« MO-Sen: Referendum on Stem Cell Research? | Main | MO-Sen: Jim Talent's Gift for Unpopularity »

Saturday, April 23, 2005

2006 Senate: "Nuclear Option" vs "Constitutional Option"

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has joined with practically everyone in referring to the GOP's power grab of ending the filibuster as the Nuclear Option. This is fitting, because of the severity of the action and the inevitable mutually assured destruction response by the Democrats. However, now that GOP polls show the GOP losing, it is time to change the language.

From Josh Marshall:

If you're conversant with the Republican national political debate taxonomy, you know that there is a point at roughly 15 to 16 days after the GOP starts losing a debate that crack teams of specially trained GOP spinmeisters are sent out to bamboozle gullible newspaper editors and TV producers into changing their vocabulary to make it conform to the latest findings of GOP focus groups. [...]

Now, let's be frank. There's no intrinsic reason why banning filibusters for judicial nominations should be called the 'nuclear option'. And if Republicans want to start referring to it as the 'judicial act of love' they can do that. But one side in a debate shouldn't be able to order the refs in the game to rewrite the lexicon just because people don't like what's happening. And yet that's just what's happening. Republicans are now making a concerted push at a whole slew of news organizations, trying to convince them to stop using the term in their coverage, on the argument that it's an attack phrase concocted by the Democrats. And it would seem the editors and producers are either too ignorant or too lily-livered not to let them have their way.

It is abusive to change the definitions in a debate just because you are losing a debate. It is a clear indication of a loss.

And many voters see through this. Remember when privatization became accounts? Well the word change didn't change the direction or slope of Bush's poll numbers on Social Security.

This should be seen as what it is: desperation.

And it should be seen as abusive and any reporter dumb enough (David Kirkpatrick) to buy into a change in definitions during the debate should be ridiculed.

Posted at 12:49 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate | Technorati