Aftermath of the Philly Confab
[guest post by JVW]
Here are a couple of items of interest we can discuss as the Democrats pack up and leave Philadelphia:
1. Chuck Todd and his enablers at NBC News fall all over themselves to salute the Democrats on a supposedly “powerful” convention. They contrast what they declare was a unified party front in Philadelphia with what they clearly believe was a mess in Cleveland. Bringing unctuousness to the appropriate heights to equal their elite level of asshattery, the authors write:
In totality, the Democratic convention itself was flawless — with two exceptions: 1) the Debbie Wasserman Schultz mess; and 2) the few dozen Sanders delegates who disrupted Clinton last night. Taken together, the two conventions matched the persona of their nominee: Cleveland was chaotic; Philadelphia was disciplined.
So everything was grand except for the fact that the head of the party had to be fired when it emerged that she and her lieutenants placed their thumb on the scale of the nominating process and when the supporters of the candidate who was hurt by that involvement raised justifiable complaints. Todd and his colleagues would no doubt tell us that the staging of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater was a success except for the unforeseen and random assassination of a President. Reading Todd’s grating flattery reminds me that a few days ago I took an MSNBC promo banner and made a few additions:
2. I mentioned last night how much I hated Hillary!’s wretched speech. I even took the bold move earlier this morning of actually listening to her deliver it in that nasally hectoring screeching voice that reminds you of your least favorite middle school teacher. It’s not just that her speech consisted of a bunch of vapid platitudes (“Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.” “No one gets through life alone.”), it’s that it sounded like she was reciting it to a group of adolescents of middling intelligence. So I thought it might be interesting to run her speech through the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability Formula test to see exactly what grade level at which she pegged her stilted oratory. For fun, I also thought it would be interesting to subject the Republican Party nominee’s convention address to the same test. You only have to import the transcript into Microsoft Word, and in the settings on the Spelling and Grammar function you can set it to peg the Flesh-Kincaid level of the text. Here’s what came up:
So there you have it. The Democrat nominee speaks to her rapt following as if they were sixth-graders. That explains a lot about how the party feels about its voters, does it not? The GOP nominee speaks to them as high school freshmen. To put it into perspective, the Gettysburg Address registers at an eleventh-grade level.
Some other fun facts: Barack Obama’s address in Philadelphia came in at a seventh-grade level, Michelle Obama’s speech fell between a ninth and tenth-grade level, and Ted Cruz’s speech in Cleveland was at a seventh-grade level. Make of that what you will. (Interestingly enough, I could not find an online transcript of Bill Clinton’s speech in Philadelphia. If anyone finds it, feel free to run the test and let us know where it stands.)