The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
political rhetoric


Michael Steele Needs Your Help!

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 2, 2009 - 1:52am

Michael Steele needs your help (in so many ways). Here's a link to his survey,giving you a direct voice in creating the future of the Whig--er, Republican--Party.


The Rush Strategy

Submitted by Jim Brown on March 7, 2009 - 9:42am

I have been meaning to post about the White House's Rush Limbaugh strategy of late but hadn't gotten around to it. Nate Silver has had some great analysis (incidentally, might have actually gotten better since election day).

Luckily, Doug Eskew has posted some thoughtful (and, dead on) remarks about how Obama is setting up a situation where you are either with "Obama" or you are with "Rush." And yes...we should consider whether this kind of tactic maps onto the "with us or against us" axis of evil rhetoric. And we should ask whether this is "politics as usual."


Slippery Slope

Submitted by Byron Hawk on February 26, 2009 - 6:24pm

I’m not really sure what I think about this article: We're on the brink of disaster. On the one hand, what Klare says is fairly plausible—the current economic climate could inflame already unstable areas of the world and make any economic turn around that much more difficult and problematic. But, on the other hand, the hyperbolic tone of the title is only slightly qualified in the text. “Global pandemic” and “world at the brink” aren't much better sub-heads.


Bobby Jindal as Kenneth the Page

Submitted by Jim Brown on February 25, 2009 - 10:50am

Okay, so everyone thought that Jindal's response last night made him sound like Kenneth the page from 30 Rock. It really was difficult to watch/listen to. Josh Gunn's account of why it was so difficult to digest is persuasive:

I think many of us cringed last night watching Jindal’s speech because those affects were so palpable. As one commentator noted, Obama seemed like a man, while Jindal appeared like a “boy.” The truth to that statement is made plain by looking at their respective deliveries and words.


Great Moments of Drunken Politicians

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 21, 2009 - 4:09pm

A brief survey in the London Times. My favorite: George Brown: The former Foreign Secretary set the standard for drunken gaffes during a trip to Peru. Rumour has it that his attempt to ask a figure in purple to dance met with the following: "No, First you are drunk. Second, this is not a waltz. It is the Peruvian national anthem. And third, I am not a woman. I am the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima."



Submitted by Byron Hawk on February 21, 2009 - 3:08pm

This article is probably a bit past its kairos but maybe not its deixis. I just like to see articles on rhetoric in the public sphere. This time, courtesy of Slate: The Hottest Rhetorical Device of Campaign '08, By Juliet Lapidos.


Torture, Jesus, Free Markets, and--Hip-Hop?

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 19, 2009 - 12:59pm

"We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings." [H]e elaborated with a laugh, “we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.” -Michael Steele, new GOP chair.


Obama's Many Voices

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 14, 2009 - 8:11am

Novelist Zadie Smith makes a fascinating argument about Obama's oratorical skill. Meanwhile, David Brooks jumps the shark.


NRO's "Top Conservative Movies"

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 12, 2009 - 9:30am

The deep instability of the term "conservatism" in the US comes out clearly in this entry into NRO's list of top conservative movies (one needs a digital subscription to see the whole list at once):



Submitted by Byron Hawk on February 7, 2009 - 6:14pm

I'm teaching an undergraduate digital rhetoric course right now so I've been on the lookout for good video examples. I found this one over at my colleague's blog Arab Woman Progressive Voice. I think it provides a good example of an effective low-fi approach, something that my students could replicate.