Elements of political rhetoric, No. 237

I’m being a nice guy. Still being a nice guy. And now I’m not…


“Congressman [Paul] Ryan is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for [Mitt] Romney’s vision. But it’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.” – U.S. President Barack Obama


This is a rather toothless version of a classic and always enjoyable form of political attack: the Ol’ Switcheroo. Although variations exist, the architecture is usually the same: 1. A nice thing. 2. Another nice thing. 3. Not a nice thing. It’s basically a way of attempting to present yourself as reasonable and decent while not passing up a chance to remind voters that your opponent, given the opportunity, would suffocate the American Dream in its sleep just to steal its pajamas.

Until and unless the independent U.S. voter sours on the Republican vice-presidential nominee, this is a form of criticism you will continue to see from Democrats, many of whom apparently like Ryan despite his hard-right views. In particular, I can imagine Joe Biden giving it a go: “Paul Ryan is a good man, a great man, a beautiful Adonis of a man with whom, if I were even a little bit gay, I would totally make out. But if Paul Ryan becomes vice-president, he and Mitt Romney will not only dismantle medicare and punish the poor with spankings, they will also shred the very fabric of the space-time continuum. Still, great guy.”


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Elements of political rhetoric, No. 237

  1. Well, compared to suggesting that Romney caused somebody’s cancer, or Biden today suggesting that the Republicans would bring back slavery, I suppose it’s a step up for the “hope and change” gang.

    • Fair enough, but let’s not pretend that any of this is one-sided.

      It’s understandable when the Republicans do it though, I suppose. After all, they’re trying to unseat a foreign-born Muslim who gives moral support to terrorists.

  2. Medicare for anyone 55 or over is not threatened by Romney-Ryan. Once the plan is instituted, options included same Medicare plan, or choice of other plans in a competitive market of insurers. Sounds like a great plan! Hopefully they can get the $716 Billion that Obama stole from Medicare to fund Obamacare back where it belongs.

    • I gotta ask you a question. You are aware that Romney/Ryan plan for medicare caps growth at exactly the same amount as Obamas plan, right? You can’t take money out of Medicare, you can only cap its growth. Romney Ryan want to turn medicare into a voucher plan, so seniors can buy private insurance, capping growth at +.5% GDP. Obama wants to budget how the coverage works and what it covers, capping growth at +.5% GDP. No one is stealing anything

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