Thomas LaFauci is a speechwriter who thought Jim Webb’s SOTU rebuttal was bad.
The Democratic response to the State of the Union lay there, flat, dead, uninspired. It did not tell the real story or paint a picture of the last six years. It lacked the confident tone of a resurgent Democratic Party and rhetorical constructions that combine politics, policy, propaganda, and poetry to reveal who we are what we stand for, lift us up, or console us in times of tragedy and trouble. A great speech should reach into our collective soul and touch what is most human in the human spirit.
I thought Webb’s rebuttal was the best political speech I’d heard on television in a long time. I found it thrilling, mostly because of its gut-level honesty. LaFauci hated it because it lacked soaring oratory.
But soaring oratory is as common as sparrows. Gut-level honesty, from a politician, is a much rarer bird. That’s why it grabs our attention no matter how plain its feathers.
We live in an age of collective psychological defense mechanisms. Too much of our public discourse amounts to denial, distortion, or delusional projection. News media and politicians alike tip-toe around ugly facts and work harder spinning rationalizations and maintaining pretty facades than facing reality.
So when anyone in mass media looks us in the eyes and speaks the plain, unvarnished truth, it is astonishing.
At the bottom of LaFauci’s column it says,
Thomas LaFauci is a speechwriter who has written for former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley and Senators John Kerry and Joseph Biden. Jr.
I say that pretty much speaks for itself.