The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
political rhetoric


Three Types of "Liberty"

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 18, 2010 - 11:09am

Tea Party types talk a lot about their "liberties" being taken away, although they are remarkably silent about freedoms related to the Other--expansion of executive power, out-of-control military spending, or most of the Bill of Rights except for the incoherently-written Second Amendment.


Sullivan Gets It, Again

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 29, 2010 - 2:13pm

Is you're going to be, um, historical materialists, you need to take demographics into account. Sullivan figures that out from a Burkeian conservative perspective.


"You are so funny..."

Submitted by Jim Brown on October 29, 2009 - 10:13am

A recent Facebook exchange got me thinking about a cynicism feedback loop and political rhetoric.

Last week, I posted a Washington Post story to Facebook about support for the public option. The story quoted some poll numbers that indicated that a majority of Americans support the public option. A friend of mine from college commented on this post, and the following change ensued:


A True Search for Common Ground

Submitted by Jim Brown on September 9, 2009 - 10:22pm

To bridge the two blog posts of the evening...


Working Class Politics?

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 25, 2009 - 4:45pm

I'm currently revising an essay on Obama as the apotheosis of New Class (Professional-Managerial Class) ideology. Some thoughtful work from Walter Benn Michaels, and from the ever-interesting Michael Lind. American politics is now reducible to internal class warfare among elites.


Pivotal Moments

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 1, 2009 - 9:00am

There is probably some vast scholarly literature out there that I'm missing, but here's my research (and discussion) question for the day. Race/ethnicity, region, and socioeconomic class/status are pretty good predictors of political affiliation (although the flight of the highly educated and wealthy from the GOP since 2006 confounds things a bit). In election years, I often ask my students if they plan to vote for the same, say, presidential candidate as their parents.


Poem for the Rooftops of Iran

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 20, 2009 - 5:40am

hat tip to Brady Creel


Remembering Moynihan

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 26, 2009 - 9:51pm

There was a moment in the late '60's when Daniel Patrick Moynihan almost persuaded LBJ and Nixon to move the US closer to social democracy, on family allowances and on employment. He did so out of concern for the plight of black men, but the ideological climate of the time named him sexist and racist, and the moment was lost. More here.


American Exceptionalism: Both/And

Submitted by Jim Brown on April 10, 2009 - 12:27pm

This is about a week old, but I thought it was worth a post here.

The question:

Do you believe in American exceptionalism? If not, can you explain how your view differs from that of your predecessors?

The answer:


Obama Derangement Syndrome

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 2, 2009 - 9:37pm

Who said this? --I have been watching an interesting phenomenon on the Right, which is beginning to cause me concern. I am referring to the over-the-top hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president, which distinctly reminds me of the “Bush Is Hitler” crowd on the Left.