What exactly does the phrase "wag the dog" mean?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is taken from the joke: "Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog." Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor. Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government.

    Moreover, the expression "the tail wagging the dog" refers to any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is a referance to the Movie "Wag the Dog", where the president wants to stay in office, so they create a "armed conflict" so that the american public will be less likely to change presidents .

    Plot Outline: Before elections, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to "fabricate" a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal.

    Tagline: A Hollywood producer. A Washington spin-doctor. When they get together, they can make you believe anything

  • 1 decade ago

    im not sure but i think its a military term in fact it may have been a movie when the u.s. declared war on a small country in other words picking on someone smaller than you

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    idk...what does shock the monkey mean? thats a good song

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