Quote: “When we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure.” President Bush, quoted in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: syncrisis (SIN-crih-sis), the not- that- but- this figure. From the Greek, meaning “to compare.”
You might call the syncrisis the figure of black and white, which is why this bichromatic president uses it more than any other. Include a pair of balanced phrases and throw in a dash of alliteration — “strength and success” versus “fear and failure” — and you got yourself a first-class issue definer.
Snappy Answer: “This isn’t a plan for strength and success. It’s a plan for death and taxes.”