Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 2, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ZELL MILLER ROUNDUP....Reaction to Zell Miller's temper tantrum last night has not been pretty:

  • Eric Zorn has transcripts of Miller's just-short-of-clinically-insane interviews on MSNBC and CNN right after his speech.

  • William Saletan goes nuclear: this is no longer just an ordinary election, he says, it's "becoming a referendum on democracy."

  • NewDonkey: "Not since Pat Buchanan's famous 'culture war' speech in 1992 has a major speaker at a national political convention spoken so hatefully, at such length, about the opposition. At the dark heart of the speech was the same old tired litany of lies and mischaracterizations about Kerry's Senate votes on military spending and weapons systems that BC04 has been retailing for many months."

  • From a time machine, Zell Miller himself criticizes his speech. Here's what he had to say in 2001: "John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington....John has worked to strengthen our military."

  • Andrew Sullivan: "[Miller's] speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric....The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude."

  • Jonathan Cohn in the New Republic: "It was one of the most vile political speeches in recent American history, every bit as offensive as Pat Buchanan's infamous call in 1992 for "religious war" and, perhaps, a little more disturbing. Buchanan's speech, after all, was an assault on decency. Last night Miller declared war on democracy."

  • Matt Yglesias, who was in the hall when Miller spoke: "I don't believe I've ever heard a more disgusting speech delivered in the English language. The fact that I couldn't see a single person on the floor who seemed to feel anything less than the utmost enthusiasm for that lunacy was, well, a bit disturbing."

  • Commenter Thumb, reacting to my pithy comment last night: "Zell's speech reads better in the original German."

At times like this, I wish more people watched the conventions. If more of the country had seen Miller's ranting, cowardly attack last night, the election would probably be as good as over. Kevin Drum 12:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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