The good people over at the National Republican Campaign Committee have a favorite punctuation mark, called the ellipsis. And they enjoy using it, mainly to make strategic truncations in a piece of text to make it look as if it says something completely different from its author's original intent.
For example, the NRCC could take a movie review that read, "Gigli is a great big sack of audible farts," and repackage it as "Gigli is great...audible." Or, as they did back in September, they could make Representative Tom Periello appear as if he was intimating that all of the constituents he encountered at town hall meetings were racist.
Well, apparently, they've done it again, and comically so! So says Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell:
First, a lighthearted slug to the National Republican Congressional Committee. In response to a recent column item that suggested the party hacks in Washington were undermining their own cause by offering only childish potshots at Democrats without offering any substance or solutions of their own, the NRCC sent out another release. It quoted this column -- only it creatively used ... ellipses ... to remove words it didn't like. So their version made it look like the column item was taking a Democrat to task, not them. OK, so it was kind of funny -- but didn't do much to combat the notion that it's amateur hour up there.
Here's what the NRCC did! They took Maxwell's November 10th column and packaged it in their own press release, thusly:
Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell notes that Rep. Suzanne Kosmas - far from covering her political bases with a 'NO' vote on Pelosi's healthcare bill - continues to get hit from both sides:
"Democrat Suzanne Kosmas may have irritated her liberal base when she voted against Nancy Pelosi's health-care bill...[and Republicans] are continuing to bash her on the topic, saying: OK, she may have done what they wanted -- but not for the reasons they wanted." (Orlando Sentinel, 11/10/09)
The only problem comes when you click out to Maxwell's column, where you realize that he was actually writing about what titanic, embarrassing hacks the NRCC are!
Democrat Suzanne Kosmas may have irritated her liberal base when she voted against Nancy Pelosi's health-care bill. But she also backed the National Republican Congressional Committee into a corner ... at least she would have if the party hacks had any shame or integrity.
For months, the NRCC had been sending out releases, asking whether Kosmas had the courage to do the right thing (in its mind anyway) and stand up to "Pelosi's health-care takeover."
Well, she did. She voted against it.
This apparently confused the simpletons at the NRCC, who don't know how to do anything but gripe. So now, they are continuing to bash her on the topic, saying: OK, she may have done what they wanted -- but not for the reasons they wanted. So they still hate her.
Why anyone pays attention to these petulant partisans who couldn't care less about Central Florida issues is beyond me. In fact, I'm hearing from more and more Republicans -- including respected ones contemplating congressional campaigns -- that the NRCC's incessant whining makes the whole party look like amateur hour.
I have bolded the part that the NRCC places behind an ellipsis. You know, the part where Maxwell refers to the NRCC as a bunch of "hacks" without "shame or integrity" who are "confused" "simpletons" "who don't know how to do anything but gripe." All points that the NRCC went out and basically proved, with ellipses!