I can’t tell. Is it considered “New Tone” in the wake of the violent-rhetoric debate to issue a “call to arms” over budgetary policy? Perhaps it is when the person demanding the call is a Democrat rather than a Republican. That’s rather revealing, as is the implicit admission over the composition of the politician’s “army”:
As Congress prepares to make deep spending cuts, an army of lobbyists is gearing up to fight back.
In an e-mail obtained by ABC News, a top staffer for the key Senate Appropriations subcommittee called for a meeting of lobbyists and interest groups that would be affected by expected cuts to the Labor and Heath and Human Services budget. The Jan. 24 meeting was attended by approximately 400 people, sources told ABC, and served as a “call to arms” for those determined to fight Republican budget cuts.
“One thing everyone should be able to agree on now is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that a higher [Labor, Health & Human Services] allocation improves the chances for every stakeholder group to receive more funding,” the committee staffer for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote in an e-mail inviting people to the meeting.
So Tom Harkin’s “army” is comprised of lobbyists and special-interest groups? That’s certainly no surprise to most of us, but it’s damned decent of his staffer to make it clear.
And for what purpose does Harkin’s staff issue this “call to arms”? Why, the purpose is to make sure that the federal trough gets filled so that they can feed at it. The “rising tide lifts all boats” doesn’t refer to the productive private-sector economy, after all, but from the public-sector slush funds that feed Harkin’s Army of lobbyists and cronies. Again, damned decent of Harkin and his team to clarify.
This isn’t a call to arms after all. It’s a mess call for Harkin’s Army to feed off of taxpayers.
As for the New Tone, there is nothing wrong at all in the use of the martial phrase “call to arms” in a political context; in fact, in this case it’s deliciously revealing. However, we certainly expect all of the Vocabulary and Metaphor Police to either scold Harkin over the use of violent imagery — or to kindly resign their positions from the Bowdlerization Marines henceforth. That would also be damned decent of the post-Tucson blamethrowers, and therefore almost certainly unrealistic.