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The Maverick and the Moosehunter
No matter how unbelievable it sounded last night, a parade of GOP'ers insisted that despite Republican control of our government for the last 8 years, this year's Republican candidate, John McCain, would bring change and reform to Washington, if elected.
Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham, Sen-SC, spoke of the Iraq crime begun under the GOP's control of everything in Washington...... as if it had begun in 2007 with the political stunt called "the surge", instead of in 2003 when neo-cons misled America. Convenient, but of course, totally misleading. Graham's freakish ways added to the bizarre nature of his message. His message was that after George W. Bush had sent some 3000 American soldiers to their deaths by placing them in harm's way for what Sarah Palin has called a war for oil (and she's experienced enough to be president), John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Graham convinced Bush 43 to send another 1000 American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq, as well. The recommendations of the BIPARTISAN Baker Commission were rejected in favor of the "three amigos" plan to escalate the violence.
And after all of that....still no Iraqi political reconciliation. All hail the man-of-surge, regardless.
The most offensive exploitation last evening was the 9-11 video. Said to be a "tribute" to the 9-11 victims, it had nothing to say about victims and was obviously included only to add to the militaristic atmosphere of the Republican Convention. Fear and vengeance are, apparently, the impressions the McCain camp want to leave in voters consciences. Nothing new or unexpected about that, these are Republicans. The audacious part is how the convention tried to persuade viewers to believe McCain was no George W. Bush. Strange way of going about it.
The theme of the evening, the same theme John McCain has pinned his entire candidacy upon, was POW. John McCain, I don't know if you knew this, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 5 1/2 years. The same political party that savaged Max Cleland and John Kerry, also decorated Vietnam heroes, as being "for the terrorists", counted on the American public's short attention span to imply that McCain's POW experience actually proves he's competent and ready to be president. McCain has used this POW biography ever since forever to advance his own career....and he did so again last night.
While I applaud McCain's honesty in telling Americans how he was "broken" in that Vietnam prison camp, that 5 1/2 year forced service to his country 40 years ago doesn't negate the terribly poor judgment McCain exhibited a mere 5 years ago when he was a cheerleader for pre-emptive war in Iraq. It doesn't matter how many old military pictures are displayed on a mammoth video screen, 4200 American soldiers are now dead because of neo-conservative radicals, like McCain.
The Republican Convention has been a case study in the cult of personality. While Barack Obama repeats the statement that this election is not about him...it's about the American people uniting behind their common interests...John McCain, especially so last night, made it clear that the biggest reason to vote for him is because he is....John McCain. I've never witnessed anything quite like it. Everything is upside down. Obama is continually ridiculed as a messiah, the One, a saviour, only advancing himself, while in reality, the only reason left to vote for John McCain, the Republicans tell us, is because he's John McCain.
Republicans have been in control of D.C. for the last 8 years and have botched most everything up. So much so that over 80% of Americans now believe we're on the wrong track. McCain acknowledged the failures of his own party's rule but then asked for our votes based on the fact that, even though he is a Republican too and voted with Mr. 28% nine out of ten times, he's....John McCain.
More tax cuts fo the flush, drilling (GOP applause line the entire convention), dismantling public education for the sake of privatizers, "reforming" unemployment insurance by treating those who are unemployed like welfare recipients and, naturally, Big War Machine (USA, USA, USA). That was the extent of policy from the "reformer" candidate last night.
Two conventions, two visions for America. One vision, Barack Obama's, sees America as a great nation where we are continually called to service for the purpose of advancing the common good. A 'we're all in this together' vision. The other vision, John McCain's, sees America as great because of the INDIVIDUAL, the hero, and the hero's story. That's why McCain could run his total campaign on the message that he had been a POW survivor 40 years ago. To Republicans, Americans are not all in it together, Americans are led by great individuals who do great things, like McCain did in surviving 5 1/2 years in a prisoner of war camp.
And finally, if you watched the Sarah Palin video last night, you couldn't have missed the hilariously funny lines that it opened with....something straight out of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.
"Mother, Moosehunter, Maverick"
Honestly, I laughed out loud. Apropos, I suppose, after the stunt-VP pick demonstrated her true wingnut credentials Wednesday night. Read more about those wingnut credentials here.