Wacky, Wacky Speeches Find Equal Opportunity
I thought that the Bush Administration had cornered the market on incoherent politically pandering speeches with no connection to grounded reality. But no. On Monday, some Democrats proved they could also try their hand at this wacky, wacky form of speech making.
The top honors go to lifelong Republican turned Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans. The bulk of Nagin's support has been more conservative White voters, but Mayor Nagin decided that a strange speech in which the concept of New Orleans as a "chocolate city" was promoted was somehow the basis to broaden his appeal into the Black community of voters. But most Black analysts as well as interviewed voters simply found his comments bizarre. And it also seemed that Nagin decided to hire Rev. Pat Robertson as his speech writer when claimed that the all hurricane disasters are some sort of "fire and brimstone " judgement from God, and due to "sins" like Iraq. It was a severely disturbed speech to say the least.
But honorable mention orders are also due to former Vice President Al Gore. Certainly he has some right to be bitter at the bad roll of fate that denied him the Presidency to George Bush who polled half a million less votes than him in 2000. But his Monday assault on the wiretapping allegations against George Bush calling for an independent counsel failed to note that his boss, Bill Clinton, as well as all presidents both Democrats and Republicans have allowed wiretapping and other invasions into public privacy in the name of national security.
Some administrations have done far worse. During both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, while both publicly supported a move towards civil rights, both administrations supported FBI investigations into Rev. Martin Luther King. Geraldo Riveria already reported a few years ago that J. Edgar Hoover believed King to be a subversive, Communist or troublemaker and when an FBI investigation into James Earl Ray was discovered that he intended to harm Dr. King if at all possible, the FBI used a covert effort to prevent King from renting a far safer hotel room and instead forced him to rent a highly security unsafe cheap room at the Lorraine Motel which allowed Ray an opportunity to murder King and eliminate someone J. Edgar Hoover personally disliked. The record on the twofaced Democratic sentiments towards King was very clear, public support for civil rights, but a covert effort to bring King down if he could be proven to be a subversive. Now in a revisionist history , many Democrats now sing the praises for Dr. King. But because of these covert efforts, Dr. King could not personally celebrate his own birthday Monday.
A final wacky speech moment occured during a MLK holiday speech by Hillary Clinton in which she compared Republican leadership to "plantation" owners. Certainly many are self-serving living from political support from big business lobby to lobby, where the antics of Jack Abramoff seem all too characteristic of the big money lobby problems in Congress. But for the more normally "centrist" Clinton, this "plantation" language seemed bizarre and out of the normal context of her cautious statements.
Monday was indeed a very strange day in political speechmaking. Well, maybe today we can return back to Bush Administration falsehood speeches about how "great " things are going in Iraq, and forget all the facts of violence and American deaths three years after things were supposed to be secure.