AP a Little Slow: GOP Just Started Using 'Islamic Fascists'?

August 30th, 2006 6:58 AM

In a story headlined "Fascism is new buzz word among GOP," AP political writer Tom Raum demonstrates he's a little behind the linguistic curve. "President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a 'war against Islamic fascism.' Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq." While it's true that the lingo has gained currency at the White House, it's positively antique in the wider conservative and Republican world.

Clearly, what Raum is trying to say is: okay, the word's not new, but its embrace by the White House is displaying a new political tactic designed to juice up the national-security issue before the elections. After all, by paragraph seven, Raum is admitting his first paragraph isn't quite right: "Conservative commentators have long talked about 'Islamo-fascism, and Bush's phrase was a slightly toned-down variation on that theme." I'd guess his goal for the article is demonstrated by academic Stephen Wayne:

Stephen J. Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University, suggested White House strategists "probably had a focus group and they found the word `fascist.' "Most people are against fascists of whatever form. By definition, fascists are bad. If you're going to demonize, you might as well use the toughest words you can," Wayne said.

Raum also acknowledged: "Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It's a phrase Santorum has been using for months."