In the 1970’s, an appetite-suppressant candy was being marketed to Americans by the Dep Corporation, and was made available in chocolate, butterscotch, caramel and peanut butter flavors. They decided to call their product, AYDS, a name which seemed innocent enough at the time during which it enjoyed strong sales.
What a difference a few years make.
By the mid-80’s fear of the human immuno-deficiency disease, AIDS, pervaded western society and sales of the now unfortunately named dieting product plummeted. Changing circumstances can quickly render proven marketing slogans lethal to one’s goals. This is the fate that befell the warmongering campaign phrase “stay the course” this week as the flaws in the current US policy in Iraq became too big to hide. Progressive blogs and YouTubers were the first to ridicule the revisionist way this policyshift was announced. Keith Olbermann drew attention to the self-contradictory spin (i.e. lying) a number of different times on his show, and his latest eulogy to the now defunct rhetoric nicely summarises the developments of the last week:
However he did forget to mention one member of the “coalition of the willing” who also once used the phrase that everyone now avoids like a bad disease — Tony Blair (used twice in his statement while standing side-by-side with George W. Bush).