Conservative Daniel Larison makes a great point about the inanity of "the surge":
The reason why McCain was smart, if gutless, to avoid talking about Obama’s associations last night is that he and his advisors seem finally to have recognized that invoking Ayers is not an effective tactic. This is remarkable because this tactic is incredibly popular among people on the right who think that talking endlessly about the “surge” is a good idea, and McCain still doesn’t understand that the “surge,” like his obsession with earmarks, means little to most voters who want out of Iraq anyway. Even though there is little or no evidence that his obsession with the “surge” works with the general electorate at all, McCain has continued to invoke it every chance he gets. Just as he does not understand that the “surge” represented a change in tactics (it is not a strategy!), he has never grasped that the tactic of hitting Obama on his opposition to the “surge” was achieving nothing.
Which makes me wonder: what if he called it something else? The swelling? The swelling? The great engorgement? There are some awesome, bulging words out there just waiting to be tapped. (Cough)