My readership has flatlined. I’m only complaining a little mind you, because I’m really quite happy with the regular conversations I have with those of you kind enough to visit here on a regular basis and then to stick around and talk with me when you come. Still, I have been wondering for the last few days — no, make that weeks — why, after a long period of slightly sustained growth, the numbers are just doldrum-y. I’ve concluded that, since I’m not a “breaking news” kind of blog, my strength has got to be writing. And as for that, while I’m a pretty lucid writer, with occasional flashes of elegance and even wit, when I read something like the following, which manages to have pitch perfect content, complimented by equally pitch perfect writing, I realize why some of the competition is definitely above my league:
The title — the headline of a Breitbart story on Gen. David Petraeus’ and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s testimony before Congress — says it all, doesn’t it? “Surge a failure, Democrats tell General.” I’m sure Petraeus was properly grateful for being instructed.
This is our first post from the Noordam, a Holland-America cruise ship. It turns out to be a bigger pain than expected to post from here: The connection fee is horrendous — we just dropped $100 for 250 minutes (of which 180 remain); so we must go online, save a bunch of web pages we intend to use, then logout. Then we read the material we downloaded offline and write the post (I’m writing in Netscape Mail). At the end, when the post is finished, I will log on again, paste this text into Movable Type, edit it and check the links, and then post. Yeesh!
Here’s the fuller quotation from the story:
Anti-war Senate Democrats bluntly told Iraq commander General David Petraeus Tuesday his troop surge strategy was an abject failure in its prime objective — forging an Iraqi political settlement. [Or rather, giving Congress a playable reason to surrender.]
Several Senate Republicans [read: RINOs] also expressed unease with US war policy, as the general and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker endured a roasting on a second day of high-stakes testimony to Congress.
Resorting to the last refuge of a cowardly scoundrel, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE, 100%) asked Petraeus two direct questions about the efficacy of the “surge”… then he proceeded to answer them himself, without inviting the commanding general to confuse matters by participating in the interrogation.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT, 95%) went Biden one better, furiously asking a rhetorical question that tortured the English language until it begged for mercy: “What makes you possibly think that anything further like this is going to produce the results that anybody else has failed to do?” (Senate aides are still trying to pick up the broken pieces of syntax and semantic content Dodd left strewn on the Rotunda floor.) Sen. Lieberman (I-CT, 75%D) must have slid further down in his seat, hoping folks wouldn’t think he was with the other fellow at his table.
Isn’t that great writing? I especially enjoy the last paragraph I quoted, where good writing is used to attack bad speaking. You can read this rest here.