Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Regarding: Dubya's Big Pep Talk

I guess it says it all that I started reading a video game magazine about three minutes into his typically lackluster and inarticulate speech. One of the reasons why I gave up on him was his terminal incapability to express the crucial things people need to know about our dangerous times. With him being unable to speak for himself, he's at the mercy of cheerleaders on the Right and the media jackals on the Left to define him. Reagan he ain't.

I've been too busy to patrol the waterfront, but what I've seen is a mixed bag of pro, con and wanting more. As for myself, I find that David Frum's Diary on National Review Online sums up many of my thoughts and so to spare my Lee Press-Ons, I'll just C&P the following:

Is it too much like inside-baseball to worry, though, that the speech itself was neither very good nor very convincing? It's reported this morning that 11 people worked on the speech - and it shows.

[O]ne could feel the bureaucratic mind oscillating throughout the speech: don't want to frighten people with the possibility of failure, so we can't discuss that; on the other hand, we don't want to endorse any successes in case something goes wrong later and we get criticized for over-hype - so better just hide ourselves in bland reassurances and generalities ... you never get blamed for those.

Well maybe you don't get blamed, but there is this political fact: While from a literary point of view there are great speeches and less great speeches and fine speeches and so on through every degree of shading all the way down, from a political point of view there are only two kinds of speeches: those that do the job and those that don't. What the president needed to do last night was win back those whose faith in this war has wavered - and I very much doubt that he reclaimed even a single straying sheep.

And yet there may still be a silver lining to this disappointment. We've been waiting and waiting for the president to remind the country of the rightness and importance of the Iraq mission: to make his case forcefully and then to make it again and again and again. Unfortunately that work of persuasion has been allowed to lapse for almost half a year now.

The very ineffectiveness of last night's speech almost obliges the president to return to the subject again - and that is precisely what is most needed.

People will support what's best presented to them. Since Dubya is rhetorically incapable of overcoming the combined forces of the Democrats, backstabbing Republicans, the media and Al Queda, the public currently believes that everything sucks and we're losers. I'm not saying things are sunshine and roses in Iraq, but the media's 24/7 "we're bad; we're losing" attack has been quite effective because, face it, Goebbels was right and the Big Lie works, especially in the practiced hands of the MSM.

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