Holy Repub, Mehl Man, Stay the Course is Now Off Course?

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 05:02 PM

My least favorite arachnid-American, the one and only Ken Mehlman, seems to have changed course.  Remember all those millions of repetitions of the mantra "stay the course, not cut and run?"  Down the tubes, off the table, in the can, down the toilet, gone like the smile from a salesman's face when you say no.

New mantra?  "Adapt-to-win."  Which also describes where the mantra came from.

In a very indirect way, Bush hinted that "stay the course" needed some fine tuning in his speech at the Naval Academy back in November of 2005 (if critics of "stay the course" think the phrase means "we are not learning from our experiences, or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they are flat wrong").

But Mehl Man, the world's nerdiest super hero (still can't find a boy sidekick, but hey, that's another post), has been ditching the stay the course crap big time at least since August 9, when he held a conference call with several phone holders of the Repub persuasion to say that, according to the Wizbang blog,: "war is difficult, answer is not to give terrorists a victory. Highlight consequences of failure. Issue is not a choice between cut-and-run and stay-the-course, but should be adapt-and-win. Points out changes in strategy. Nature of war, against a movement, not a government, easily hid and harder to defeat..."

My goodness but their focus groups and secret polling must have sent all the little rightlings into a proper dither for them to switch mantras midstream like that.  Stay the course must be polling at the depth of Hades itself for such a switch.  How are the voting robots supposed to switch prime directives just like that.

And Mehl Man made an appearance on Meet the Press just yesterday to unfold the new mantra for the national audience.  Unfurling his famous purple cape (that doubles as his tongue), Mehl Man spewed forth the adapted mantra about adapting, speaking thusly in response to a David Gregory question about whether Joe Lieberman was correct in his assessment of what the administration has done wrong in Iraq (emphasis added):

the fact is our mission in the war in Iraq is critical. We agree on that, we agree that it's wrong to cut and run. But look we're not coming in and saying stay the course. The choice in this election is not between stay the course and cut and run. It's between win by adapting and cut and run. Let me tell you what we're doing. The fact is before the successful Iraqi elections, the number of troops went up from 137,000 to 160,000. That's adapting to win. Recently we increased troops in Baghdad, adapting to win. We changed how the training of Iraqi forces occurred to involve more Iraqis. That's adapting to win. We've involved the international community more, the EU, the UN.

You know what?  I think they're they're adapting to win.  Adapting to win the House, adapting to win the Senate, adapting to win the battle for the conscience and memory of the American electorate.

It's time for Memory Man to enter the fray.  It's time for every person with a brain and a conscience in working order to make sure that the public remembers that they switched course on stay the course.  That they cut and ran from the consequences of their own actions and mantras.  That high ranking military people have publicly said that one problem in Afghanistan (Iraq, too?  I don't remember) is that the Taliban is adapting to our new tactics faster than we are adapting to their new tactics.

Is that what Mehl Man considers adapting to win?

Mehl Man?  Hell, we'd be better off with Mel Cooley from the old Dick Van Dyke show. [NOTE: mea culpa--I first posted this as Mel Deacon, combining the name of the actor (Richard Deacon) and the character he played (Mel Cooley)]  At least he could read a straight line like a professional.  Unlike Mehl Man who perpetually looks like he's a robot on speed, trying to get all of his debate talking points out before his battery pack runs low.

And this whole story runs low, runs to a new low in the Repubs' opinion of the people.  Does Mehl Man and his cape tongue really think that the majority of voters will forget the millions of times they heard "stay the course?"  I think this is one time that their sophisticated echo chamber will bite them in the ass.

I hope the echo chamber picks up the Mehl Man's yelp when it does.  I'd love to hear that reverberate for a few million times.

Just one final question Mehl Man.  For "adapt to win" to be your policy, don't you have to....win?