Saturday, October 11, 2008

IT'S ALL IN THE DELIVERY

I have been hearing reports about crowds, particularly at Palin events, getting a little . . . vocal. Yelling "traitor" and "liar" when Obama's name is mentioned is a little outside the mainstream (booing is more typical, although as an adult, do you REALLY react to someone's name?). Sarah Palin's speeches have probably helped to get people riled up. When she insinuates that Obama is a terrorist because he served on a board with one, or when she says "he doesn't see America like you and me" the crowd understands that this is beyond policy.

All of this makes me pine for the days of Pitchfork Pat Buchanan. Pat was all a big culture warrior. He could zing 'em like nobody's business. Remember the Culture War speech?
The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America--abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units--that's change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America needs. It is not the kind of change America wants. And it is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God's country.
That speech is remembered because (a) people thought it drove moderates away from Bush I (although I think Dana Carvey did that), and (b) Pat said it all without his usual smirk. See, I always thought that Pat knew he was pulling our legs just a little bit. He always said the extra thing to get people riled up, but he'd sort of smile in a way that made me think it was part shtick. Watch Pitchfork Pat here:



I think if Sarah Palin is going to differentiate herself from a lot of other low-level rabble rousers, she needs to either tone down the rhetoric, or learn to dial it back a little, Buchanan-style.

P.S. McCain did the right thing by trying to tone this rhetoric down.

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