Slow-Bleat

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The Politico’s John Harris explains how soundbites are born:

“Even as the House begins debate on a resolution opposing President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more U.S. combat troops to Iraq, leading anti-war groups are preparing a multi-million dollar TV ad campaign and grassroots lobbying blitz designed to pressure vulnerable incumbent lawmakers to end their support for the war.”

becomes:

“Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration’s options.”

because:

It seemed a little snappier to us — and more on point.

Harris throws up his hands as to his part in how the “slow bleed” phrase became a tool in the GOP’s verbal arsenal:

That willingness to wrest words from context — and to attribute the phrase to Democrats even though it was not theirs — was demagogic on the part of Republican operatives. But it was never my plan to make their work so easy.

Well, it’s okay this time, John. But it won’t be so easy to explain away this catchphrase in his upcoming opus, “The Democrats next plan to follow a Wimpy McLosersons strategy, unless they succeed in making all the troops gay first.” All about context, people, context!

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