The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
political rhetoric


Our Republic

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 17, 2009 - 1:11pm

Ever since the "republican revival" of the 1980's in law and political theory, I've been puzzling over the practical, rhetoric use of the term in US politics. This graph confirms its sudden disappearance from political rhetoric after the New Deal. Does anyone know who's doing this site Speechwars? It's really a great resource. I still wonder, though, how it was exactly that "democracy" finally replaced "republicanism" in our public discourse.


Bush's Farewell

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 16, 2009 - 12:25am

"America must maintain our moral clarity. I've often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right." Here's the full text, should you (like me) rather have all your teeth pulled than listen to him again.


Dick Armey on Conservatism and Individual Freedom

Submitted by Jim Brown on November 7, 2008 - 4:28pm

Check out this sleight of hand:


Joe the Rhetorician

Submitted by Cynthia on October 24, 2008 - 3:46pm

I'm so glad my name isn't Joe.'s an interesting piece on NPR about a focus group from Pennsylvania asked to analyze the rhetoric of the campaigns. Too bad they won't invite rhetoricians on CNN, rather than the pundits (and/or fundits on SNL).


"You pucked with the wrong Ice President"

Submitted by Jim Brown on October 21, 2008 - 12:11pm

Hat tip to Nate Krueter.


McCain, YouTube, and Copyright

Submitted by Jim Brown on October 15, 2008 - 4:47pm

Recently, the McCain campaign asked YouTube to stop taking down content due to copyright concerns:

The letter opens by talking about how important YouTube has been for the campaign's efforts to get out copies of commercials, speeches, etc., but notes that the site's usefulness is being curtailed by "overreaching copyright claims."

YouTube's response? Due to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, YouTube has to take down such content to avoid lawsuits. Want to know who voted for the DMCA? That one.


Hyperpolitics: What's next?

Submitted by Jim Brown on October 8, 2008 - 8:17pm

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to Mark Pesce’s talk on “Hyperpolitics”. I had never heard of Pesce, but this piece intrigued me. Pesce is a “digital ethnologist,” and his discussion of “hyperpolitics” draws on a discussion of Wikipedia, Flickr, and the Obama campaign. At times, it’s difficult to tell whether Pesce is championing digital technologies that empower users or decrying these technologies for their reliance on mob rule.


The Threat of Democracy

Submitted by Cynthia on August 2, 2008 - 10:18am

What is the biggest threat we face today? Democracy, perhaps? According to Derrida, democracy “must thus come to resemble [its] enemies, to corrupt itself and threaten itself in order to protect itself against their threats” (Rogues 40). democracy


Obama's Teflon

Submitted by Jim Brown on July 30, 2008 - 8:18am

Slate's Jack Shafer discusses the fact that nothing sticks to Obama. He rejects the thesis that the press is soft on Obama by pointing to stories about Reverend Wright, Obama's compromise on an energy bill that reportedly benefitted a donor, his relationship with Tony Rezko, and many more. Shafer then asks:


Obama and Hitler? I'm just sayin...

Submitted by Jim Brown on July 24, 2008 - 5:57pm

Right wing blogger, Dr. Melissa Clouthier (former chiropractor turned blogger) saw this poster for Obama's speech in Berlin:

obama poster

and it reminded her of this image:

poster of hitler

So she put the two images next to each other on her blog. She added what I'll call a "just sayin" disclaimer: