Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 12, 2004
WAR: Bait and Switch Watch
Following up on yesterday's point, in political arguments (or any arguments), you always have to be on the lookout for the bait and switch. Of course, no one side has a monopoly on this tactic, but one of the more egregious ones that we've seen used ad nauseum is the Left's insistence on switching between connecting Saddam Hussein's regime to Al Qaeda and connecting the regime to September 11; for example, the absence of a September 11 connection is taken as definitive proof that there was no Al Qaeda connection, and statements by the Bush Administration drawing an Al Qaeda connection are taken as if they drew a September 11 connection. Trying to get some people to recognize this distinction can be like talking to a brick wall, unfortunately. Chris Matthews' recent interview with Don Rumsfeld contained a classic of the genre although the transcript doesn't capture how fast Matthews was talking in his (ultimately unsuccessful, of course) effort to trick Rumsfeld:
MATTHEWS: You know, when you watch the culture of the country, there’s a great sense in country music, you remember how you felt. You’ve heard these songs. They’re so American. And they talk about the war in Iraq as being some kind of payback or justice for what happened to us on 9/11.