The Spectacle Blog

Parsing Statements is Fun and Easy

By on 1.25.07 | 10:55PM

Thursday, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) took to the floor of the Senate to accuse Vice President Dick Cheney of being "out of touch with reality" for telling CNN that the administration has had "enormous successes in Iraq."

Obviously Cheney's empirical claim is correct. But this is like Lincoln saying the Union achieved "enormous successes" in the Civil War. Accurate, true, congratulations. But. To be "out of touch with reality" is not to emphasize the successes in Iraq -- of which are many and significant -- but to deny the errors, shortcomings, and bunglings. Of which, any sensible person should readily acknowledge, have been many and significant in and of themselves.

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