The Corner

More Zell

The Zell defenses are pouring in. Here’s one, e-mail:

“I think the `Zell was too hot’ mantra is overdone. He was not incoherent, like Al Gore or Howard Dean have been in their more excitable moments. It was extremely forceful, righteous indignation (and I stress `righteous’). What makes this different is that the facts in his speech would be just as true if they were delivered by a sober Dick Cheney. If the text of his speech were instead an op-ed in the Washington Times or even a contribution to NR, no reasonable person would think, `This is outrageous!’ Certainly, Andrew Sullivan wouldn’t be tied up in knots over it. So then, the real criticism is that his voice was harsh.

Unlike Al Gore or Howard Dean, Zell’s speech was filled with facts (John Kerry voted against X) which are very confirmable, the wild-eyed Democrat rants have usually been filled with mere assertions (George Bush’s tax cuts have ruined our economy; this Whitehouse is run by Halliburton; Bush misled us into war; etc.)

The non-use of sotto voce doesn’t necessarily offend people in the heartland, where plainspoken and heated will always be preferred over nuanced pseudo-sophistication.”

ME: Good point. My reaction is still what I said in that earlier post, although I have talked to smart people today who think it’s a speech that is going to have its desired effect. Thanks for all the e-mails…

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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