political rhetoric

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Hey, Pundits: Think Before You Say 'Nazi,' 'Katrina'

Bush was no member of Third Reich; ObamaCare is no deadly storm: Kathleen Parker

(Newser) - Ask a pundit, and you might learn that ObamaCare is this president's Katrina; or, as Sarah Palin recently attested, that that national debt is like slavery. Plenty of others have called George W. Bush and/or President Obama a "Nazi." It's time to rein in these comparisons,... More »

Gettysburg Address Was Short, Entirely Too Sweet

Chuck Thompson argues that the masterpiece of rhetoric missed its chance

(Newser) - Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the most famous and vaunted speech an American president has ever delivered. It's revered for Abraham Lincoln's force, clarity, and brevity—it's only 278 words, David Kusnet at CNN points out, and it uses mostly one- and... More »

GOP Newsletter: 'Armed Revolution' if Obama Wins

Greene County Republican Committee editor writes controversial column

(Newser) - If President Obama wins re-election, Virginia’s Greene County Republican Committee—or at least one of its members—expects an “armed revolution.” The group’s March newsletter included a column from the editor, Ponch McPhee, in which he writes that Obama is an "ideologue unlike anything world... More »

US Army to Ted Nugent: Your Gig Is Canceled!

Fort Knox cites rocker's inflammatory criticism of President Obama

(Newser) - Even the US Army is taking exception to Ted Nugent's violent political rhetoric . Citing his recent criticism of President Obama, the Army has canceled his June 23 gig at Fort Knox, Kentucky. “After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the... More »

GOP Rep: I'd Need to Shoot Senators to Pass Budget

John Sullivan of Oklahoma apologizes after violent comments

(Newser) - A House Republican apologized yesterday after Talking Points Memo spotted a clip of him saying he'd have to shoot some senators to pass Paul Ryan's budget. "I live with some senators, I yell at them all the time, I grabbed one of them the other day and... More »

Obama's New Catchphrase: 'Change Is'

President emphasizes his achievements with new rhetorical device

(Newser) - Barack Obama has a new pet rhetorical device designed to highlight his accomplishments and kindle memories of his 2008 campaign. The magic words: “Change is…” Obama trotted out the phrase a dozen times in a speech in New York Wednesday, the Huffington Post reports, with lines like, "... More »

You Make Your Own Luck, Mr President

Krauthammer: He should stop blaming fate, and Republicans

(Newser) - President Obama likes to blame two things for the economic mess we're in, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post : bad luck and Republicans. Each is preposterous, Krauthammer adds. Yes, we've seen troubles with Japan, Europe, the Arab Spring, and on and on, but Obama is supposed to... More »

Coburn: 'Good Thing I Can't Pack a Gun' in Senate

Otherwise, those 'cowards' would be in trouble

(Newser) - Today's exercise in whether a politician's joke goes too far, courtesy of Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn: "It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor," said the Republican, after describing his colleagues as "cowards" and a "bunch... More »

Perry Made 'Rookie Mistake' With Bernanke Comments

... or is a little 'hyperbole' being overblown by media?

(Newser) - Rick Perry's comments about Ben Bernanke and treason continue to dominate the political chatter. A few takes:
  • John Podhoretz, Commentary : "What Perry did was make a thoughtless blunder, an unforced error; we’re now going to spend a couple of days discussing whether he was summoning violence on
... More »

I Apologize for Calling Tea Partiers Terrorists

Joe Nocera: NYT columnist says he went too far

(Newser) - New York Times columnist Joe Nocera took flak for a blistering column in which he compared members of the Tea Party to terrorists, complete with references to jihad and suicide vests. Today, he issues a mea culpa. "I was a hypocrite, the critics said, for using such language when... More »

Tea Partiers Are Terrorists?

Left vs. right debate includes some charged rhetoric

(Newser) - Today's big left-right debate falls under the Tea-Partiers-are-terrorists meme, and two of the more buzzed-about columns hit the main points:
  • Joe Nocera, New York Times : He blames the debt ceiling mess on the "jihad" waged by Tea Partiers willing to ruin the country. And they're still not
... More »

GOP Candidates Too Loud or Too Boring

Party needs someone who's both a fighter, fixer: Jonah Goldberg

(Newser) - Tim Pawlenty took a daring step towards explosive rhetoric recently: he declared the country’s mounting debt a “pile of poo.” Try not to look too offended. “Clearly, the guy running the bleep button for the GOP primary debates isn’t worried about Tim Pawlenty,” quips... More »

Civility in DC? Female Senators Show the Way

The 17 women of the chamber regularly gather for dinner

(Newser) - As Washington continues to struggle with divisive political rhetoric, one group has been quietly making strides in the opposite direction: the 17 female senators. “We committed to maintaining a zone of civility here within the institution long before it became the chic thing to do,” says Barbara Mikulski,... More »

Palin's Softer New Line: 'Don't Retreat, Stand Tall'

'Reload' seems to have been replaced

(Newser) - Might Sarah Palin be softening her rhetoric after all? Politico thinks so, noting what she urged a group in Arizona last night: "Don't retreat, stand tall." It's a switch from her "Don't retreat, reload" line that—along with the crosshairs map—drew all kinds of criticism in... More »

Dear GOP: If You Can't Be Moral, at Least Be Smart

Joe Scarborough: Heated rhetoric would be political disaster in 2012 race

(Newser) - Joe Scarborough joins the chorus of those wishing for a more civil tone in politics, but he's not holding out much hope that the moral argument for civility will do the trick. After all, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and other "right-wing polemicists who make big bucks spewing rage" aren't... More »

Would We Have Labeled King's Rhetoric 'Inflammatory'?

After Tucson shootings, it's a question we need to ask

(Newser) - As America rails against inflammatory rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shootings, it’s worth asking: Would Martin Luther King Jr. have been silenced in this political environment? “Even King's most memorable speech—the ‘I Have a Dream’ address at the March on Washington—was nothing if... More »

Brooks Blasts Media; Sullivan Thinks He's Pious

They disagree on whether it's right to consider political motive for Loughner

(Newser) - Jared Lee Loughner fits the profile of a schizophrenic rampage-killer who "was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," writes David Brooks in the New York Times . And yet the media quickly pounced on a political motive for the Arizona shooting, blaming... More »

Blame Conservative Fury for Giffords Shooting

It's like the Oklahoma City bombing all over again, Paul Krugman says

(Newser) - Were you really shocked when you heard that Gabrielle Giffords had been shot? Paul Krugman wasn’t. “I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign,” when hatred was thick in the air at McCain-Palin rallies,... More »

Let's Blame the Crazy Man, Not Conservatives

Inflammatory rhetoric mostly harmless, says Jack Shafer

(Newser) - The people blaming conservatives for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords are "political vultures," practicing “the sick art of turning insanity into politics,” writes Victor Davis Hanson of the National Review . Jared Lee Loughner appears to be more “of an unhinged killer like Ted Kacyznski”; he... More »

Congress Delays Health Vote Amid Calls to 'Cool' Rhetoric

Time for 'great respect' on Hill: Sen. Alexander

(Newser) - The tragedy in Arizona won’t stop the health care debate, but it has pushed back a repeal vote and prompted calls to cool the rhetoric, Politico reports. The House majority leader postponed the week’s lawmaking agenda—including a vote on repeal set for Wednesday—following the attack. Meanwhile,... More »

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