Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chiasmus

Note: A slightly different version of this appeared as an op-ed in the Valley City Times-Register.

When I heard Obama had chosen Joe Biden as his running mate, the thought that popped into my mind was, "He's given away the election."

When I read about Sarah Palin, my thought was, "The canny old bastard has cinched the election."

A week is a lo-o-o-ong time in an election cycle, but the furious, no-class, foaming-at-the-mouth reaction of the Looney Left convinces me they sense terrible danger to their cause.

George Bush has always struck me as the big guy who takes the punches and kicks of the mob and shrugs it off.

This babe fights back. My God how she fights back.

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For the first time in this election cycle, I'm not bored with the whole thing.

Politically, I'm a registered Cynic and thus strictly impartial. I despise both parties impartially. I despise Republicans for betraying their principles and Democrats for living up to theirs.

Then McCain went and nominated Sarah Palin for his VP candidate and suddenly it's interesting. Now it's chiasmus.

For those of you who missed my presentation on linguistic humor at the museum last Thursday, chiasmus (ki-AS-mus) is a term in rhetoric. It's Greek and it means “criss-cross.”

Chiasmus can be on the word, syllable or even the concept level.

A sublime example is Winston Churchill's condemnation, “You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You have chosen dishonor, you will have war.”

See the criss-cross? War-dishonor/dishonor-war.

From the sublime word to the syllabic ridiculous, “I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me, than a pre-frontal lobotomy.”

But I digress.

What we have in the two party tickets is:
inexperienced-experienced/experienced-inexperienced. Chiasmus!

Barack Obama has served less than one term in the senate, most of which he has essentially spent running for president. He's voted “present” 130 times, which I believe is a record of some sort.

Before that he served eight years in the Illinois state senate.

Joe Biden was elected to the senate in 1972, at the constitutional minimum age of 30 and has been there ever since. If that's not a record, it's up there on a short list.

McCain was elected to congress (first in the House of Representatives) in 1982, so Biden has ten years on him. Probably doesn't matter though, after 10 to 20 years in congress you're probably as pickled in Potomac tidewater brine as you're going to get. And there's that career as a Naval officer beforehand too.

And now, there's Sarah Palin. Not quite through one term as governor of a geographically large but underpopulated state, and before that 10 years as a small-town city councilperson and mayor.

Folks, before McCain picked her, I'd never even heard of Sarah Palin.

This must be inspiring to small town city councilpersons everywhere.

As is to be expected, people are arguing back-and-forth on this.

Democrats say Palin administered a city little larger than the Mall of America and governed a state with a population smaller than many of our major cities. Just a little larger than North Dakota in fact.

Republicans say Palin is actually the only candidate on either ticket with actual experience as an executive, as opposed to legislator, and, she's been a businesswoman as well.

There's McCain military experience of course, but that's a different thing. Military officers give orders, they don't persuade, cajole, and make compromises with subordinates. And military experience at that level has little or nothing to do with controlling costs, maximizing profits, making payroll and all that business-related stuff.

And here is why I'm absolutely gobsmacked. I've thought all along that Obama was going to win, for a number of reasons, chief among them that an awful lot of Americans just want to show the world we are so over that racist thing.

I also thought he'd repeat the Carter story and be a one-term president – if the Republicans had an even marginally Reaganesque figure to run next time.

I also thought that even if McCain were elected, he'd be a one-term president, for reasons of age.

Yes, I know Reagan was pretty old too. But Reagan didn't spend five-and-a-half years being worked over by the North Vietnamese every day, and we've all seen how that job ages a man.

So, McCain wins, Palin runs next time. After four years of on-the-job training.

Obama wins by a narrow margin, who are the Republicans going to run against him four years from now?

Ladies and gentlemen, from the great state of Way-the-heckout, I give you the next-to-next President of the United States!

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UPDATE: From Dick Morris,

"But the Fox News poll of Sept. 8-9 indicates a deeper reality of Palin's popularity. On the question of which of the four candidates best understands what day-to-day life is like in America, Palin finished first, with 33 percent. (Obama drew 32 percent, McCain 17 percent and Biden 10 percent.)"

Chiasmus!

VP beats P candidate
P beats VP

3 Comments:

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger gun-totin-wacko said…

    I'm guessing that you love irony as much as me. My scenario is that McCain wins (I think it's close to a lock now). Then he dies in office.

    Voila! We have an obvious successor for 2012, and also have our first woman president. All without being elected. Palin beats Hillary for the Big Job by coming in through the back door.

     
  • At 4:43 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    No wait! McCain has to last until at least two years and a day through his term.

    Then she can serve the constitutional maximum of 10 years minus a day.

    To get an idea of how this woman has charmed the savage breast, go over to Ilana Mercer's Barely a Blog.

    Mercer is most often living proof that "Woman is a wolf to woman," but after an initial down check, even she's a fan.

     
  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger eduardo said…

    The more I hear the more I am tempted to get a lawn sign and doctor it so that McCain is crossed through with red tape so it just shows:

    *****/Palin 2008

    For the big court alone I was going to pull the lever for McCain. Now I can pull the lever thinking about setting someone up for 2012. I am just tickled.

     

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