The Republicans simply don’t care.
They don’t care that they lie. They don’t care that their lies are obvious. They don’t care that their lies wouldn’t fool an underpaid substitute Social Studies teacher in a public middle school…They don’t care that their history is a lie and that, by spreading it, they devalue the actual history of the country, which is something that belongs to us.”
That Esquire‘s estimable Charles Pierce writing on the first day of the RNC, and he hadn’t even heard Paul Ryan’s ridiculously falsehood-filled screed of night two. I’ve already said all I need to say about this clownshoes, but still: It’s amazing what a congenital liar this guy is. (As you know, people in real life don’t “accidentally” lowball their marathon time by an hour — especially not Type-A gunner physical trainer types.)
Of course, Republicans have lied before — Their 2004 convention, for example, was devoted to turning a bland Vietnam war hero into a brie-eating surrender monkey and the Democrats at large into an Al Qaeda sleeper cell. But I can’t remember hearing another speech by a major-party nominee so rife with statements that were easily and demonstrably untrue.
As Winston Smith wrote in his diary, “Freedom is freedom to say 2+2=4. If that is granted all else will follow.” And that is exactly the freedom Ryan launched a full-scale assault upon in his convention speech. In short, this was a new low for the GOP.
“To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say let’s compare Senator McCain to Candidate McCain. Candidate McCain now supports the very wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once called irresponsible. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain’s own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding me, folks? Talk about being for it before you’re against it!“
In the second of three solid orations tonight, an impassioned John Kerry laid into John McCain hard, and delivered arguably a better speech than anything he ever gave as our 2004 nominee. [Transcript.] Thanks to the Swift Boat ridiculousness of that cycle, Kerry has now taken on some of the resonance that Max Cleland had back then — that of the good patriot horribly wronged by the sheer scumminess of the Rove-wallowing GOP. Well, Kerry tapped into this costly gravitas with aplomb in tonight’s speech, using it to insist that we not let McCain and his new friends screw the nation over once again. (“How insulting to suggest that those who question the mission question the troops. How pathetic to suggest that those who question a failed policy doubt America itself. How desperate to tell the son of a single mother, who chose community service over money and privilege, that he doesn’t put America first. No one can question Barack Obama’s patriotism.“)
The anger of Kerry’s own experience seethed just below the surface in his remarks, and it lent his speech a fiery passion that seemed as AWOL as cokehead-Dubya during crucial stretches in 2004. (Not that the election should’ve come down to a question of passion anyway, but frankly every little bit would’ve helped.) In a perfect world, Kerry wouldn’t have to play the martyr right now, of course. But this isn’t a perfect world. As it is, it’s hard to think of anyone who could better remind us in 2008 that the GOP are all too often an adversary without any semblance of honor or dignity, and we’ll be damned before we let those bastards get away with their pathetic lies and hateful smears once again. Not this time.
What do the Bushies do with their backs to the wall? Why, lie, of course. “From the beginning of the year, the White House has charted new ground with the sweep of its negative campaigning…[but now] several analysts say, Mr. Bush pushed the limits of subjective interpretation and offered exaggerated or what some Democrats said were distorted accounts of Mr. Kerry’s positions on health care, tax cuts, the Iraq war and foreign policy.”
Bad form, I know, but this week’s Onion is particularly amusing. Take, for example, Hundreds Of Republicans Injured In Rush To Discredit Kerry. “‘It’s bad down here,’ Savannah (GA) General Hospital director Lloyd Sautner said. ‘We were still treating hurricane victims when all these politicians were hurt in the whirlwind of manufactured controversy.’” I also liked Bush Campaign More Thought Out Than Iraq War and Terry Gilliam’s Barbeque Plagued by Production Delays.
“‘Do not resist one who is evil, but if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other.’ CAN WE TRUST JESUS TO FIGHT THE WAR ON TERROR?” Via Mad Magazine and Eschaton, If Dubya was running against Jesus. Y’know, this is just the type of tax-and-spend fringe-lefty liberalism we’ve come to expect from hippy-dippy longhairs like Christ.
As November 2 nears, the rhetoric and name-calling continues to heat up between these two increasingly irate contenders, particularly on the controversial questions surrounding their past records of service. I am, of course referring to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. “Even with wings you never as fly as me … you remind me of Kobe Bryant trying to be as high as me … but you can’t … even if you get me traded … wherever I’m at, I’m Puffy; you Mase and you’re still hated” contests the recently-slimmed down Shaq on his new (and, um, probably not-so-good) hip-hop CD. In a related story, Vice-President Cheney declared today that, if you root for the Miami Heat, the terrorists will kill you.
“‘Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty,’ Kerry said. ‘Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions [in] government contracts without a bid to Halliburton while you’re still on their payroll makes you unfit.’” It’s about freakin’ time we got some push-back…now just wait until the Pleasure Boat Captains for Truth ads start airing.
“Only in an election year ruled by fiction could a sissy who used Daddy’s connections to escape Vietnam turn an actual war hero into a girlie-man.” A more irate-than-usual Frank Rich examines how Dubya’s minions have kept him a leg up in today’s testosterone-fueled election cycle, despite the fact that “nearly anyone is more manly than a president who didn’t have the guts to visit with the 9/11 commission unaccompanied by a chaperone.”
“If they question Kerry’s medals, they question everybody’s medals…We’ve got to get that garbage off the air as soon as we can.” So says John McCain of the Swift Smear in private, and to his credit, he at least hasn’t lied about his personal stance as brazenly as Bob “Democrat War” Dole. But, Senator McCain, if you’re so “nauseated” by the Swifties, one would think you could leverage your vaunted (and quickly deteriorating) prestige a bit more mightily. You had the ear of the political world last night, and you chose to spend your time unabashedly conflating 9/11 and Iraq to benefit Team Dubya, the author of those ads. For shame.