Posts Tagged ‘election’

The man who would be Speaker

October 27, 2010

I don’t often get all political, but I will when I need to say something. 

I will admit, I’m not a big fan of Nancy Pelosi‘s big, fake toothy smile.  Her voice irritates the heck out of me, and I find her as insincere as the Cheshire Cat and as trustworthy as Kaa from The Jungle Book, but I can’t vote for her.  I didn’t vote for her, nor did I vote for a representative based on who would control congress.  I voted for the representative who will best represent my desires as a voter and citizen of my part of my state.  While it might then appear that I don’t care who Speaker of the House is, I am concerned about where we will go as a nation should the Democrats lose control of the House. 

For I am less of a fan of John Boehner, and as the election approaches my anxiety about him grows. 

First, John Boehner and those who would vote to place him as Speaker disturb me because of a fundraising letter I received from Congressman Boehner a couple months ago.  The Distinguished Gentleman from Ohio found it necessary to tell me how his name is pronounced — Boehner (as in Bay-ner) — implying I might pronounce it as boner.  Was this somebody’s idea of an adolescent anatomy  joke?  Even were it not, shouldn’t the congressman’s constituency — those who know him enough to care about his pursuit of Speaker of the House — know how to pr0nounce his name?

This isn’t what concerns me the most.  What concerns me the most is the following statement from the Paul Kane piece on the congressman in the Washington Post:  “Boehner chalks up his theatrical obstructionism to the reality of being minority leader: He must shout to be heard.”  I think those who are in a position to determine what Boehner’s role will be for the next two years ought to consider what Edward R. Murrow had to say about such shouting:  “[T]he fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other.”  

Congressman, if all you’re doing is obstructing and shouting, when will you have something to say?     

Definitions please

September 17, 2008

As we approach the election in November, I’d like to explore the definitions of some campaign terms that keep coming up. 

First, I’d like to know what exactly an elitist is. 

What goes into the definition of elitist?  Is it snobbery?  Is it pedantry?  Is it wealth? 

How does one measure elitism? 

I ask because Mark Preston, Political Editor for CNN, blogged today about Lynn Forester de Rothschild — former Senator Clinton supporter — and her new support for Senator McCain.  Forester de Rothschild feels Senator Obama is an elitist and she can’t trust him.  I have no problem with someone believing, feeling and claiming they can’t trust a candidate, but I’d like to know what the elitism charge is all about. 

I’m particularly curious how a member of DNC’s Democrats Abroad who splits her time between New York City and London and is married to Sir de Rothschild can call someone an elitist.  But maybe I’m just proving the point.  I must be — in my 30 year mortgaged single home, non-vacation home owning, single city living, ten year old car driving, wondering why my lawn mower had to break down now thinking — an elitist.

If elitism sounds something like this:  “In case you’re wondering, ‘Crime, gee, I dunno’ is the moment when I decided to kick your a**,” then count me in.  Thank you Aaron Sorkin.

Prove It

February 7, 2008

In this crazy political season, we’ve got candidates trying to persuade us to vote for them now and again in November.  If we hear from a candidate today, that candidate is prone to attack his brother or sister in the party for how much of the party line they cannot tow.  But what makes good persuasion?

For the New York Times, Stanley Fish wrote on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Fish creates an effective balance of the outrageous sport of Senator Clinton bashing.  By looking at the extremes, it’s easy to see how Senator Clinton is not necessarily viewed rationally.  Fish lists the litany of Senator Clinton’s offenses as piled up against her by the media and those who are morally opposed to her very existence, and far too infrequently is the criticism of her much deeper than the names we like to call her. 

And then there’s ethos and pathos.  Timothy Egan wrote on Barack Obama yesterday for the Times.  As a teacher and student of Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Julius Caesar who longs to portray Antony, and as a voter suspicious of sparkle over substance, I watch Senator Obama with hope and trepidation.  Egan makes it harder to doubt that Senator Obama is the real thing.  The way he bookends his piece with allusion to Idaho’s neo-Nazi past and President Eisenhower’s granddaughter’s endorsement lead me to believe that the ethos and pathos of the Obama campaign are far reaching across party lines, and his Blue State-Red State keynote speech from the ’04 Democratic Convention was more than just ethos and pathos.  There is a logic to it that is almost undeniable.