Sunday, January 08, 2023

The abecedarian in Hakeem Jeffries's speech on Friday, 6 January 2023

In his speech on Friday after Republican Kevin McCarthy of California finally won the Speaker of the House vote in the United States House of Representatives, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York who has replaced California Representative Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the House Democratic caucus, turned to an ancient rhetorical and poetic form: the abecedarian. In 26 statements, Jeffries ran through the alphabet to summarize the House Democratic caucus's goals, with a few digs against Republicans along the way: from "American values over autocracy" to "freedom over fascism", "maturity over Mar-A-Lago", and "quality of life over Q-Anon", and finally to "zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 8 January 2023)

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