f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 25, 2004

Fish to Kerry: keep it simple

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:21 pm

podium flip Haiku lovers know the value of brevity.  With Presidential campaign “debates” coming soon, the venerable Dean Stanley Fish shared some invaluable advice with John Kerry in a New York Times op/ed piece yesterday.  E.g.:

 


If you can’t explain an idea or a policy plainly in one or two sentences, it’s not yours; and if it’s not yours, no one you speak to will be persuaded of it, or even know what it is, or (and this is the real point) know what you are.”

 


tired of listening
the man walks away…
cicada on a branch


from Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue  

4 Comments

  1. As a Kerry voter myself, I also have concerns about pinning Kerry’s hopes on the debates. However, one mistake I assume the Democrats will not make this year, that cost them the election in 2000, will be to underestimate Bush’s debating prowess. Bush quietly and humbly took all the ridicule heaped on him by the Dems for being “dumb” etc. that year, and laughed his way to the White House. He won’t benefit from the “low expectation” factor this year.

    Comment by UCL — September 25, 2004 @ 5:53 pm

  2. As a Kerry voter myself, I also have concerns about pinning Kerry’s hopes on the debates. However, one mistake I assume the Democrats will not make this year, that cost them the election in 2000, will be to underestimate Bush’s debating prowess. Bush quietly and humbly took all the ridicule heaped on him by the Dems for being “dumb” etc. that year, and laughed his way to the White House. He won’t benefit from the “low expectation” factor this year.

    Comment by UCL — September 25, 2004 @ 5:53 pm

  3. Is this a trick, UCL?  Two concurrences from you in one day.  Wow.
    Did you see this quote from The New Yorker (Sept. 13, 2004) by Al Gore about George W. Bush?  Pretty well said, I think:

    “I’m not of the school that questions his intelligence,” Gore went on. “There are different kinds of intelligence, and it’s arrogant for a person with one kind of intelligence to question someone with another kind. He certainly is a master at some things, and he has a following. He seeks strength in simplicity. But, in today’s world, that’s often a problem. I don’t think that he’s weak intellectually. I think that he is incurious. It’s astonishing to me that he’d spend an hour with his incoming Secretary of the Treasury and not ask him a single question.
    “But I think his weakness is a moral weakness. I think he is a bully, and, like all bullies, he’s a coward when confronted with a force that he’s fearful of. His reaction to the extravagant and unbelievably selfish wish list of the wealthy interest groups that put him in the White House is obsequious. The degree of obsequiousness that is involved in saying ‘yes, yes, yes, yes, yes’ to whatever these people want, no matter the damage and harm done to the nation as a whole—that can come only from genuine moral cowardice. I don’t see any other explanation for it, because it’s not a question of principle. The only common denominator is each of the groups has a lot of money that they’re willing to put in service to his political fortunes and their ferocious and unyielding pursuit of public policies that benefit them at the expense of the nation.”

    Comment by David Giacalone — September 25, 2004 @ 7:57 pm

  4. Is this a trick, UCL?  Two concurrences from you in one day.  Wow.
    Did you see this quote from The New Yorker (Sept. 13, 2004) by Al Gore about George W. Bush?  Pretty well said, I think:

    “I’m not of the school that questions his intelligence,” Gore went on. “There are different kinds of intelligence, and it’s arrogant for a person with one kind of intelligence to question someone with another kind. He certainly is a master at some things, and he has a following. He seeks strength in simplicity. But, in today’s world, that’s often a problem. I don’t think that he’s weak intellectually. I think that he is incurious. It’s astonishing to me that he’d spend an hour with his incoming Secretary of the Treasury and not ask him a single question.
    “But I think his weakness is a moral weakness. I think he is a bully, and, like all bullies, he’s a coward when confronted with a force that he’s fearful of. His reaction to the extravagant and unbelievably selfish wish list of the wealthy interest groups that put him in the White House is obsequious. The degree of obsequiousness that is involved in saying ‘yes, yes, yes, yes, yes’ to whatever these people want, no matter the damage and harm done to the nation as a whole—that can come only from genuine moral cowardice. I don’t see any other explanation for it, because it’s not a question of principle. The only common denominator is each of the groups has a lot of money that they’re willing to put in service to his political fortunes and their ferocious and unyielding pursuit of public policies that benefit them at the expense of the nation.”

    Comment by David Giacalone — September 25, 2004 @ 7:57 pm

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