September 02, 2004

Republicans & The Whole Truth Do Not Mix

I watched part of the convention last night, and while it was pretty much what I expected, light on facts, and half-truths, I enjoyed Salon's take on the convention's speakers.

Here's a few highlights:

Zell Miller told the convention that Kerry had voted against development of the F-14, F-15 and Apache Helicopter, but neglected to mention that then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney proposed eliminating them too. Miller also didn't mention that he and Kerry voted in 2002 for the largest military spending increase in two decades.

Dick Cheney mocked Kerry for saying that we needed to fight a more "sensitive" war on terror, neglecting to mention that Kerry meant bringing in and respecting more countries instead of stonewalling them. (This is my note, but a more "sensitive" war on terror would be beneficial to American interests in the Middle East, because we sure are courting public opinion amongst the Iraqi people when we accidentally kill their children with bombs and bullets, and then we wonder why they rise up against us and behead hostages that aren't even part of the military).

Massachusetts Lt. Gov Kerry Healey told the convention that Kerry was the most liberal senator in Congress, something Dick Cheney doesn't even say anymore.

Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele criticized Kerry for proposing a $6 billion cut in intelligence spending a year after 9/11, neglecting to mention that then-Rep. Porter Goss (the new head of the CIA) proposed an even larger cut at the same time as Kerry.

The article goes on and on and is actually quite an entertaining read.


MosBen said...

I'm appalled at how negative the Republicans ahve been after chiding the Dems for being all up in Bush's grill. Hypocrisy? Yeah, little bit. Not only that, but I just don't think this is a winning strategy. I suppose we'll see if it is one way or another in a couple months, but the feeling I've pulled out of this is how much they hate Kerry, not what specific plans they have for fixing all the various messes we're in.

I'm not an irrational guy. If the Republicans cleaned up the level of debate and actually started following the standard tenants of the party I'd probably stop hating them though I'd still disagree on issues. They're not going to convince anyone of anything other than that they're mega douche bags with this type of crap.

And Zell Miller is crazy.

Drew said...

I agree with both of you. But, just to be contrary, I want to point out that for an incumbent President polling under 50%, going negative is a very wise strategy. Everyone knows Bush, and there's nothing he can say to convince many more people to support him. All he can do is try to syphon votes away from Kerry. Compare to Clinton '96. Clinton ran a very negative campaign against Dole prior to the official end of the primaries. Of course, Clinton didn't go dirty-negative, but he did go negative. That's a distinction that's often lost in media hand-wringing over negative campaigning.

It does bother me how the Bush-hating meme took so much prominence during the Democratic primaries earlier this year, and has never really gone away. But compare the two conventions. The Dems barely even mentioned Bush, with the exception of Sharpton who went off script. Each speaker took a couple of veiled nudges at Bush or Bush policy, but for the most part, they held a pro-Kerry convention, not an anti-Bush one. The Republican convention seems to be predicated on sowing hate and fear. Fortunatelyfor them, with Cheney and Miller, they've got the line-up to do that.