white house credibility watch
According to the Washington Post, the White House is having some trouble adapting its renowned message discipline from the campaign trail to the war.
White House officials struggled this week to retool a war communications blueprint that did not allow for strong Iraqi resistance and overestimated the welcome allied troops would receive.
The administration countered setbacks on the global airwaves by using classic campaign techniques such as dogged repetition of scripted messages and flat denials of dissent. When the war plan itself was under attack, officials tried to regain their footing by saying that the plan was flexible enough to accommodate any eventuality.
...Besieged on so many fronts, administration officials all but shut down communication outside formal briefings, with the White House referring many questions to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon referring some of those questions back to the White House.
Historians and political scientists said the administration's approach has the makings of a credibility gap if the Bush team's assertions from their podiums and on Sunday talk shows become too far divorced from the impression the public is getting from the battlefields in Iraq.
"They have been guilty of trying to put a positive interpretation on everything and ignoring the bad news," said Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. "That's not the same thing as lying. But I think they misunderstand that acknowledging bad news strengthens your hand because it makes you believable."
I'm hardly surprised...what that article fails to mention is that "dogged repetition of scripted messages and flat denials of dissent" were also the same tactics the Administration used to sell this war. While the allied military forces have adapted superbly (for the most part) to the situation the Administration's overoptimistic planning has placed them in, the fact that this Administration has been so clumsy in its political adaptation is sobering indeed, and once again calls into serious question the comepetence of this Administration to deal with the real world--the one outside of the comfort of conservative think-tanks.
Like the first drops of rain before a storm, you can hear the Administration's credibility finally beginning to be questioned in the so-called "liberal media." One can only hope that these scattered drops herald the torrent that will ultimately wash this nation of Bush and his deceit.