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    Protect and ... What Was the Other Thing?

    badge.jpgQuote:   "They are a part of American life, but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.”  President Bush.

    Figure of Speechparallelism, the figure of similar structure.

    President Bush is trying to placate the right and solve a real problem — illegal immigration — at the same time.  His primetime speech to the nation reveals a mastery of parallelism, a technique that balances the rhythm or meaning of clauses.   In this case, he lays mercy beside get-tough:  American life beside American law.

    There’s a further balancing act here:  the "reach and protection" of that law.  The phrase implies that illegals escape from the law while suffering from its absence.  An apotheosis of compassionate conservativism.

    Parallelism is a general term that comprises more specific figures; you’ll find them here.  It gladdens our rhetorical heart to see Bush using them; they require a balanced mind.  We weren’t sure the president had one.

    Snappy Answer:  "More protection and less reach, please."

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