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GOP Convention Day 2: It's A Total Gloss

Good speechwriters fit their speeches to the individuals who give them. Those seemed to be in short supply last night as the catchphrases and platform codewords were repeated by one disparate speaker after another. It seemed like Republicans were being reminded just what stands on issues they were required to take, what kind of attitudes needed to be maintained.

No longer a river in Egypt, denial is the centerpiece of the Republican leaderships bid to retain the presidency. And why not? The Bush administration can’t honestly answer that things are better now than they were four years ago, or even three.

McCain said it best when he said you can't fight two wars on three tax cuts. They say it's good stimulus, most economists, Alan Greenspan included say it's a millstone around the neck of the American economy. When the tax cuts originally were proposed, they were out of a surplus, and would never have had to be paid back. Now they will, and now we will pay more in the form of interest attached to the treasury bonds.

It's ironic, you know. People are paying for this government anyways. Only thing is, these people will get paid back, and many of them are investors from Japan and China. Good deal, isn't it? Dropping us further into debt so we can finance our competitors? Speaking of competitors, a recent investigation discovered that many of our supposed "free trade" partners are actually engaging in protectionist policies, subsidizing their industries, and putting financial barriers to our exports. Free trade indeed. A hidden tax on our businesses and industry.

What's also ironic is how companies nowadays expect to downsize and cut jobs and still maintain a functioning economy. People have forgotten that Adam Smith's principles run both ways- You got to pay people what their labor is worth, or otherwise, things break down. The Bush Administration, though has helped to reclassify overtime so that fake titles can deprive people of their time and a half. Never mind that gettin people to work past their normal hours should be expensive, so as to discourage companies from destroying the family lives of their workers to make profits.

Meanwhile, No Child Left Behind continues the Bush tradition of reviving the age of irony. I was surprised when I visited Washington D.C. last year to see a couple of red schoolhouses nailed to the front of the federal building for the Department of Education. Perhaps that's what they want schools to be reduced to, given the funding demands of Bush's unfunded mandate on the states. Perhaps they want our children to join the millions of children worldwide who learn by rote repetition and are never taught to think creatively and problem solve.

I could not believe that the Republicans were touting the Medicare reforms. I mean, that reform was over a hundred billion over budget (like something else we've all heard of), included no provision for the government to save taxpayers money through bargaining, and bans the importation of drugs to end the healthcare blackmail of US citizens on their medication.

Of course they mention Afghanistan, and Bush's promise to respond to people who brought down our buildings. They conveniently forgot that Bush also promised to get somebody- Dead or Alive. They forget he has failed to do so, and excused that failure by the fiction that Osama was no longer powerful, the terrorists no longer able to do damage. Ask people in Madrid, in Java, and aboard those two planes downed in Russia whether Osama's forces are defeated. Heck, ask our soldiers in Iraq!

And finally, speaking of Iraq, let's talk about the biggest gloss of them all: WMDs and Terrorists. 981 soldiers have died, 6,690 have been wounded to fight a war against terror to disarm a dictator who harbored no Al Quaeda for us to disperse, and had no WMD stockpiles to be disarmed of, much less the atomic bomb required to make the mushroom cloud of a smoking gun Bush administration people were gravely warning about.

My feeling is that if Bush is re-elected, it will not be for his leadership. Leaders are not just counted on to be bold and decisive, they are counted upon to be wise, of sound judgment. If Bush is reelected, it will be because conservatives have been denying the facts so long, that some will unfortunately give their denials the force of facts, merely because they can't remember what the lie was meant to cover up. If Bush is re-elected, it will be because Bush played on our worst fears, not because he gave us the best leadership.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 1, 2004 11:28 AM