9/11. So I watched as much of the Republican National Convention as I could stand last night. 9/11. The moderates trotted out to put a smiley face on the tube while the official platform offered up a fresh dose of homophobia, misogyny, and anti-science to the socially conservative bubbas. 9/11.
9/11. Terror. I listened as Rudy Guiliani described watching a man leap from the burning 102nd floor of the World Trade Center. 9/11. Terror. Rudy said he held the arm of the police commissioner and said, “Thank God George W. Bush is our president.” 9/11. Terror. Hmm, what about saying, “oh my God, look at that poor man leaping from the tower!” 9/11. Terror.
9/11. Terror. God. I listened as a genuine war hero endorsed the leadership of a president who avoided the draft. 9/11. Terror. God. I listened as a decorated veteran endorsed the foreign policy of a president who sent too few under-equipped troops to battle without the benefit of a serious coalition in a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Terror. God. I listened as a determined politician endorsed the man whose campaign had smeared him as being against breast cancer research, fathering a black baby out of wedlock, and being possibly too crazy from five years as a POW to run the country. 9/11. Terror. God.
9/11. Terror. God. Leadership. I listened as the largest response from the crowd was not for tributes to the 9/11 victims, platitudes from the speakers, or elucidation of their president’s record and values. 9/11. Terror. God. Leadership. No, the biggest response from the group of people who complain about the negativity of the campaign came in the form of a minutes-long cascade of boos directed at Michael Moore. 9/11. Terror. God. Leadership. I watched as Moore smiled that irrepressable smile that says, “thanks for the free publicity and the extra millions of dollars at the box-office you just gave me!” 9/11. Terror. God. Leadership.
What I didn’t hear a lot about was the stagnant economy, a net loss of jobs, new jobs that pay much less than the jobs lost, corporations that get tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, criminal business failures like Enron, rising health care costs, falling levels of the uninsured, exhorbitant prices for prescription drugs, refusal to allow importation of cheap Canadian drugs, refusal to allow Medicare to bargain for cheaper drug prices, restricting stemcell research, opposing benefits (not just gay marriage but existing company benefits) for gay people, loosening of environmental protections to allow more pollution, opening old growth forest for logging, refusing to extend an assault weapons ban, continuing a law enforcement assault on sick people legally using medical marijuana in their home states, instituting the 9/11 Commission recommendations, protecting our nation’s ports, funding No Child Left Behind, or –strangely enough, considering the insistent hammering away at 9/11 — OSAMA BIN LADEN!
But if that wasn’t enough to convince me of the level of slime possible from the Repugnicans, I read this on the AP wire:
Delegate Wears ‘Purple Heart’ Bandages
NEW YORK – A GOP delegate handed out bandages with purple hearts on them Monday night at the Republican National Convention in a swipe at Democratic nominee John Kerry’s war record, but national GOP officials have asked him to stop.
The bandages were handed out by Morton Blackwell, a longtime GOP activist from Virginia, with the message: “It was just a self-inflicted scratch, but you see I got a Purple Heart for it.”
Kerry won three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a bronze star for his service in the Vietnam War. A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking Kerry as a liar through campaign ads and media interviews, but Kerry’s wartime experiences have been backed by crewmates and official records.
“It is inexcusable for a delegate to mock anyone who has ever put on a soldier’s uniform,” said Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe. “It is inexcusable to mock service and sacrifice.”
Blackwell, who gave out almost 250 of the bandages, said Vietnam veterans have every right to be angry about anti-war comments Kerry made after returning to this country.
GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie spoke to Blackwell and they agreed that he would not distribute the bandages Tuesday night,” said Republican spokesman Jim Dyke. “This was not a party activity, but he was acting as an individual.”
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