Powerful rhetoric, broken streams

July 28, 2004

I did not watch the first couple of days of the Democratic convention. I did skim a couple of transcripts earlier today, and I have the CSPAN feed of Monday's speeches lurching in the background.

They say not to bitch about things you get for free, but it is hard to follow the thread of a speech when it constantly stops to refresh the buffer - not sure if this is CSPAN's servers being pummeled, the worm du jour hitting the internet, or the inherent suckiness of RealOne Player, but it makes it hard to follow the flow.

Bitching aside, Obama gave a good speech, Carter gave a solid Carter speech, and Clinton, who is streaming in the background, gave a wonderful speech.

I got about halfway through Clinton's memoirs before having to return it to the library, I will finish it when it comes around to me again, but one of the things that I noticed in that book is also true about this speech; retirement has been good for Bill, as a person. It has given him a chance to think about what he did and what he did not do, to engage in a perior of introspection, and to discuss his record without the pressure to be right, a pressure that inflicts all Presidents while they are in office. Clinton's best moments in this speech, and in his memoirs, use self-knowledge to make a larger point. Ulysses S. Grant did something similar in his memoirs, and that is why many have made the comparison between Grant and Clinton. For that matter, Alexander Hamilton did the same, although few have linked Clinton to Ham..

My final convention thought, one that may be carried out tonight, is that the Democrats are making the very strong point that their values are consensus values, that they are the party of uniters while the Republicans are dividers. I happen to believe that Bush followed his violently partisan domestic agenda in part to discredit Nader's accusation that the parties were all alike, and that the Democrats are being very smart to take advantage of GWB's leap to the right.

More later.

EDIT - The Democratic National Convention has much better streams. This makes sense; they are spending a lot of money on their infomercial.

Posted by Red Ted at July 28, 2004 01:08 PM | TrackBack