Tristero at Digby’s place looks today at “the problem of modern rhetoric” within the Right/Left political debate, prompted by the supposedly right-wing answer to MoveOn.org. MoveOn’s Eli Parisher makes the same mistake the left (including me) usually does in phrasing things to make other lefties nod their heads, and everyone else’s eyes glaze over.
The wingers’ language is simple and direct, filled with monosyllabic feelgoods, and a nasty one-word putdown. The response was hedged (“So far”), polysyllabic, included words with complex structure and meaning (“palpable,” but “palatable” is meant), and unjustifiably restrained. Certainly both Fleischer and Sembler can easily be characterized as “obnoxious,” and that’s the least of it.
When the MoveOn.org ad first appeared, I did not care for the play on General Petraus’ name — I thought it sophomoric. I completely agreed with the ad’s premise and tone, and certainly thought it fair and accurate otherwise, just quibbled with the copy choices.
But now, I think something that has caused this much ruckus, has a lot going for it. Clearly, the language got through, made a clear point and struck a nerve, unlike most our our rhetoric.
Anyway, like the Dixie Chicks, this whole episode will be viewed very differently in a year or so, if not less, as things nosedive in Iraq, Iran gets bombed and unleashes 10 times the chaos in the Middle East, the economy here crashes and 50% of the population can’t afford to buy gas. MoveOn will look like prophets, if any Republican even gives a shit about Petraus’ wittle hurt feelings at that point which they won’t one bit, because they really don’t even now.
BTW, the staged backlash to the ad is the attempted swiftboating of the netroots, and we are not going to go limp like Kerry did. Any “liberal” who isn’t supporting MoveOn 100% on this: get off the fucking bus right now.