Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two Years Too Late: Kerry's Speech at Brown University

Okay, don't get me wrong - I'm loving the language in John Kerry's speech (which I'll get to in a bit), but I am annoyed as hell that the Democratic party is only now choosing to step up to the plate and become the opposition party they've needed to be. Okay, yes, they've shown token resistance, but in the end they've always ended up knuckling under (see the compromise on Judicial nominees). That brings up a whole other problem – do we trust them when we see this rhetoric, or will they end up backing down again? I don’t know. I am also on the fence. Could this message have been as effective two years ago? Possibly, but I can’t know for sure. I do know that we didn’t see this kind of straight talk when he was running for President last year – and it probably could have done a lot of good back then.

Now, on to the speech itself. As I said, the language is much more striking than he has previously used: "This Administration and the Republicans who control Congress give in to special interests and rob future generations" is a pretty strong statement. If the Dems are learning nothing else, they’re learning framing, and I’m happy to see it. If you can give people the hook to hold on to, in this case the idea of a heartless, corrupt Republican party against a light of unity and hope from the Democrats, you can draw them in to the broader message, which is, to me at least:

Katrina stripped away any image of competence and exposed to all the true heart and nature of this administration. The truth is that for four and a half years, real life choices have been replaced by ideological agenda, substance replaced by spin, governance second place always to politics. Yes, they can run a good campaign -- I can attest to that -- but America needs more than a campaign. If 12 year-old Boy Scouts can be prepared, Americans have a right to expect the same from their 59 year-old President of the United States.

Katrina reminds us that too often the political contests of our time have been described like football games with color commentary: one team of consultants against another, red states against blue states, Democratic money against Republican money; a contest of height versus hair - sometimes. But the truth is democracy is not a game; we are living precious time each day in a different America than the one we can inhabit if we make different choices.

Today, more than ever, when the path taken last year and four years earlier takes us into a wilderness of missed opportunities -- we need to keep defining the critical choices over and over, offering a direction not taken but still open in the future.

strong, good words. I particularly like how we talks about politics becoming football games, because that is what it has become. I cannot believe the bellicose rhetoric I see about “your side” and “my side”. I admit, if someone looks at the surface, they would think that’s what this site is about, but not at all. I believe you can question the leaders without questioning the people. I question the specific people who make these horrid statements, live in this simplistic rah-rah world, and follow leaders who are obviously morally bankrupt. I don’t have a problem with Conservatives in general; how can I, when I don’t know each and every one of them? Hell, I come from a Conservative family.

Anyway, enough about that. I hope this is a sign that the Democrats are learning Judo, and using their opponents' own momentum and mistakes against them, because there’s a lot to choose from and use against them. I just fear that they’ve been too long in learning the techniques. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:09 AM

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I'm on the fence also, because we get speeches like this, and then they run away and hide under their desks. Now is the time, and I don't understand what is stopping them. We have quite possibly the worst Presidency in our history standing before us, with a record that is blatantly and obviously a stinker. He is making large dangerous choices, and people are dying because of them. What kind of sign is the democratic party waiting for?

It would be one thing to criticize them, but not jump in and petition them to, but I guarantee any Dem worth their weight has been on the phone or on they keyboard writing tham emails and letters. They know how we feel, and they are still dragging their feet.

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 9:39 AM #
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