Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chapter 31. Rhetoric Gone Wild

There is a quip which goes, "if I've told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate."

On Monday May 23, at an event in Des Moines where he announced his candidacy for POTUS, former governor Tim Pawlenty gave a rouser about the Herculean tasks he could accomplish, where others had failed.  At least he tried.  It was really big things like balancing the budget and cutting ethanol subsidies to corn farmers.
"The problems we face as a nation are severe. But if we could move Minnesota in a common sense, conservative direction, we can do it anywhere, even in Washington D.C.  It won't be easy, but it's not supposed to be. This is America, we don't do easy.  Valley Forge wasn't easy. Normandy wasn't easy. Winning the Cold War wasn't easy."

Well.  Not to say that our problems are minor, and not to say that there isn't a well-worn political tradition of drawing on momentous historical events to amp up the drama.  Both of these are realities.  But comparing fairly mundane economic positions to truly extraordinary moments in American history seems a to be a bridge too far in the way of stepping up to "the challenge."  It's the verbal equivalent to Michael Dukakis' infamous tank ride debacle during the 1988 presidential campaign, in which an orchestrated photo op that was supposed to counter the criticism that Dukakis was soft on defense, backfired to say the least.

But, cut Pawlenty some slack. Now that American corn farmers have been reduced to welfare queens, it could be as politically dangerous to infringe on their new ethanol "right" as it is to cut booze and cigs off the list of allowed purchases on EBT's.

It certainly makes one wonder whether the Republicans really have a candidate somewhere with the chops to take down an incumbent; a man who can make history instead of using it as a campaign punch line.  Like the one who really did win the Cold War...

Quotient out.

No comments:

Post a Comment