"constituency: a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body. 2. a body of customers and supporters." (Concise Oxford English Dictionary)
Just so you know, President George W. Bush made it clear in his press conference today that he has many constituencies to consider in his decision-making process regarding the war in Iraq.
They are as follows:
1. "Clearly, the American people, who are paying for this, is the major constituency."
2. "The second constituency is the military, and I repeat to you, I'm pretty confident our military do not want their commander in chief making political decisions about their future."
3. "A third constituency that matters to me a lot is military families."
I getcha: most of those people are probably American citizens who are eligible to vote; the American people are paying for this, in more ways than one; by "military," I am assuming that he means members of the armed services, and yes, they would be considered a constituency; same goes for military families (again, with the caveat of assuming that he means family members of those serving in the military, not families that are very strict. It would be unfair to parse the off-the-cuff, live remarks of President Bush.).
But after that, I think I must take issue:
4. "Another constituency group that is important for me to talk to is the Iraqis."
5. "And finally, another constituency is the enemy, who are wondering whether or not America has got the resolve and the determination to stay after them."
I don't think it's parsing to state that Iraqis and "the enemy" are not constituencies. Maybe you could consider Iraqis "customers" if you expand to definition number 2, but I don't believe that Iraqis would consider themselves "customers" of either the United States of America or of this particular war. Nor do polls indicate that the majority of them are supporters. There is defining stretch that could make the fifth group a constituency.
Aside from the general irrelevance of President Bush's comments to the actual political landscape of the United States at this time, I have to wonder about his choice of words. One is usually beholden to a constituency, and one is therefore expected to make political decisions on behalf of that constituency. Either he does not understand the meaning of the word, or he equates these groups in his head as deserving of the same attention when it comes time to make decisions about the war. Neither of these options are pleasant or desirable in our commander in chief.