Friday, September 03, 2004

The Republican National Convention is over and the Bush-Cheney campaign has officially begun, with about two months remaining until the Presidential elections on November 2.

In form it was exactly like the Democratic National Convention, carefully scripted and contained, in which a group of delegates whose views are outside of the views according to American popular opinion are represented by a group of populists protraying themselves as moderates. The only difference that I could observe between the two conventions was the setting: to put it simply, New York City is not a base for the Republican Party and never has been (the Republican Party has never held its convention in the city before); many detractors found it obvious as to why the RNC would hold it there: the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, which were constantly evoked and exploited (shamelessly, I believe) in order to pursue the GOP's agenda. (In a similar way the Vietnam War was exploited by Kerry, and many have held that this was somewhat shameless, too; I believe, though, not quite to the degree at which it was exploited by the Republicans: whereas Kerry's service in Vietnam was a big element of his convention, 9/11 appeared to be the theme.)

I had respected Senator McCain, decorated war hero and honorable statesman, but it was sad to see him become a marionette for Messrs. Bush and Cheney; they had cut down a great man, turning him into nothing more than a puppet. Same goes, I believe, with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, whom I had also respected. Democratic Senator Zell Miller (Ga.) was just out of his head; from the official transcript of his remarks, Mr. Miller was a raving, ranting lunatic. (Clips from the video of his speech also attest.) Here's a sampling:

"Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security," Miller declared, "today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator." Which "Democratic leaders"? Is he referring to Iraq, in which, yes, we are occupying the country and have been doing so for nearly 17 months? Didn't President Bush, in his latest televised press conference on April 13 of this year, say that the Iraqi people "do not support an indefinite occupation -- and neither does America"? And, in response to a question from "Terry" regarding pre-war assertions made by the administration that we "would be greeted" by the Iraqis as "liberators with sweets and flowers," the costs of reconstruction would pay for itself from Iraqi oil money, and Iraqi WMD not only existed but "we know where they are" (Rumsfeld), Bush replied - answering the first part of his question - that the Iraqis are "not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either."

Miller held that, in the "warped way of thinking" of the leaders of the Democratic Party, "America is the problem, not the solution." Again, which Democrats are being referred to by Miller here? The Democrats, he continued, "don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy." Based upon what? Nothing. And there's more: In addition to Senator Kennedy, Kerry has "opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror. Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts," and so he lists the "weapons systems" (the B-1 bomber, the B-2 bomber, the F-14 fighter jet, the Apache helicopter, the F-15, the Patriot missile system, the Trident missile, Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative) that, as the Cold War ended, became irrelevant. Vice President Cheney, at the time as Defense Secretary under Bush, Sr., voted right along with Mr. Kerry, a fact conveniently ignored, to oppose these outdated 'weapons systems'. This leads Miller to his conclusion: "This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?" Fucking lunatic; to paraphrase Jon Stewart, it looks like grandpa forgot to take his medicine.

In sum, a good, rabble-rousing show. Just two months now.

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