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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Phrase That Pays

If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all over the past few months, you’ve probably heard the current administration using a familiar phrase to describe their current strategy for the war in Iraq—“stay the course.” You have to admit, it’s catchy in that folksy, “Dear Abby” rip-off style that suits our current President. I kind of see him as Dr. Phil without all of that sensitivity crap. So imagine my utter disappointment in hearing via White House Press Secretary Tony Snow that “stay the course” was out. Now there is a gaping hole in the administration’s catchphrase offense, and I wouldn’t be such a diligent patriot if I didn’t help fill it.

Part of the problem, as stated by Tony Snow recently was that the phrase “stay the course” connoted rigidity in the face of an obviously complex and fluid situation such as the war in Iraq, which certainly doesn’t represent this White House accurately. I also think that the beloved catchphrase simply played itself out. It’s like an old standby from one of your favorite bands that they have to play at every concert. Sure, the first few times Boston plays “More Than a Feeling” it’s awesome, but once you see it live a few dozen times, it starts to wear a little thin. It was time for a catchphrase enema, and the administration knew it.

Now catchphrases are kind of like Middle Eastern dictators in that, when you take one out, you need to replace it with something quickly or else there’s a power vacuum and your whole lexicon will devolve into a civil war of words and sectarian violence of semantics, things this White House is clearly not willing to let happen. So far all their best and brightest have managed to come up with is “cut and run” which, don’t get me wrong is killer, but that’s really only good for the midterm elections and misrepresenting the platform of many of their political opponents. There’s a need for something more positive and upbeat, something that defines all of the hard work and dedication this administration is putting into their sterling performance of the war. Now, I’ve given this a lot of thought, at least a full five minutes, and here is what I’ve come up with:

Iraq: “Tough it out and give 110%”

This isn’t a guaranteed slam-dunk by any means. There’s a lot of focus group testing and polling to be done, but here’s why I think this is a winner.

First, you get not just one down-home cliché, but two! It’s double the vapid country wisdom in one shot, which should give it some legs. Second, it applies easily to sports, which Americans love, unless we’re talking about soccer. Third, it gets the word “tough” in there right away, because that’s what this President is. “Tough it out” does admit that there’s a struggle, but we’re persevering and overcoming. “Give 110%” shows that we’re not just slugging it out in a stand-off or lollygagging, we’re giving our all and then some. And since we all know that terrorists and insurgents are lazy bastards, they can’t be giving more than 60 or 70%, which means victory is inevitable as soon as someone defines what “victory” is.

So don’t be surprised if, in the next few weeks when those liberal fags in the White House Press Corps ask Tony Snow what the President plans to do about the probably worsening situation in Iraq, he looks them dead in the eye and says, “the President and our armed forces are going to tough it out and give 110%.” Suck on that Helen Thomas, you pinko.

All right, I hate to cut and run on this blog post, but I need to come up with a new name for KFC’s delicious, but shittily named “Famous Bowls.” As for a new catchphrase for the President, mission accomplished.

Freedom photos by Jenni

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