Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Day 2 of the RNC: The Fix is In

Yesterday will probably go down as one of the worst day of the Republican convention. Republicans, eager to forget the record half million anti-Bush protestors in the streets the day before, say Rudi Giuliani use one of Hitler's favorite quotes (or was it Nietzsche or Bush --- they all liked "Whoever is not with us is against us). "Start spreading the news" that the Republicans forgot that the late Frank Sinatra didn't "want to be a part of it" so much he once wrote the campaign song for JFK. And let's not forgot Senator McCain's warning (as he himself described in an interview with Jim Lehrer afterwards) that the warned delegates at the end of his special to effectively "cool it", because Democrats were engaged in a legitimate process of political criticism. And we learned during McCain's speech that Republican delegates have apparently been conditioned, like Pavlov's dog, to become rabid and foam at the mouth and dangerously disruptive at the slightest mention of Michael Moore's film, a fact that will no doubt be used against them many times between now and November. That was bad. Today, however, the Republican tried to make up for yesterdays lackluster performance by putting on the Hollywood glitz with Arnold and the first lady.

The press coverage of Arnold so far has been fawning, even by the same reporters that gave him a very hard time during the convention. Like a majority of my fellow Californians, I don't support corrupt politicians of any party when given a viable alternative, and that's why Arnold now has the job of promoting California. He has very strong bipartisan credentials (the Kennedys campaigned for him; he's married to one, after all), and of late he's sent out fliers to Californians demanding our state finally behave in a fiscally responsible way. (We have, incidentally, more state debt than all the other states put together, so it is about time.)

If only he had come to the convention to bring that message to DC. Washington, under Bush, has never been more fiscally irresponsible. We have the largest deficits in history (although Bush points out under Reagan they were a slightly larger percentage of GDP). This is the only time in our history that we've had two wars and three tax cuts. The economic data shows Bush's tax cuts are in effect a return to regressive taxation. States and local governments have been forced to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for increased terrorism-related spending, while the federal government has reduced state payouts and enacted huge taxcuts that almost exclusively benefited the top 1% income bracket. (While Bush goes around bragging about how's "lowered taxes" and "will keep them low" for the middle class, the few dollars in checks he sent out to the middle clas were almost immediately all paid back in higher state taxes.)

If the Republicans in California are the party of the fiscal responsibility (largely forced upon them by their minority status) the Republicans in the capitol are the party of extreme fiscal irresponsibility. They are the party of tax-cut and spend, spend, spend on your corporate buddies at Halliburton.

This is the reality. The Republicans have squeezed the middle class, and the economic data shows it. The most recent economic figures show anemic economic growth at best, so he's been forced to drop the "I know how to make a strong economy stronger" --- most economists say that, statistically, the economy is no strong. Arnold today called those economists "girlie men", but, watch out Arnold, those guys with the sliderulers know what they're talking about here and you don't. They'd kick your butt with those figures and those sliderulers in any debate if not in a backalley. And you're showing your age so I'm not even sure you'd hold out in the backalley.

California sent Arnold to Sacramento to promote California, not Bush. Bush's unilateralist and ultra-nationalist foreign policies have been ruinous for California, whose high-tech economy is heavily-dependent on international intellectual property rights among other things. And everyone in California knows it. And Arnold knows that California knows Bush has been very bad for California.

Which is why, as some observers have pointed out, Arnold offered scant praise of Bush. He praised Bush's support of the troops and Bush's supposed "strong" and "unwavering leadership," but he mainly praised himself. He offered an explanation (or, perhaps, an apology to his fellow Californians) of why he was a Republican. He praised Nixon, a political feat only possible in the imagination of Hollywood.

No, Strong Leader Bush's leadership has not been unwavering. Even today, he renegged on his comments yesterday that the so-called "war on terror" could not be won, saying that it could be won after all.

We all, of course, remember the dark day when Strong Leader did not know what to do! After being told two planes had reduced the world trade center into a rain of fire and ash, Strong Leader was confused! Strong Leader's advisors were not around to tell him what to do! Strong Leader did not know what to do! Strong Leader decided "unwaveringly" to spend the next seven minutes reading "My Pet Goat" with an incredibly stupid look on his face. But this dark hour would soon pass, and Strong Leader would once again be Strong Leader, with the help of national media, which feared the consequences of what would happen if Strong Leader were not seen as Strong in hour of crisis.

And they are still doing today, which is why even Democrat-leaning reporters fawned Arnold and Laura Bush's speech today.

Remember the hard time they gave Theresa Heinz Kerry because she dared talk politics in her speech, or because she speaks seven languages (a really useful asset when the outgoing President has turned the world against you)? They said she should have not talked substance, only given anecdotes about her husbands character (which she also did).

Laura Bush talked politics today, in a fake Hollywood sort of way. She talked about how women's rights had begun to be improved in the Middle East (apparently she's forgotten her husband's frequent business dealings with the Saudis in remarkable fit of amnesia). How the Iraqis were so much better off and so much freer and so many of them were so grateful now that we've bombed them back to the stone age, they have less reliable electricity than under Saddam, and there are daily bombings in the street.

In a remarkable double standard, no one criticized Laura Bush for talking "politics." Maybe because she wasn't talking reality, so she reaffirmed their sexist opinion of the First Lady's role.

Laura Bush said that Bush "agonized" over the decision to go to war. But Bush is Strong Leader, as his political advisor Karl Rove tells him he must be, and, according to Bob Woodward's book, he told his dubious ads that there was "no doubt" to what they warned him was a real roll of dice.

Somebody is lying. Either Strong Leader Bush never had any doubts about Iraq, as Strong Leader, or he "agonized" over the decision, as his wife claimed today. Maybe Laura was telling the truth (trust me, the Republicans scrutinized her speech), or, more likely, maybe the Republicans have decided that Strong Leader shouldn't have been quite so Strong nor quite so Bloody in his (or his advisor's) fanatical determination to invade Iraq. Nobody in the press pointed out this contradiction.

Incidentally, there was a never a doubt in Dick Cheney's mind, who made a handsome profit off of Iraq when his Halliburton shares went up. Bob Woodward quotes Colin Powell as saying Cheney had "war fever." Or maybe it was Halliburton profit fever. Cheney seemed to think there was nothing wrong with holding on Halliburton shares while invading Iraq. Mr. Halliburton speaks tomorrow.

The twins, remarkably, even discounted their "irresponsible youth", which must have been a code-word admitting to the use of drugs. Their father used the same phrase to dismiss questions about his past use of drugs (he never denied it). And, of course, the twin's alcoholism and troubles with the law while their father was sitting in the White House have been well-documented. They hoped to dismiss all that a single dismissive phrase ("irresponsible youth") and some Hollywood glitz. The Hollywood fix, folks, was in.

Let's not forget that they spoke in support of the Man Who Lost Us The World Trade Center, not to mention cost millions of Americans their jobs and undermined Brand USA throughout the world. And, let's not forget the 95% erroneous voter purge list in Florida that, according to Bill Moyers, deprived hundreds of thousands of Democrat-leaning voters the right to vote in Jeb Bush's Florida, a de facto theft of a Presidential election, together with butterfly ballot and else have you, and a form of vote fraud which the Florida Republicans recently tried, unsuccessfully, to repeat.

They hoped tonight they could make you forget all that by constantly repeating the phrase "Strong Leadership" and "Unwavering Leadership." But constantly repeating "unwavering leadership" doesn't make it so.

Many Americans and many in our media, even Democrats, what to let the Republicans deceive us into believing that Strong Leader Bush is a Strong Leader. We fear what might happen to our country if the world learned the truth of how weak he really was, or if our enemies believed the country might not support his decisions between now and inauguration.

But Strong Leader has not been a strong leader. That was evident when he read "My Pet Goat" or told reporters to "Watch this [golf] Drive" when he learned that Osama, employee of Poppy Bush, was unhappy with his C.I.A. severance pay. It's just hard to take these disgruntled ex-family hands seriously; they are always upset about one thing or another. Bush never imagined Osama, with whose family he had such lucrative business ties, would be such an S.O.B. to destroy the World Trade Center. So Strong Leader read "My Pet Goat" after learning The World Center was being destroyed until he could get through to "Halliburton" Cheney back in D.C. Halliburton Cheney made a tidy profit off the whole affair.

So, tune in tomorrow, when living image of Halliburton speaks before the convention.

And, don't forget to tune in Thursday, when Strong Leader (or just plain Leader, or "Il Duce" or "Der Fuehrer" in other languages) speaks!

Strong Leader Bush is Great Leader and Strong Leader, just like Great Leader Mao Zeong in Mao Chinese propaganda cult!

Strong Leader Bush is strong leader, as he keeps repeating! Strong Leader is "unwavering," even when he reads "My Pet Goat!"

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!! Only pay attention to the Hollywood glitz that will keep us all safe from the mean, bad, disgruntled ex-CIA employee terrorists!

Strong Leader Bush will demonstrate strong leadership on Thursday! So it is very important you tune in Thursday to hear our outstanding convention coverage of Strong Leader speaking!