Inspection- Of the Great (?) Duel and Rhetorical Judo (Part 1)


by Ken Carman

 I must admit: there are days I wish the Republican Party and the Democratic Party would have a duel and both hit their mark. Maybe we could Inspectionclear the stage and start anew, start better. But then I ask myself, a big believer in the worst aspects of the Butterfly Effect, what would replace them? I doubt anything better. Libertarians against Greens? Fine, until the theists and the woos-es attached themselves, then the NRA, then the Occupiers, then the…
 More than likely we’d end up with the same old, same old, or WORSE. If I were to guess: worse.
 Last night’s debate: if one can call it that, wasn’t “bad.” I do agree with one pundit’s clever twist of phrase: “Hispandering.” Unlike most of the punditry I was not a fan of the two Texans going at each other and some Spanish is fine, but it was like a candidate telling women how marvelous they are for a good portion of their short time. Briefer would have done the job, then move on.
 As far as the Texans gloves off approach goes, I’m no fan of talk over, yell over, rhetoric because then you can’t hear either and the main purpose always seems so we can’t either. It’s a cheap tactic. Put it in your next comments. I understand: time constraints. You just have to be that good.
 I am also no fan of those asked a question who avoid the question and not held to task for it.
 However my main gripe is these two parties. The Republicans make Montgomery Burns’ quote seem mild, paraphrased, “What unmitigated act of evil will Republicans do today?” Mitch McConnell is a classic where we don’t get to even consider an appointee for the Court if he was nominated by the opposite party in an election year, but will consider one if your own president does exactly the same thing. It’s very obvious McConnell and his cronies are pushing for a one party run nation with, at best, a two party façade. Kind of like Russia that actually has many parties: all must be approved by Putin and the system set up so he wins, or the one pure marionette if he wants to step back and just pull the strings, like he did last time that happened. No matter what you think of the Russia thing we don’t need THAT.
 Problem is the Democrats enable their behavior. Even doing an impeachment enquiry? Hell, no. ‘Strong’ statements, like “I want him in prison,” really don’t distract from woos-ism, Nancy.
 I am reminded of my friend, Bartcop, who kept asking why we must play by rules if they don’t, and “How the hell did I get into this party???” If I didn’t know better they have been working together to bring on the Axis of Authoritarianism (or oligarchy, if you wish) with Dems doing a slow walk, Repubs pushing harder, farther, with more gusto.
 On a slightly brighter side last night I saw some movement towards more aggressive, more progressive: as slight as it was. I felt at odds with some pundits. I was more impressed with Beto than Castro. I did feel Elizabeth did well, but as much as it applied to Hillary, ‘shrill’ doth apply. To be fair: no one does ‘shrill’ better than some of the women on the right, like Palin.
 Regarding last night only Beto and Elizabeth, in my opinion, might be able do what’s needed. I am writing about appearance and performance here: not as much substance. Scoff if you might: they are very important. We need someone who can meet Trump on his own ground, or even better meet him and do a rhetorical judo move: using Trump’s own nasty nature against him.

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Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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