Friday, June 27, 2008

To Karen. Thanks.

Thus far, with rough and all un-able pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story,
In small room confining mighty men,
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
Small time ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reckless at Any Speech

One commenter over at Daily Kos pointed out this sentence in John McCain's trainwreck of a speech Tuesday night:
I don’t oppose a reckless withdrawal from Iraq because I’m indifferent to the suffering war inflicts on too many American families.
While I would not characterize this sentence as a "major gaffe"—it's more like some loopy garden path sentence—(and this is, after all, John McCain, and the campaign has just begun), I somehow enjoy imagining, say, Dennis Steele in some ad, solemnly intoning:
John McCain: He said he was indifferent to the suffering that the Iraq War inflicts on many American families. And, therefore, he would not oppose even a reckless withdrawal from Iraq. John McCain. Reckless. Indifferent. That's not a leader we can believe in.
One might have hoped for some attempt at an elegant syncrisis—I don't oppose X because Y; I oppose X because…—but, well, that might have raised the question of what sort of withdrawal John McCain could support or, perhaps, if he could support any type of withdrawal at all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I know what it says, but what does it mean?

On the subject of rhetorical devices, here, by popular demand, is my vision of what the ultimate anti-McCain campaign ad would look like:
Actual news footage — McCain standing at the microphone, Joe Lieberman in the background.

MCCAIN: "Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known. And it’s unfortunate."

Lieberman steps forward, takes McCain by the arm, and whispers in McCain's ear.

MCCAIN: "I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not Al Qaeda."

The scene shifts; a child is in bed sleeping; in the background a phone is ringing.

NARRATOR: "It's 3:00 AM and your children are safely asleep. But somewhere in the White House a phone is ringing. Something is wrong in the world. Who's going to answer that phone?"

Still shot of Lieberman whispering in McCain's ear (above)

NARRATOR: "What if it's John McCain and Joe Lieberman isn't there to tell him what to say?"

Fade to text: