Archive for November, 2007

The Politics of “Politics of”

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Spinmeisters are proving that there is no subject or event that can not be immediately trivialized, demonized or exalted into nothingness with the fuzzball phrase “politics of.”

Latest example: When Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was challenged for engaging in doublespeak by some of her competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination, she claimed that she was a victim of the “Politics of Pile-on.”As every grade school good sport knows, “pile-on” is unfair. Add the phrase “politics of” and you have institutionalized it far beyond the school playground into an evil practice that can not be condoned, conveniently obscuring whatever caused the alleged pile-on in the first place.

Google now carries 97 pages of links to some kind of “politics of. ”There is, merely to skim the surface, the Politics of Hope, the Politics of Fear, the Politics of Culture, the Politics of Truth, the Politics of Slime, the Politics of Eavesdropping, the Politics of Meat and Dairy, the Politics of Narcissism, the Politics of Obedience, the Politics of Torture and the Politics of Arrogance.

Possibly the deep well of hogwash in the phrase has been best plumbed by Mothering Magazine which has explored the long, colorful history of the “the Politics of Diapers.”