During a Tuesday meeting of the House Republican conference, Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) unveiled a handy new rhetorical device aimed at furthering House Republicans tough-on-terrorism national security agenda.
Instead of referring to military tribunals as, well, the military tribunals that they are and have been known as throughout their entire existence, House Republicans should start referring to them as “terrorist tribunals,” to emphasize the bad guys they will be trying. (Very clever. Never mind that good ol’ American adage “innocent until proven guilty.”)
But even after Pryce’s instructions, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) needed a reminder. When he rose to speak about next week’s floor schedule, according to our fly on the wall, he mentioned “military tribunals for suspected terrorists.” He then caught himself, looked at Pryce, and asked, “What is it again?”
Pryce corrected Boehner, who then amended his speech with the by-the-playbook phrase “terrorist tribunals.”
If Pryce is setting the agenda and vocabulary words to be used in a political campaign, she is definitely a Republican insider.
*The Republicans refuse to recognize the civil war in Iraq by calling it 'sectarian violence.'
*Remember the Social Security reform that the President and the GOP continue to push? They want to put retirement money into the stock market. It would be more like Russian roulette.
*The administration and the GOP push for warrantless wiretaps by saying they are listening to the phone calls of terrorists. In reality, they are using warrantless wiretaps to investigate anti-war groups, political opponents, and those advocating free speech.
*The Republicans and their swift boat smear group accused Senator John Kerry of not really being qualified to receive a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in Viet Nam.
We must be careful of the use of new terms to promote an ideology or political idea. Don't let Pryce and the Republicans set the tone and the rhetoric for the coming election. Remember, the terrorist attacks on 9/11 happened during a Republican administration and Congress.