No, the title doesn't refer to the debates, but to an area where the theatrical comes to play a much more powerful and disturbing role in our politics: foreign policy.
Hearing and reading the rhetoric (and I don't use the word pejoratively, by the way) coming from the President and his supporters, I am struck by the degree to which they seem to base their foreign policy ideals on "messages" that are sent (to whom?) by policies we take and a near-mythical conception of American "credibility" (what precisely is this? is it really worth the sacrifices these people want to make for it?).
I am currently at work on what will probably turn into a few essays on the topic of Bush's foreign policy and his foreign policy rhetoric.
Sorry to be posting a merely anticipatory entry here, but, if you read this and have any ideas about potential avenues in this connection, please post them here.
As you can see from my post below on Imperial Hubris (and even moreso from a reading of the book itself), there is a sense in which Bush's foreign policy can be looked at as more the end result of ineptitude than of any particular philosophy. But I think there may be more to it than blundering and the mindless confusion of what ought to be distinct areas of policy-making.
I am not really interested in writing a polemic so much as a critical analysis of the Bush foreign policies, but I would certainly appreciate the views of other folks on this general topic.