Gotchas v. Swarms

Rhetoric Takes Nasty Turn in Congress,” by Jim Abrams, Associated Press, 21 June 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/21/AR2005062101034_pf.html (from South Dakota Politics).

A good AP story that illustrates the difference between swarm attacks and opportunity attacks in politics

A Republican accuses Democrats of demonizing Christians. A Democrat talks of Nazis in connection with the treatment of terror suspects. Both sides cry foul, and apologies are hard to come by.

It’s just another day of vitriolic gotchas at the Capitol.

House Republicans on Tuesday were all over Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, because of recent comments in which he referred to Nazis, Soviets and Cambodia’s Pol Pot in describing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

On Monday, House Democrats stopped debate on a defense spending bill to protest a comment by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., that, “like moths to a flame, Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians.”

Swarms are pulsing like a heartbeat or a lighthouse — the intensity rises and falls. Think of swarming like the hydrological cycle, with warms “raining” (condescending from vapor to water) and evaporating (dispersing from water back to vapor) over and over again.

Congress isn’t that advanced in its thinking yet, perhaps because the Congressional environment doesn’t support the coordination and medium-term thinking swarming needs. Instead, Congressman fight like regular guerrillas, with little thought of the big picture.

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