Thursday, March 29, 2007

Senator Webb Disappoints

This piece by Senator Webb surprised. I thought him a professional writer. One wouldn’t know it from this awkward, error-ridden piece. Senator Webb shows little knowledge of commas. The structure of a sentence seems foreign to him. He is wordy: overusing modifiers, passive verbs, and progressive tense. He often writes limping sentences with stocking-stuffer words.

This state-of-the-union response suggests that Senator Webb took off his rhetorical marine uniform and donned the self-conscious, cliché-ridden style of an ordinary pol.

What a disappointment this specimen of Webb’s writing was to me. The way he writes suggests that his doing anything in Congress remarkable bodes unlikely. As Dr. Johnson said, “Let me hear the man speak so that I may know his mind.”

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State of the Union: Democratic Response Text, January 23, 2007 · The Democratic response of Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) to President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday, as prepared for delivery and provided by his office:

Good evening.

I'm Sen. Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown — an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

It would not be possible in this short amount of time to actually Redundant adverb rebut the president's message, nor would it be useful. Let me simply redundant adverb say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and health care for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans. Splitting compound prepositional phrase with a redundant comma

Further, this is the seventh time the president has mentioned energy independence in his State of the Union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place overuses progressive verbs in a Congress led by the Democratic Party. We are looking Progressive verb sounds hand-wringing for affirmative Redundant adjective solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and Redundant comma splitting a compound prepositional phrase by spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of Wordiness alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the president and his party to bring about these changes.

There are two areas where our respective redundant adjective parties have largely redundant adverb stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes Wordiness to address them tonight. The first relates to how we see Wordiness the health of our economy — how we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are properly redundant adverb shared among all Americans. The second regards our foreign policy — how we might Weak subjunctive mood bring the war in Iraq to a proper Redundant adjective conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to Redundant comma splitting compound infinitive phrases address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.

When one sounds prissy we look looks at the health of our economy, it's almost redundant adverb as if we are living live in two different redundant adjective countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, redundant it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even redundant comma: cuts off trailing adverbial clause though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled Weak passive verb: Corporations are dismantling our manufacturing base and sending it overseas. and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along go with them.

In short, Wordy the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, redundant comma cuts off restrictive prepositional phrase through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as redundant adverb cuts off restrictive adverbial clause their jobs start disappearing disappear also. And they expect, rightly, redundant adverb that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that the international marketplace deals fairly with their concerns. that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace. Wordy passive verb

In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy — that we should measure the health of our society comma contrasting element not at its apex, but at its base.comma: contrasting element that is not a sentence Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.

And Wordy under the leadership of the new Democratic Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House just Redundant adverb passed a minimum hyphenated adjective wage increase, the first in 10 years, and the Senate will soon follow. We've introduced a broad legislative package designed to regain the trust of the American people. We've established a tone of cooperation and consensus that extends beyond party lines. We're working Hand wringing progressive verb We will work to get the right things done, no comma: cuts off a restrictive adjective clause for the right people and for the right reasons.

With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently redundant adverb endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.

I want to share with all of you a picture that I have carried with me for more than 50 years. This is my father, Redundant comma: restrictive adverbial clause when he was a young Air Force captain, Redundant comma: cuts off restrictive participial phrase flying cargo planes during the Berlin Airlift. He sent us the picture from Germany, Redundant comma: cuts off restrictive trailing adverbial clause as we waited for him, Redundant comma: cuts off restrictive prepositional phrase back here at home. When I was a small boy, I used to take the picture to bed with me every night, Redundant comma: cuts off trailing restrictive adverbial clause because for more than three years my father was deployed, unable to live with us full-time, serving overseas or in bases where there was no family housing. I still keep it, Redundant comma: cuts off restrictive infinitive phrase to remind me of the sacrifices that my mother and others had to make, Redundant comma: cuts off restrictive adverbial over and over again, as my father gladly served our country. I was proud to follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in Vietnam. My brother did as well, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot. My son has joined the tradition, now serving as an infantry Marine in Iraq.

Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues — those matters of war and peace, and Comma goes here. in some cases of life and death — we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy redundant adverbial prepositional phrase the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon redundant verb particle us to go into harm's way.

We owed them our loyalty, redundant comma cutting off a restrictive adverbial prepositional phrase as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us — sound Dash makes not sense: omit. judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

The president took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the Army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, “As a nation” redundant adverbial prepositional phrase held hostage to the predictable — and predicted — disarray that has followed. Awkward sentence with flabby passive verb: Predictable disarray has followed.

The war's costs to our nation have been staggering.

Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world.

The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism.

And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; passive verb nor does the majority of our military. Flabby passive-verb sentence Most of our nation and military no longer support the way we fight the war. We need a new direction. The following needs revision: Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a formula that will in short order Wordy allow our combat forces to leave Iraq. Edit: We need a new direction: not a retreat from fighting international terrorism, not a precipitous withdrawal ignoring further chaos, but a shift to strong regional diplomacy that takes our soldiers off Iraq’s streets and lets them leave Iraq.

On both of these vital issues, our economy and our national security, it falls upon those of us in elected office to take action. Flabby … we elected officials must take action.

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation The economic imbalance in or country recalls the situation that President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking raked in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening threatened revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly Redundant adverb against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the general who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War II. And as soon as he became president, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These presidents took the right kind of action, Redundant comma cuts off restrictive prepositional phrase for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling call on this president to take similar action, redundant comma cuts off restrictive prepositional phrase in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing show him the way.

Thank you for listening. And God bless America.


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