Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Get your RNC on, Part II

Fuck. I'm not feeling real good right about now. The first two nights of the RNC were filled with headliners who offered stuff that did a great job of exciting the crowd but didn't have much substance. Well, tonight they brought the substance.

This being politics, a world based on distortion, I use "substance" quite loosely. I mean, looser than Sylvia Saint's asshole. The reasons why I'm discouraged after day three are two-fold. One is that most people don't take the time to inform themselves to realize when things are being misrepresented, taken out of context, or just plain lied about. The other is because the Democrats never seem to do a god damn thing to make matters better. They could easily counter a lot of what happened tonight by getting up tomorrow and coming out swinging. Will they? I doubt it.

For starters, they could debunk so much of the shit Zell Miller had to talk about, but instead they'll probably just rant about how "angry" he was. And, of course, they're right on that front -- Miller was fucking belligerent, going against the supposed mood of positivity and optimism that this convention is supposed to be about. Miller came across as a bitter, angry, fucked up old man. Shit, he was me but with about a hundred years of life and political experience behind him. Bitching about how angry he was isn't going to be enough, though; they need to point out what a load much of what Miller said was. Maybe they'll get it right; again, I'm not holding my breath.

So yeah, Zell Fucking Miller. He's mad at the Democrats, even though he's a "Democrat." Yes, he has been a lifelong D, but he has most definitely been moving to the right. Despite that shift in position, people will see "Democrat" and "really angry at the Democrats and speaking at the Republican convention" and the intended effect has been achieved.

If it hasn't been achieved just with positioning, then rhetoric should help seal the deal. So much of what Miller had to say was in direct support of Team Bush's "If you're not with us, you're against us" attitude. He all but called every dissenter against Bush's policies a traitor.

Zell Miller: I've railed over and over again as to how pissed I am that Republicans time and time again have allowed their party to be dragged far to the right all in the name of "party loyalty." Your switching sides and criticizing your old party doesn't bother me. But accusing your once fellow Democrats of playing nothing but partisan politics at the expense of national security? That's fucked up.

I find it fucked up because it's an attempt at not just indicting Democrats in congress, but all those who oppose Bush -- both on the left and the right. This passive (i.e. by rhetorical as opposed to legal means) quashing of dissent is one of the many disgusting legacies that the Bush administration will leave behind, and for someone to come out pretending to still be on the left while supporting this blatantly fascist mode of operation is fucking sick.

Before anyone starts in, yes, the Democrats do play politics when it comes to national security issues. But so do the Republicans. THAT'S WHAT THEIR WHOLE FUCKING CONVENTION IS ABOUT. Jesus, one of the major themes is that Team Bush is the only one capable of successfully waging the war on terror. And, hell, just by making it the issue that he did, Zell Miller was using national security as a partisan pawn. Man, if the RNC isn't a fucking clinic in politicizing 9/11 and the war on terror, then I don't know what is.

It was kinda stupid for Miller to complain about Democrats opposing Bush, anyway. I mean, Democrats have so often gone with Bush on things. We all remember right after 9/11, where in the spirit of "being Americans," Congressional Democrats helped rubber stamp so much of what Bush wanted. Let's not forget many Democrats voting for the Iraq war. The list goes on.

So often it seems like the Democrats only stand up to Bush when they either have to in order to maintain some semblance of party ideals (like going against the gay marriage amendment), or when it's something that doesn't get a lot of attention (like fighting far-right judicial nominees). So Zell Miller's complaints about the Democrats opposing Bush aren't just infuriating, they're, in many instances, inaccurate.

Another load of total horseshit was when Miller talked about Kerry's drive for getting more international involvement when waging war abroad. Of course, in Miller's speech, it came out as something to the effect of "getting permission from Paris" to defend ourselves. That was A) a lie and B) bullshit pandering to the nonsense anti-French sentiment that just will not die in this country.

Another thing that stuck out was a long list of defense-related items that John Kerry has voted against through the years. This has come up time and time again, and many of those things that Kerry was against, Cheney was also against when he was secretary of defense. No, Cheney and Kerry haven't been side-by-side on all of it, but there is overlap. The point I'm making here is that just because you're anti-some stuff, it doesn't mean you're anti-defense. This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about -- the Democrats can point to things that, while they won't completely remove the sting of what critics like Miller have to say, could help deflate a lot of what's in speeches like the one we saw tonight. But, again, we'll hear a lot about his anger.

And this brings us to Cheney. Cheney is in some ways coming from a standpoint of no credibility in supporting Team Bush. He is Team Bush -- or, at least, one of its bigger players -- so it's no surprise that he's supporting the Administration, much that it's no surprise that Laura Bush supports her husband. As opposed to, say, a "Democrat" who's supporting Bush, which is going to have much more of an impact on people.

Still, Cheney put on a good show. Well, an adequate show. His speech got nods and applause from people who were going to nod and applaud no matter what. He praised Bush, he reminded us how important things are, he attacked Kerry.

The beginning of Cheney's diatribe on Kerry contained quite possibly the biggest moment of hypocrisy we're going to see at the RNC: saying that "we honor him" for his Vietnam service followed by tepid applause from the audience. FUCK YOU. All of you. You fucking shitheads have done nothing but revel in the Swift Boat guys shitting all over Kerry's service record. There's nothing else I can say, so again: FUCK YOU.

Cheney played the favored card of taking things out of context when he once again talked about how John Kerry wants to fight a more "sensitive" war. He's been doing this for several weeks now, and I was almost surprised that he actually used it in his convention speech since it's such a weak stance. Anyway, he punctuated it by talking about how the terrorists aren't going to be impressed by our sensitivity, blah blah blah, again, as he's been doing for weeks.

Kerry did indeed use the word "sensitive" to describe the terror war he would wage, in addition to about eight other adjectives (such as, if I recall correctly, "proactive" and "strategic"). So there's one reason why continual use of this "sensitive" comment is bullshit. Then we can add in the fact that Bush himself talked about being "sensitive" in the war on terror right after Cheney started this campaign. Then, to top it all off, Cheney finished his speech tonight by talking about Dubya's "kindness" and his sympathy for the downtrodden. Make up your mind, Dick: either sensitivity is bad or sensitivity is good. Also, I don't think that the terrorists will be impressed by George Bush's "kindness." Be careful when you say stupid shit like this; it may come across as flip-flopping.

Okay, after writing this and listening to bullshit commentary from both the left and the right, I don't feel as bad as when I started. But I'm still not in the best of moods. I just can't help but be discouraged since I know how easily people will buy into the mock substance that showed up tonight. Of course, the mock substance really doesn't matter when it comes to those people who have already made up their minds. Sure, it'll serve to further galvanize them, but at this point I don't know how much more you can pump up the base. There are those who are, or were, undecided, and that's still what worries me.

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