The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, July 29, 2016
I generally thought well
of Citizen Clinton's speech last night, the bar however was set high and she has never been natural spellbinder behind the podium. Given that, she really had no choice but to delve into specfics and describe in detail her platform casting herself as a dogged doer of great things.
If I have any other reaction to her acceptance speech is that Bernie Sanders' influence has been profound this year quite literally in both parties, the democrats are promising to tax rate at the normal rate and Trump blustered about protecting the poor...(those people he'd been otherwise evicting and exploiting up to that point).
Thats pretty deep penetration for one candidate, that much Sanders can take away with some pride.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk...
Its a truism with me that Great Age of Political Oratory is Behind Us. The power to persuade a nation as to a course or action or a particular policy has largely atrophied in the Age of the Soundbyte (where a great deal of rhetoric would be dismissed as mere heckling back in the day). Fifty years ago great speeches made whole careers, a happy talent for rhetoric was considered a key qualification for public office.
Not so much.
So its a little ironic that two of the best pulpit speechiers left in the game are both democrats and either former or incumbent US Presidents. I refer of course to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
They have contrasting styles to be sure...
With Bill Clinton it is all about creating a vast coherent energy field of pure intimacy "come here sit by me and I will tell thee a story" that is The Former President's most reliable schtick. The peculiar nature of his communion with his audiences literally inculcates the belief that he speaks to you and you alone.
If Clinton was a vocalist he'd be Elvis Presley softly resolutely crooning "Kentucky Rain" or perhaps in a more dramatic vein "Suspicious Minds".
President Obama on the other hand is an Apostle of Expansiveness and Optimism, speech last night to the DNC was a virtual blockbuster sequel to his 2004 Keynote in Boston. Literally, Obama beckons his listeners to come to the Top of the Hill With Him and Behold The Vast and Glorious Vistas Before Us. If Obama was himself a vocalist he'd be Louis Armstrong singing "Wonderful World", low and with boundless infectious confidence.
Now Trump on the other hand is very much a product of our degraded rhetorical times, a heckler whose syntax occasionally resembles pidgin english, his core go-to is always to incite in as few words as possible.
But lets also remember that talent for invective, so comforting to the perpetually aggrieved is what got him the GOP nomination so we dismiss it at our peril.
And I muse on in this fashion merely to point out the particular scope of the challenge for Hillary Clinton and her Acceptance Speech Tonight. She has to connect the dots on all the cliches and soundbytes, reassure, inspire but also reach even lower to commune with the audience & electorate within and without the convention center.
It is a reintroductory moment, programmed literally for making what is hoped to be an excellent second impression, it should not be squandered by any means.
Lastly the challenge for Secretary Clinton tonight is unusually acute because at least in the Democratic Party at this moment, the rhetorical bar is set high, good luck to her sez I.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders ...
Showed class and a sense of drama last night when he moved to make Clinton's nomination unanimous....he set a good example, nothing more can be asked.
Its important to remember though that back in 2008 Hillary Clinton was in the same situation as Bernie Sanders, she'd come up short in the delegate count she'd been cut dead by the superdelegates and she had plenty of supporters howling for a kamikaze finale to the Denver Convention.
But Secretary Clinton is an olde pro at politics, rgardless of her PUMA base ("Party Unity My Ass") she understands to get "party unity" you must set the example and give party unity. She backed the the Obama-Biden ticket to the hilt which to me is a strong indicator of the overall high quality of her character.
Lets remember that there was a lot of lingering bitterness against Obama with a lot of dark talk of "losing the women's vote", Sarah Palin's nomination for Veep on the GOP ticket can be directly traced back to said disaffection.
But all the same then Senator Clinton rose to the occasion with aplomb, as did Bernie Sanders last night...they both have set a good example going forward they are to be applauded.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
For the Record
Come What May, I am voting this November for the Woman Who Gives the N.R.A. the Screaming Bedspins.
Meanwhile Joanie Vennochi in a bracing return to form in Today's Globe snarks away at Hillary Clinton's lack of candor and forthrightness with respect to her email server and other alleged "scandals".
Then again this is Joan Vennochi, she more or less wrote the same column about John Kerry in 2004 chiding him for not coming clean about his war record when the Swift Boat Vets were tearing up the airwaves.
I saw Senator Warren's speech at the DNC last night, talk about another "bracing return to form" that woman has to pulpit skills to be sure! I suspect catcalls aside, that speech did Warren's many presidential boosters a world of good keeping their hopes alive. Our Senior Senator seems to have found an opponent worth of her razor sharp rhetorical skills, Secretary Clinton would be well advised to send Warren into doubtful districts she makes a powerful mind-changing case against Donald Trump.
As for Me,All I can say is, Do What Ya Gotta Do Just Don't Inhale Liz!
Monday, July 25, 2016
As for the Emails kerfluffle
it feels like inside baseball stuff to me, likely given the embarrassment occasioned Wasserman-Schultz's resignation is justified but I would not be surprised if Clinton & Sanders were already in accord as to the DNC chair's ouster prior to this alleged scandal.
Secretary Clinton got the Veep She Wanted last week, so it stands to reason that Senator Sanders could get the DNC Chair he wants this week.
That sound like a deal?
Granted this makes party unity more difficult but unity is ALWAYS difficult for democrats, we need to distinguish between building a winning coalition within and without and fruitless outreach to determined recalcitrants.
Ultimately we should remember the DNC doesn't control the nomination, that is still the exclusive domain of "King Primary", they don't control enough of any process to change the outcomes out in the fifty separate primaries or caucuses.
Okay...anyone wanna vent feel free the comments section is...open.
Kaine for Veep
Not my first choice for the job but I think he will wear well going forward. I wasn't too keen on Joe Biden eight years ago, but he rose to the occasion with aplomb so what do I know?
The whole vice presidential selection process has undergone a sea change since I was a wee liberal in short pants, a casual process of nigh elimination put Tom Eagleton on the ticket in 1972 which all put sent the party off a cliff in 1972. These days the vice presidential prospects seem to be vetted much more intensely than the persons that are at the top of the ticket, after that strict polling considerations hold sway to say nothing of the intangibles (helpful glibness, compatibility, lack of sustained body odor etc etc).
But it still comes down to one thing, can they deliver their home state, Kaine seems admirably suited to do that very thing. But then even that is a crapshoot, Spiro Agnew couldn't in 1968 and Sarah Palin could in 2008.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Ya know I think
as far as his speech last night is concerned, Trump might've been backed into a corner ideologically speaking.
I mean consider his profligate lifestyle and many ideological diversions prevents him from running as a conservative even if movement conservatives were disposed to permit him to do so, and they are not.
His sexism, racism and thuggish nationalism prevents him from rebranding himself as any sort of moderate or heaven forfend, a liberal.
So really, Trump's only political option last night was to go "The Full Huey Long" and pose as some sort of vague revolutionary here to smash the elites and bring in the reign of the dispossessed in a way that won't alienate the vested interests.
And carrying that off demands an apocalyptic view of the Times We Do Live In, a veritable promise of a "Walking Dead" scenario if he himself is not elected.
Well...maybe this is all scary (and please remember fearmongers are seldom brave themselves) but gloom and doom doesn't often win elections as Saint Ronald Reagan so often pointed out.
I urge all and sundry not to underestimate Donald Trump at the same time he is still a candidate prone to saying and doing profoundly stupid and disastrous things....his remarks about NATO yesterday being a profoundly dangerous case in point.
We must therefore brace ourselves to our posts and our places this fall...its gonna be an ugly campaign but in some ways also enlightening, one we must win I hasten to add.