“If Harry Reid believes that this war is lost, where is his plan to win this war?”
– Rep. Peter Hoekstra R-MI, on Senator Harry Reid’s statement that the War in Iraq is already lost.
This is a perfect example of the downside of party discipline. The system for how a Republican rebuttal quoted in your average article goes something like this:
1. Karl Rove or some other party hack has an idea for a phrase that will make Democrats look bad, or at least piss them off. He writes this into some talking points and distributes them throughout the Republican party and their media allies.
2. A reporter is writing an article about something some Democrat said. He contacts GOP ally A.
3. Mr. A, in this case Congressman Hoekstra, reads a line off from the list of talking points, instead of thinking for himself and coming up with his own thing to say.
Usually that works pretty well for them. The more times they announce the exact same message, the more likely someone will actually buy it. But in this case, it kind of backfired, because in context this particular talking point doesn’t make any sense. I’m not talking about making sense knowing the facts of the case, since most GOP talking points don’t really conform to reality. I’m talking about the internal logic of the quote. Given that the Pentagon is very far away from having a working time machine, I’m not sure what kind of plan Hoekstra expects from Reid.
Here’s my advice to Rep. Hoekstra: next time, try thinking about what you’re going to say instead of mindlessly reciting talking points. It might help you avoid sounding like David Brent. Then again, it might not.