Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anti-speak analysis: Senator Hillary Clinton on Iran

Periodically, I want to look at statements by politicians and others and look for examples of anti-speak. By this term I mean antagonistic speech, or words that are used in anger or meanness that get in the way a true dialog on the issues (e.g., name-calling, overly harsh words, generalizations of the opposition, over-simplified sound bites, etc.). There is a line between making a strong passionate point and being in a state of antagonism. For more information on what constitutes "anti-speak" see my post at:

This post is about Sen. Hillary Clinton's statement yesterday in the Senate about Iran. It is found in her web site at:

For the most part, Sen. Clinton sticks to her points on the issues. However, the following I would consider as anti-speak (highlight added for emphasis):

1. In this one, she is making a good point but saying that the Republican congress was "derelict." That is a rather strong word that would get the ire of the opposition and put them on the defensive rather than wanting to work together on the issue. Certainly the point can be made without this accusatory language that is a form of name-calling.

We have witnessed these past six years ... the cost of congressional dereliction of its oversight duty, ...”

2. Yes, things have not gone well in Iraq but you can make a strong point without using "incompetence."

“... through the rush to war in Iraq and the incompetence of its execution ...”

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