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04 January 2007

I hope it IS just me; on the 2007 opening of Congress

I had to turn off Nancy Pelosi and her glibly triumphal speech. I'm sorry, I am not a good Democrat, it is true. (I'm not really a Democrat at all; it's just that they're less evil than the other guys.) I mean, first of all, the Dems as a rule are so self-congratulatory it's nauseating. All they did was win one measly midterm, and that barely by a gnat's crotchet, and to listen to them you would think they had stood on an asteroid and hove the straying earth back into orbit. But the really sad thing to me is the utterly fallen state of oratory skills and public demeanor.
This is how I heard the honourable Ms. Pelosi's speech, once I blanked out the content for the above reasons and others: A laboriously, prissily delivered sound bite, then rapturous applause. A brief interval of silence, basking in the glow. A second laboriously, prissily delivered sound bite, more rapturous applause. A third sound bite, slightly more shrill, and the applause, having barely died down, swells again. A moment to all catch our breaths and savour our righteousness. A very laboriously delivered sound bite that thinks it's a rhetorical master-stroke, followed by delirious applause and a group orgasm.
I can remember a time when the whole speech was delivered in its entirety before anyone would consider whether it was good enough to merit a little polite applause or a respectful standing ovation. The sort of newspeak cliche-fests we now have would not have been considered worthy. From what little of the actual words that leaked through into my aggrieved brain, I think the new Majority Leader's text was mainly feminism and its long-overdue rewards. Now if she actually does anything to advance the cause of women in her new position, I may retract my disgust a little, but I am not holding my breath. Because there was also some very realpolitikal waffle about Iraq in there too.

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