!?

Zwichenzug

an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.

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Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.

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Zwischenzug
[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

n.
Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|


image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
Adams-Kasparov
(Linares 2002, 1-0)

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about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.

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recent

Tips for exporting democracy, cont
At least he's honest about it
Today's fun fact brought to you by the American He...
This week's WMD Round Up
I think we use different concepts of progress
Another drop left out of the bucket
Need help procrastinating?
In defense of Wal-Mart
Today in the California grocery strike...
Applesauce

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error log


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone

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syndication

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.

Union Label


Direct Action
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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
dailysoy
Hannah
funferal
Safety Neal
eripsa
January Girl
mimi jingcha
bleen
Rambleman
Washburn
Hop, Skip, Jump
E
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian

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some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Saheli
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus

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some philosoblogs

E.G.
Philosoraptor
Left2Right
Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen

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some labor blogs

Confined Space
Unions-Firms-Markets
Working Life
CGEU
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
LaborProf
Eric Lee

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some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Discourse.net
Matthew Yglesias
pandagon
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
Majikthise
DeLong
The Volokh Conspiracy

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some other links

Rule 33
Dictionary.com
This Week in Chess
Baseball-Reference.com
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
maxdesign
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
NegativWorldWideWebland
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On

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some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Aspirin
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
Whorf
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Factoid
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Monday, February 09, 2004

 

Why art thou disquieted in me?

A variety of polls have Kerry beating Bush by a handful of points. On the theory that he can gain back at least one point for every $20 million he outspends Kerry, I'm still betting on Bush to be reelected.

Still, it's worth asking what happened.

Josh Micah Marshall pushes a theory in today's Talking Points Memo. He points out that, "President Bush's fall in the polls coincides very closely with David Kay's initial comments stating that there almost certainly were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

To which he and I both say, "good."

But I certainly didn't expect it to happen. In fact, if you scroll back through the Zwichenzug archives you'll find four or five posts expressing near panic as I watched the Bush Administration employ what looked to me like a planned strategy for dealing with what I thought was an inevitable admission.

Things only began to crack last Thursday when Tenet broke ranks and Kay subsequently allowed that any inquiry into intelligence failures should include an examination of the White House's use of intelligence. Kay is looking a lot more independent, and it's looking a lot less like there's a master plan.

I'm not the only one who misread events. Josh Marshall didn't expect Bush's poll numbers to plummet and admits that he, "focused on the parts of Kay's comments and testimony which struck me as attempting to exonerate the administration."

So what happened? Again, Marshall has a theory. He points out that, "To those who've been closely following the on-going weapons search and what's been happening on the ground in Iraq, Kay's announcement was only news at the level of theatrics -- the historical value of the official statement of what's been obvious for many months." But because the announcement wasn't real information for us, Marshall's theory goes, we underestimated the effect the news would have on the majority of the electorate that still believed in WMDs.

I think this is on the right track, but falls somewhat short. The conventional wisdom, as Marshall notes, was that, "most voters weren't overly troubled by the failure to find any weapons in the country, especially so long as other aspects of the war were going at least tolerably well." What made that conventional wisdom compelling, at least to me, was the further belief that anybody who was likely to care about missing WMDs would have gone to the trouble of paying attention to the search. I'm beginning to think that the further belief is wrong.

At the start of the Iraq War a majority of Americans believed not only that Iraq had WMDs, but also that Iraq had played a key role in the 9-11 attacks. I was inclined to think that ignorance of this sort could only be explained by indifference and apathy.

Now I think my analysis was too simplistic. It's not that people either care or don't whether the country is headed in the right direction. Instead, they both care and don't want to be bothered. They place their trust in elected officials but expect those officials to do their best and to act in good faith.

If right, this makes Bush's precipitous drop in the polls understandable. In addition to the fact that his policies have been thrown into doubt, it also appears that he betrayed the apathetic voter's trust in him. He threatened not only the welfare of the nation, but also the apathetic voter's confidence that it's safe to tune politics out.


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