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
Vietnamas “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 Statestoday, 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.