate seats are resaddled by Democrats. Who knows? Maybe leaders will hop on a more stationary vehicle, such as the “get the job done in Iraq” phrase that seems to move from employer to employer, and take an awful lot of vacations. One thing for sure: speechwriters once on board Bush’s rhetorical ship of the desert have again found themselves cast away. The White House is situation comedy forever trapped in reruns.