Dover Bitch

Monday, April 30, 2007

Signs of 'surrender' in the media

In an earlier post, DB highlighted a Vanity Fair article by historian Robert Dallek, in which he reveals a conversation between President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger:

"In Saigon the tendency is to fight the war to victory," Nixon told Kissinger, according to the transcript of a 1969 phone conversation. "But you and I know it won't happen—it is impossible." Even so, according to Haldeman's unpublished diaries, Nixon later urged that Democratic critics making this same point should be labeled "the party of surrender."

Ten thousand Americans died in Vietnam after Nixon told Kissinger that victory was impossible.

That would have been enough of a reason for me to link to Dallek's column, but I chose to link to it earlier to point out that the White House is trotting out the same "party of surrender" talk, characterizing the funding bill as requiring a "surrender date."

Today on "Hardball," Washington Post reporter Lois Romano had this to say of the upcoming Republican presidential debate:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Lois, do you think they'll all be trooping in line to show their party loyalty by showing their Bush loyalty? Or how do you think they going to nuance this thing?

LOIS ROMANO: Well, I think, obviously, they have to play a little bit to the base because they need to win the nomination first. But they're facing an extremely unpopular war so they have to thread a very narrow needle on how they want to deal with the war and still, you know, basically embrace Bush a little bit.

I think what you're going to hear them say is 'We don't think this is a good war but we don't think we should surrender.' "

To be fair, Romano said the Republicans would use the word "surrender." But she didn't make it clear that "surrender" is their word. It's just one of the two options (and obviously, the one the Republicans reject).

The word "surrender" is part of the GOP political strategy, so we can expect Republican officials and "strategists" to use it with abandon (and they already are).

But we've already seen the media faithfully adopt GOP talking points. For example, the way they immediately accepted the Bush administration label "Terrorist Surveillance Program" instead of "domestic wiretapping." Are we going to hear more and more journalists suggesting that the Democrats are on the verge of becoming "the party of surrender?"

UPDATE: Video here at Real Clear Politics.

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