Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tactical Woundedness

I was just mulling over the response of the White House and former associated figures over the past 24 hours, and realized that there is a phenomenon, used in the past by this and other Administrations, which can be culled out, newly defined, that I shall call "Tactical Woundedness":

Tactical Woundedness: The use of an apparent sense of betrayal, often portrayed through the use of euphemistic insinuation, such as the word "puzzled" and "this isn't the ----- we knew", that is meant to serve as a form of indirection--to draw viewers of an event away from a damaging factual disclosure and towards an implication of personal disloyalty. This relies on the known effect of people to be influenced in the direction of attending to interpersonal conflict over factual inaccuracy--even when the factual inaccuracy may have a considerable impact on their own lives.

See also: Mock outrage; Captain Renault in Casablanca: "shocked, shocked".

If these individuals are indeed wounded, it is more likely an understated wounded pride at their "misunderestimation"--that such a receptive servant of the message, no doubt hired for his unquestioning fealty, would now actually remove the curtain from the proceedings that they expected that he would obediently continue to conceal.