So, Adam Reilly and Jon Keller both gave the “What Exactly Does That Mean?” treatment to Patrick’s acceptance speech. Adam quotes a nearby eighth grade critic, clearly wise beyond her years: “Nice clichÃ©”; Keller groans at Patrick’s “vague nostrums” and “platitudes”.
Well, gosh. You’d think Patrick should have written a sonnet, or put up a Power-Point presentation: “Deval Patrick in: An Inconvenient Personal Income Tax Rollback”. (Hey, maybe a sonnet in Power Point. Get on it, Deval.)
I mean, let’s apply this kind of scrutiny to some other speeches …
“Four score and seven years ago –“
Uh, Abe, I think you could have just said “eighty-seven”, m’K? You’re clearly just trying to pad out a really short speech. “Gettysburg Address” is right — you probably wrote it on the back of an envelope.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country –“
Ah-ah-ah, I’ve heard this liberal hustle before, Jack — you just want to raise our taxes.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself –“
Uh, right. That and, oh, freaking HITLER, and KAMIKAZE FREAKING PLANES DIVEBOMBING US, and GLOBAL CATACLYSM — [Sam Kinison screech] AAAAAAAAHHAHHHHHHH! AAAAAHAHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Folks … it’s an acceptance speech. There’s a time and a place for wonkery — I love wonkery — but this wasn’t it. Since politics is about making coalitions, a speech has got to be about broad philosophy, about the things that folks share, and yes, emotions — it has to be motivating.
I mean, what do you want, blood?