The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Empty Rhetoric

As a rhetorician with a PhD, I normally despise the phrase "empty rhetoric." However, because I have spent the last 10 years studying communication, I think I am highly qualified to spot "empty rhetoric" when it is being employed. Sadly, I have heard more empty rhetoric out of the Republican Party this convention season than I have ever heard before.

I did not want to blog about the ridiculous Sarah Palin again. Unfortunately, I just watched a segment of her television interview with Charles Gibson. She tried her damndest to avoid answering ANY of the questions that she was asked. At one point, Charles Gibson even commented that he wasn't sure what she was saying through a "tornado of words." But despite all that empty rhetoric, she did say a few important things. First, she said that if Israel decided to bomb a nuclear plant in Iran, that America should support Israel. Granted, she didn't say it that succictly... She didn't say anything clearly at all. Friendship with Israel, and with other countries, is certainly important. But the stubborn refusal to see or admit that this "friendship" which seems to have no limitations, might possibly be one of the reasons that America is disliked in the Middle East, is a distressing indication of Gov. Palin's lack of global intelligence. Second, she declared that there was nothing wrong with America going into a country like Pakistan in the hunt for suspected terrorists. Once again, she didn't really say this. Charles Gibson asked her the question three times and she blew smoke up his ass with each answer. And not even creative smoke. She just repeated herself. For a second I actually thought they were just replying her first answer. How can Palin state that we had to protect the sovereignty of Georgia and other countries while in the next breath claiming that the sovereignty of other countries is subservient to the will of the United States? I think that these two comments clearly illustrate that she would be one of the WORST possible people to be in charge of anything remotely related to national security.

The willingness to say that the will of America supercedes the will of any other country, combined with the unwillingness to engage in diplomacy shows that Palin is not only lacking in experience, but that she is also lacking in empathy.


  1. Not to mention:

    "GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
    PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
    GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?
    PALIN: His world view.
    GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
    PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better. "

    She didn't even know what it was!

    This is my favorite:

    "GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?

    PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life."