Monday, November 29, 2010

the battle for symbolic victory

"Well, this is really a revolting development, isn't it, John?"
"It certainly is, Mitch, and like most revolting developments, I believe the first reaction on our part should be to get a drink."
"That's your first reaction to any development, revolting or not."
"Touché. But you can't deny that this is a revolting one. Obama announcing a two year freeze on all raises for government workers. How do we oppose that?"
"It's not going to be easy, particularly since you put it in that stupid 'Pledge to America' of yours."
"The pledge is not stupid, Mitch..."
"Yeah, well, how many times have I told you never to put anything into writing? That's the stupid part. Obama is obviously going to play this up as some sort of symbolic victory, the first blow in the fight to reduce the deficit."
"Oh yeah, no doubt. But I think that we can play it down. I mean it's only a couple of billion dollars, hardly a drop in the bucket."
"Symbolism, John, symbolism. It's going to be all over the TV. He's out there telling federal workers that this is part of a broad national sacrifice, and meanwhile we're busy focusing on tax cuts for millionaires."
"Those aren't just millionaires, Mitch, they're our financiers."
"Uh huh. Uh huh. That makes for a great sound byte, doesn't it Tan Man? No two ways to cut it, he just took the rhetorical upper hand."
"Oh, I don't know, Mitch. You know, I went on record a couple of weeks ago saying that I was going to fly commercial."
"That made quite a splash, didn't it? Don't you see what's going on here, Boehner? Obama's going to try and triangulate. Don't you remember Bill Clinton?"
"Let me tell you something, Boehner, those who remember history are likely... those who don't remember history... how does that go?"
"Those who don't remember history are unlikely to be troubled by a guilty conscience."
"Something like that. So tell me, how do we deny Obama a PR victory on this, even though it was pretty much our idea?"
"I don't know, Mitch. Let's go get a pitcher of martinis and listen to Rush. I'm sure he'll come up with something."

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