Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Media (read Demo) reactions to Zell Miller

Zell Miller’s speech was something to behold. What do you call such a speech? Stemwinder, barn burner, electrifying? My son Johnny hasn’t been paying much attention to the convention, he was upstairs doing homework (so he says). Five minutes into Zell’s speech I told him to come down and listen. After all, how often does a sixteen year old boy get a chance to listen to a political speech out of the 1820’s or 1830’s? He listened intently, and then said something like "that was the coolest thing I ever heard." (He is a disadvantaged kid, he hasn’t been to enough of my public speeches!) Miller made clear that the election is about the war, and Kerry’s record should make people doubt that he can handle it. It’s that simple. No ribbon tossing, no questioning of purple hearts, just looking at the record. And this, it turned out really made the Liberals (read media) angry. Joe Klien was apoplectic: the GOP is angry, the tone of the GOP convention has changed into beating up on Kerry as a person, they are distorting; he compared this to the "beningn and positive" Democratic convention. Aaron Brown (with Howard Kurtz’s help) was bemoning the fact that no one listens to one another (read the people don’t listen to us anymore). The media is now angry that they are being ignored, the political conversation used to be civil (because the dumb people used to listen to us, we had a soothing and calming effect) but now with radio talk shows and blogs the national conversation is shrinking. There are too many opinions out there. No one is listening to one another. Democrats watch CNN, and Republicans watch FOX; it didn’t used to be that way, they lament. And so on. Quite revealing, all this. It proves that the liberal media is collapsing, and they are beginning to feel the collapse, although not yet fully comprehend it.

But perhaps the most revealing thing was the tet-a-tet between Chris Matthews and Zell Miller. Matthews was livid and wouldn’t let Zell talk. He accused Zell of putting up straw men, of fighting the last war, of participating in the rhetoric of complete destruction. I saw the whole thing. It was amazing. Zell actually said something like this at one point: "I am very sorry that we are no longer in an age of dueling Chris because I would challenge you." Zell insisted that Matthews let him talk. You asked me here as your guest, let me answer your questions; I shouldn’t have come, etc. And then came the focus group with the Frank Luntz swing voters that Hayward refers to below. That was amazing! Even I was surprised by how the vast majority of "swing voters" liked the speech and thought that Zell was right! And they loved Zell when he listed the weapons systems that Kerry had voted against ending in the spitball remark. The graph reached eighty percent. Even Luntz was surprised. Maybe Gallup is wrong when he says that there are only 2% undecided voters. Maybe there aren’t any. Watch the media’s (read Kerry campaign) reactions to all this. It should be fun.

Discussions - 11 Comments

About 5 minutes after Dick Cheney’s speech began, Yahoo! had an article posted from the AP, whose title read: "Cheney unleashes stinging attack on Kerry." A few minutes later, it was "Miller, Cheney, unleash rage on Kerry." The interesting part was that this was all before Cheney go around to talking about Kerry.

The media wants its citizens and politicians to be political "girlie" men who ignore the passionate attachment to republican self-government that this country’s citizens used to have.

The passionate Sons of Liberty who threw the Tea overboard, Patrick Henry’s fiery oratory of "give me Liberty or give me death," the divisive, dueling 1790s, the battle over the Constitution in the state conventions and Federalist/anti-Federalist newspapers, the Lincoln-Douglas debates when citizens gathered for rum and hours of debate, should all be ignored because in our therapeutic, relativist culture, no one should really care about politics and our nation’s future. The media has adopted the Progressive vision of leaving our governance to scientific, academic experts who seemingly know better.

I disagree. Let us duke it out in the state legislatures, the halls of Congress, on the street corner, in our schools and universities, in our homes, at our party conventions, and on the media. Let free speech and thought reign in our republic.

Politics in the nineteenth century were seen as a corrupting, worldly arena in which women were not allowed because they were too civilized. While women are welcome today, let’s recover that studly, manly politics that allows us to fight vigorously over our political principles and then come back together as Americans, united around eternal princples under the Declaration and republican government based upon the consent of the governed.

you know, I say this in all honesty. As a barely democrat, I have truly never been so offended in my life. I kept being stunned at the barely concealed charges of traitorousness throughout the speech. The speech was indeed filled with distortions and false strawmen. It was ugly and it made me extremely angry. I have never felt what I felt last night as a result from any other speech that I have ever heard. This went far beyond the normal "spin" and different perspective that speeches normally contain. It was ugly and coarse. Zell deserved all of the difficult questioning that he received. I’m pretty upset.

Rob, I’ve been noticing that also on Yahoo’s headlines. I don’t care if they swing left or right, for goodness sake the headlines for the news shouldn’t be editorials.

Christopher, treasonous? Do you have C-SPAN? Have you listened to Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War Congressional testimony? Have you heard Kerry’s Dick Cavett show appearance with John O’Neill? Did you watch the Democrat convention? Although Michael Moore didn’t speak he was sitting next to former President Jimmy Carter (D), that means something and is significant. He is now a mainstream member of the Democrat party. Have you heard of Howard Dean (D)? He spoke at the Democrat Convention. He floated the theory that George Bush may have been personally tipped off about 9-11 by the Saudis and he deliberately did nothing to prevent it. Crazy Howard said this on the Diane Rehm show in December. Treasonous?

Christoper, the "barely democrat" (RIIIGHT),

First off, I guess I’m confused on you term "false strawmen". I mean its either a strawman or its a falsehood. I don’t understand the argumentative advantage of both...

Secondly, I’d like be curious to know what strawmen you might be referring to. From where I’m sitting, when you vote against nearly every defense bill that comes down the pike, you should expect to be charged with being weak on defense. It’d be a flat out lie to pretend you weren’t...

You know what is even more surprising to me about Zell Miller’s speech is the fact that Senator Kerry has not responded, personally, to the speech. Strategy be damned. This is one instance where if I were a candidate, and was personally called to task for being weak, etc., it would be necessary to respond.

Just my opinion.


You’re right, you would . . . that is, unless he hit close to the mark.

Sorry that you’re upset, but you shouldn’t be. What was it that Will Rogers said -something about political conventions being "sewers of imbecility." If someone’s speech was deemed a bit ugly, that’s really out of necessity.
Tony: I did enjoy your comments about "manly, studly" politics. At least you’re a good source for laughs, you little wannabe soldier, you.

I didn’t know that I was a wannabe soldier. I only want to debate political ideas with the courage of convictions rather than the fuzzy centrism and non-judgmentalism of our phoney politics. Give me Lincoln-Douglas, Federalist-Anti-Federalist, Wester-Hayne any day of the week. There’s some grist to chew on rather than the wimpy fear of "going negative."

Christopher, poor Christopher: Offended?? Upset?? Let that heart bleed, pal. You’re getting closer to being a bona fide Democrat every second. Welcome to the offensive public square that is Republican Democracy. Now suck it up and offer something of substance to counter what offended and upset you. Or is it simply too emotional?

Tony, I can’t agree with you more. This nation desperately needs to cease this war of who’s offended and upset the most. We need bold characters with bold ideas who aren’t afraid to state the truth when they see it. What have we become? The slightest political or social criticism or opinion that seems offensive to one person or class of persons is immediately expected to be followed by a heart-felt apology (oh, and removal from whatever office or position the offender holds). What is going on? We’ve become a nation of victims and prissy little aristocrats who cannot stomach honest, sometimes painful, debate. I’m with you. We need some more manly, studly politics. (By the way, if you really are a wannabe soldier, you’re welcome on my team. How many push-ups can you do?)

Mr. Gordon: How nice to see you again. I went home on R&R and you didn’t buy me a First Class seat. I’m offended and upset.

LT Naum,
Glad you got that R&R; hope you made the most of it. Here’s a link you might find interesting(sorry, no details). Doubt if you’ll find any NLT regs here as they were better connected than most of those kids.

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