?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Mis-speaking [Mar. 26th, 2008|09:41 am]
Tony Grist
When Obama called his grandmother a "typical white woman" that was a genuine example of mis-speaking. I'm sure he didn't mean to sound so dismissive. What he aimed to say was she had typical views, but the adjective slipped out of its proper place in the sentence and located itself elsewhere- and he was left with a mini-crisis on his hands.

And when he announced to a flabberghasted audience that 10,000 people had just died in a tornado strike in Kansas- when the actual death toll was 12- that was- well- I'm not entirely sure what that was: he was tired, it had been a long day, he'd misheard something an aide had whispered in his ear. Whatever it was that caused the mis-speak, it wasn't anything that particularly redounded to his discredit; it wasn't a lie; it was just a little side-slip into the surreal.

I'm having greater difficulty putting a benign spin on Clinton's claim that she came under fire at Grozny airport. I know memory can play you tricks because my own memory is none too brilliant these days- but if I found myself remembering traumatic incidents that could be proved never to have happened I think I'd be worrying about my mental health. Being shot at is a life-changing experience; it isn't something that becomes a little fuzzy with time. Unless you're suffering from Altzheimers you know whether you've had that experience or not. Someone fired an air rifle in my direction once; it's indelible. No, this wasn't a simple mis-speak (I'm coming to hate that word); It was a construct, presumably agreed in advance between Clinton and her speech-writer- designed to big up her reputation as an international stateswoman and confer some sort of ersatz warrior glory- which would come in handy if and when she faces McCain. But it was stupid claim- because it was so easy for her enemies to check and falsify. Silly woman- she just went and swift-boated herself.

Politicians lie. It's what they do. I don't want to suggest Obama is cleaner than Clinton; I believe he's said all sorts of things that don't check out- about his relationship with that sleazy guy back in the hood, for example-  but he hasn't yet screwed up the way Clinton has screwed up over Grozny. The thing about Clinton's mis-speak is it's so televisual, so meme-worthy. Already there's a clip on YouTube that says it all: first the self-aggrandizing speech, then the footage from the airport- featuring the reception committee she says wasn't there and the little girl she stooped to embrace. It's a killer, it really is- and if her candidacy continues it's going to get played and played and played.

As lies go it wasn't a bad one- it was a bit of puffery; it didn't start a war- but the trouble is it's not a lie that can be obfuscated by a lot of lawyerly talk. She can burble all she likes about mis-speaks- and all her opponent has to do is run the footage. There are no bullets, she doesn't run for cover; instead she smiles and greets and dawdles. Seeing is believing. Nothing but nothing can cloud the clarity of those pictures.
linkReply

Comments:
From: msjann65
2008-03-26 06:41 pm (UTC)
I still like her better than him!
As for "coming under fire", that has been happening to her every since her husband took his first oath of office as President. The press has been after her ever since. It turned me off back then, and it still turns me off. I arouses my sympathy for a woman whom I believe will be an excellent president. I am much more concerned over other issues - Reverend Wright, for example. Like Mrs. Clinton said, "We cant choose our families, but we do choose our pastors."
By the way, shades of sexism! Mrs. Clinton is almost always referred to as "Hillary" in print and otherwise, while Mr. Obama is almost always referred to as "Obama". I have NEVER seen him referred to as "Barak".
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: margaretarts
2008-03-26 07:15 pm (UTC)
I agree that the media sometimes calls her Hillary to downplay her equality on the political playing field, and that's shameful in the 21st century. But as a woman not trying to be sexist, I even notice myself calling her Hillary, too. The reason I do it (and probably one reason it's done in the media) is to distinguish between Bill and Hillary. If someone said, "Clinton was stumping for the rancher vote in Texas today," it would be unclear which Clinton. One equalizer, I guess, would be to call all the candidates by their first names, including John.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-26 07:53 pm (UTC)
You may have noticed that I make a point of referring to H.C. as Clinton. I believe she should be accorded the same respect (and disrespect) as her male peers. Anything else is sexist and patronising.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mokie
2008-03-28 07:26 pm (UTC)
By the way, shades of sexism! Mrs. Clinton is almost always referred to as "Hillary" in print and otherwise, while Mr. Obama is almost always referred to as "Obama". I have NEVER seen him referred to as "Barak".

I have seen him referred to as Barak, and I have referred to him as Barak. When I first did it, it was because I'd forgotten which was the given and which the surname. It's not a John Smith everyman sort of name, after all.

Why are we calling her Hillary Clinton and not Hillary RODHAM Clinton? She dropped the maiden name to appeal to voters as a return to pre-Dubya days, and I think for many, calling her 'Hillary' rather than 'Clinton' is a way to resist that. (For many others, it could be just the opposite--she was 'Hillary' when she was the First Lady, too.)

Edited at 2008-03-28 07:26 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)