Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Paw-andering for the War

Minnesota's biggest McCain supporter, Tim Pawlenty, took a few minutes out of his busy day to deliver his "State of the State" address today. I heard a few snippets of it while running errands over lunch; each almost caused me to lose that lunch.

First and foremost was Pawlenty's tone: he delivers speeches like he's trying to do a voiceover for a bad documentary on zebras. Second, though, he took every opportunity to use nationalism as a tool of state governance. Of the many Minnesotans who are serving in the armed forces, he said,

We need to do our duty by supporting them and all members of the military with our words and deeds. We need a surge of support for our military families, and we need it now.
Gag me with the tassels from a color guard's flag. This is one of the crassest attempts I've yet seen to further the Bush-Cheney-Rove proscription on dissent, and yet it's also sophomorically clever in using the anemic rhetoric of "family" and, of course, the S-word. If only a few independent voters had escalated their ballots in November, we wouldn't have to listen to this prattle.