US Politics

From one rhetoretician to another

On a lighter note, Remnick, in a piece on current press relations, depicts the lasting influence of Spiro Agnew via the return of the Nixon-Agnew-Ford orbit to the White House. No rhetorical slouch himself, Remnick writes:

Wielding a rhetorical style that might be described as “surrealist-alliterative,” Agnew denounced opponents of the war in Vietnam as “an effete corps of impudent snobs”—as “ideological eunuchs,” “professional anarchists,” and (strangely, wonderfully) “vultures who sit in trees.” Never before or since has a populist attack come swathed in such purple raiment.

He inscribed himself in history, and in famous-quotation anthologies, forever, when he said, “In the United States today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H club—the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.”

I have no doubt he would find sympathy in today’s WH.