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11 posts from May 2007

May 02, 2007

Frameshop: Beware of Presidents Bearing "Benchmarks"

A New Bill Focused on "Benchmarks" in Iraq Would Give Bush Chance Claim Political Victory--Again Silencing Voice of the People

Frame Should Keep Pressure on Bush--"The American People Demand a Path Out of Iraq"

Hot on the heels of President Bush's veto of the Iraqi supplemental bill, the next keyword to be tossed around by politicians and pundits alike will be:  benchmarks (e.g., "benchmarks for the Iraqi government")

Democrats need to be very careful about this term taking root in the media story because it will, in all likelihood, allow President Bush the opportunity to claim political victory--to fail forward.

This would be detrimental to the Democratic efforts to stop the war.  Much of the political gains of the last 24 hours would dissipate as President Bush would suddenly claim that he had won--and he would be right because he would have effectively switched focus away from his failures to a narrative about the Iraqi government.

To keep up pressure and to keep giving voice to the people who elected them in 2006, Democrats should invoke a path frame--continuing to define Iraq as a "crisis" and demanding that President Bush show a clear and immediate "path out" of the situation.

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