Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Michelle Obama’s and Ann Romney’s Speeches: a Microcosm

Michelle Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech was rated at a twelfth grade reading level.  Ann Romney’s speech last week at the Republican Convention, on the other hand, was rated at a fifth grade reading level.


This speaks volumes, no?  I wouldn’t even know where to begin…

Anyway, highlights from Day Two of the Democratic National Convention included Bill Clinton’s speech:

“We believe 'we're all in this together' is a far better philosophy than 'you're on your own.  I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside but burns for America on the inside...Are we better off than we were when he took office? Listen to this, listen to this.  When President Obama took office, the economy was in a free fall, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is yes…No president, not me or any of my predecessors, could have repaired all the damage in just four years.  He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.”

Elizabeth Warren:

“People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: they're right.  The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them. Anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do.”

Chuck Schumer:

“We know Mitt Romney never met a tax haven he didn't like. But his new favorite tax haven is actually not the Cayman Islands—its Paul Ryan's budget…Under this plan, Mitt Romney's own taxes would drop to almost zero. ...That's not trickle down. That's a dirty trick…Mitt Romney's only bottom line is the one at the end of his own bank statement…Republicans always try to paint Democrats as weak on defense. This time, they can't. After all, Mitt Romney's idea of an overseas accomplishment is sending U.S. jobs there…To those like Mitt Romney who want to take us backwards, let's send a strong message in November: as we say in Brooklyn, 'Fuhgeddaboutit.'“

And Rep. Karen Bass (D—Calif.) warned the audience about Jim Crow 2.0, aka Poll Taxes on Steroids:

“47 years ago, in the face of opposition from those who said states should have the right to discriminate, America passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  People of all races, religions, and backgrounds joined together and fought for that law because every one of us deserves a fair shake and a fair chance at achieving our version of the American dream.  But today, one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one: one of our most basic rights — the right to vote, a right that we fought for and won — is under attack.  Throughout the union, governors and legislators have proposed or passed laws to make it more difficult for individuals to cast their ballots.  We must build and be a part of a nation where ‘justice’ isn’t a catch phrase, but embodies the equality and fairness that our nation’s founders envisioned.”


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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

12th grade versus 5th grade.
Democrat versus republican.
Sounds about right!

September 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Dems need to be careful. It seems to me like Kerry used to talk at a 12th grade level or higher, and I think it turned lots of people off. To communicate best with people who don't like education or don't like people who show they have had education, I think it's best to explain things in simpler terms everyone can understand. As a teacher, I can talk to any other teacher in "educationalese", and the other teacher knows exactly what I say. But everyone out there is not also a teacher, and when a teacher uses that kind of language with a parent (and there are lots of parents out there), it doesn't fly.

I don't doubt Ann Romney loves her husband and her family, but I doubt she has much understanding of what anyone goes through who is below her income bracket.

September 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

Like 99.9% of the population.

September 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

And the Oscar Goes to........

September 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

And the Oscar Goes to........

And we go from fifth grade reading level, to unable to properly wipe. And forget about shoes with laces!

September 6, 2012 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: Yup, a perfect analogy.

Snave: I don't know if Kerry lost the 2004 election because he talked at a 12th grade level or because he was too bland and lifeless. But this is definitely something for Democrats to watch out for. It's too common for Democrats to sound like a bunch of teachers or professors talking shop, while Republicans talk down so the slowest students can understand them.

Jerry: But it's that 0.1% that purchases the election.


September 7, 2012 at 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In both cases, the speechwriters knew what they were doing.

September 8, 2012 at 1:30 AM  

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