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Home » A Message of Hope and a Message of Lies: The Democratic and Republican Conventions

A Message of Hope and a Message of Lies: The Democratic and Republican Conventions

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I saw a lot of the Democratic convention, and some of the Republican convention so far, during my down time at work. The difference so far is pretty striking. The Democrats have finally, finally, got their act together and moved beyond the ineffective pushovers who so utterly failed during both the 2004 campaign and the last eight years of governing. In terms of policy, I don’t think Obama is particularly revolutionary, but what he’s able to do better than any politician in my lifetime is to speak in a way that makes you feel like he can make the world a different, better place. The right may try to take him down, but he’s got a bright power that will hopefully not be dimmed.

Obama’s speech was pretty riveting, a great critique of John McCain, and a positive vision of our country’s future. The essence of what he’s saying is we can be better than this. That’s a message that’s going to trouble people who are insecure, who don’t want to deal with the fact that they’re in a changing world, they won’t live the way their parents did. I see that as a good thing, not everyone does. What excites me about Obama’s leadership is not so much his specific policy, which was some room for improvement, it’s the way he can change the game, and redefine what the status quo is in politics.

Ironically, the Republicans are also ranting about the ‘establishment,’ ‘Washington’ and ‘politics as usual.’ Watching the convention is what it must be like watching This is Spinal Tap and not knowing if it’s for real or not. What they’re saying is so ridiculous, so patently false and ironic that it would be very easy to read the entire thing as an elaborate, oh-so-subtle gag. It starts with the party that has had total control over Washington for the past eight years saying that they’re going to go in and clean things up, not that Washington insider who’s beloved by the ‘liberal media,’ Barack Obama. I think the buildup to the Iraq War ended the myth of the liberal media, but apparently it lives on.

Fred Thompson also said “She is from a small town, with small town values, but that’s not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family.” That they’re still going for the values thing after the pregnancy business is pretty bold, and totally disconnected from reality. But, the whole pregnancy thing is a sideshow. Small town values might be fine for people in a small town, they’re not so good when it comes to running the entire world. I could care less if Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant, what I care about is that she thinks it’s acceptable to have guns in peoples’ homes, and that she actually goes hunting herself. If shooting things is a small town value, perhaps it’s best to stay with the ‘beltway elite.’

An even better comedic performance was Joe Lieberman’s speech, though he perhaps pushed things a bit too far with his repeated references to Democrats’ inability to “reach across the aisle.” It absolutely baffles me that nobody is coming right out and shooting down the Republican discussion of Democrats not being able to work with Republicans, and thinking more about party than country. Republicans have been able to do whatever they wanted with essentially no opposition for much of the past eight years. They gave away vast sums of money to the very few elite richest Americans through a restructuring of the tax code and an illegal invasion of Iraq. The Democrats just sat there and took it while Republicans tortured people in secret government sanctioned prisons. It’s horrifically ironic to watch Republicans cite John McCain’s five years in a Vietnamese prison as a qualification to be president, if so, we should look forward to a generation of Arab Americans running for the Republican party nomination in a few years. They all have the requisite ‘experience’ that McCain is so proud of.

Anyway, Republicans criticizing Democrats for not working with them is like the schoolyard bully complaining that the kid he’s beating up isn’t working an extra job to give him more lunch money. The Republican party right now is at the absolute extreme right wing, Democrats are roughly in the center. They are inherently compromising on virtually everything they are doing. Barack Obama’s voting record is one of the more liberal in the Senate, but looked at objectively, it’s far less partisan than the totally united block of Republican senators who will shoot down any Democratic initiative. Honestly, can’t somebody besides John Stewart and Bill Maher call these people out on the ridiculous things they’re saying?

The Joe Lieberman speech was a travesty. The John McCain Republicans speak of is not the man who’s there today, the man who said himself that he voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. People talk about experience being an issue. This is my final statement on that. George Bush presented a case for war in Iraq that may or may not have been a deliberate lie. Either way, it turned out to be false. One candidate in the race saw that the case was not justified and voted against the war. One was swayed by false evidence and sent us to the one trillion dollar sinkhole we’re stuck in now. If that same evidence comes along again, I want the man who had the experience to make the right choice the first time. That one trillion dollars could have remade the entire world, and that’s nothing to mention the myriad lives extinguished by Bush’s illegal invasion. Obama may not be a perfect candidate, but he will at least try to lead us to a better world, and he’s the first politician in a while who has a legitimate chance of making it there.

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About Patrick

  • Ed Ross

    A little history is in order here. #1: The GOP has not controlled the levers of power in Washington for the last 8 years. They have not had a majority in the Senate since at least 04, and in the House since 06. #2: Which candidate voted against the war? It wasn’t McCain, it wasn’t Biden, and those are the two of the four who were in Federal office when the vote was taken. #3: Bush did not lie to lead the U.S. into war. #4: to cast the Democrats as centrist is idiotic.

  • Sara

    Real Reason why McCain chose Palin : Sexist and condescending
    PROOF.

    Also his poor record of voting against equal pay for women and opposing Equal Roles for Women in the Military should be the business of American women voters.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ed, this is just a partisan hit piece. We’ve been flooded with new writers in the last couple of weeks, all of them spewing out this same party-line silliness, but we’re editorial non-partisan, and I’m pretty confident that the readers can tell how weak the kind of arguments you see in this article are.

    This quote is what scares me about the left:

    “what I care about is that she thinks it’s acceptable to have guns in peoples’ homes, and that she actually goes hunting herself. If shooting things is a small town value, perhaps it’s best to stay with the ‘beltway elite.”

    They’d be perfectly happy to take away our fundamental rights and sell us out to the same old washington insiders. That’s not the message of change I’m looking for.

    Dave

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dave “all of them spewing out this same party-line silliness that the readers can tell how weak the kind of arguments you see in this article are”

    Not that I agree with this article Dave (some I do, some I don’t) but is that really the kind of remark that an editor and leader on this website should post where new writers are sure to read it?

    It goes back to my assertion before that unless you write opinions at most, just right of center-but no further to the left, you may get your article published (grudgingly-which is the impression you’re giving above,) but it’ll be torn to shreds within minutes of publishing, and not by the general reading public, but by people/editors in charge who are supposed to be neutral.

    I’m wrong, I know I’m wrong, I’m a fool and an idiot according to many in charge here-so be it.

    But this kind of obvious bias is what caused us to lose intelligent people like Gonzo amongst others, and why I haven’t published a single article, unless it’s on my own site, for months.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Ed “Bush did not lie to lead the U.S. into war.” is very debatable-if he didn’t lie, why did he have the GOP congress sneak immunity from being prosecuted for war crimes, into a bill that was overwhelmingly passed before they/he lost power over congres?

  • Mr. B

    To our creative writer Patrick,

    For starters when are you going to grow up and stop spewing that nonsense that the President lied about going to war? Hillary Clinton herself stated on more than one occasion that her husband had the exact same Intel regarding WMD’s and the threat that Iraq presented to the world. Only our country wasn’t attacked during Clinton’s administration because Al Qaeda was far too busy bombing the USS Cole in Yemen, The World Trade Center in NYC and the United States embassies in East Africa without retribution. In addition, bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi and Kenya left Al Qaeda scant free time to do little more than just plan 9/11, so the attack would have to wait 6 months until the next administration took over.
    Secondly, what makes you think Barack Obama is some savior who’s going to lead us to a better word? Because he says so? He hasn’t run a single thing in his entire life and barely voted during his brief 3 years as a Senator (abstained from voting 130 times). How is he going to unite the country when he’s the single most liberal Senator (National Journal 2007) and has never crossed party lines to back any prominent bi-partisan legislation. I guess this better place you speak of has no room for moderates or conservatives, just ultra liberals.
    Listen, I’m not in love with the current administration, but I’m certainly not stupid enough to compound the problem by voting for a candidate constructed of smoke, mirrors and catch phrases like “real change”. Never in the history of America has a candidate had so many unanswered questions concerning his past, his beliefs and his plans this close to an actual election. He’s been insulated by the mainstream media and won’t have to discuss anything of substance until the mandatory Presidential debates, because no one dares to ask him a tough question for fear the emperor has no clothes. By the way, McCain wanted several more debates but Obama refused…I wonder why? When Obama’s not abstaining from votes in the Senate he’s busy changing his ultra liberal views on gun control, the death penalty, abortion and the war to more moderate positions to keep up with the polls and to pander to the more conservative voters. So where is this real change anyway? It sounds like politics as usual to me.

    PS – Your probably one of those clowns that still believes that Bush stole the presidential election in 2000 as well.

  • Arch Conservative

    Wow I guess Palin’s speech drove all the kooks out from under their rocks and they ended up on BC.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Our “intel” was wrong. We know that now. That’s scary. Our “intel” was very very wrong and we have one of the, supposedly, best intelligence services in the world. One thing we do know is that Saddam had nothing to do with bombing the World Trade Center. Yet, we went into Iraq anyway. That has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or tinfoil hats.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Lisa, sometimes you seem like an intelligent person. How can you repeat garbage like the idea that we went into Iraq because of the World Trade Center. Go READ the AUMF for Iraq. Does it say anything about Saddam attacking the WTC? It has 17 points explaining why Iraq was invaded. None of them have to do with the WTC attack.

    The concept was a ‘war on terror’ so we invaded two of the top three state sponsors of terror in the world, thereby surrounding the third and in the process putting troops on the borders of #4 and #5 and getting #6 to voluntarily forswear terrorism. It’s called S T R A T E G Y – look it up.

    Dave

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Oh Dave. Oh Dave. I am not even going to debate this issue with you.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    dave, sometimes you seem like an intelligent person, but then you unzip your head and let your condescending flop out.

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    Hmm… IMHO I think BC has been quite even tempered, presenting opinions of both of the major sides.

    Now, if someone could shed some light on the other obscure parties, that would be nice.

  • troll

    Dave – your point is well taken…doesn’t this US strategy require that there be no ‘standing down’ in Iraq until Iran is ‘dealt with’ – ?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Mark, it gets frustrating dealing with the same stupid ass questions over and over again from people who are ideologically programmed with misinformation.

    Troll, strategies evolve, and there could certainly be more than one acceptable way to resolve what Bush started. As you may recall I’ve never agreed with Bush’s approach to the war on terror, but I at least recognize what he did as an actual strategy that makes some sense, regardless of the poor execution and unrealistically ambitious character of it.

    But I agree that to follow the original strategy one of several outcomes is necessary. Either Iraq has to have a functional pro-western government with a military capable of fighting Iran to a standstill, perhaps with the help of allies. Or there needs to be a substantial change in the character of the Iranian regime, either through a revolution or a substantial change in state policy. I do not believe that an actual invasion was ever a realistic option and still isn’t.

    But there are other potential solutions. For example, we could leave the region so destabilized that Iran had to take on the role of peacekeeper and thus overextend and destabilize itself because of sectarian hostility, possibly leading to a war with Saudi Arabia and a pack of Arab allies. It’s a crappy and inhumane solution, but cheap.

    Dave

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Are you trying to imply that you aren’t ideologically programmed then? Rich comedy there…

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Woah, I missed a major memo somewhere. We DIDN’T invade Iraq because of imaginary WMDs that Bush thought Saddam was training terrorists how to use on the WTC?????????????????

  • Jordan Richardson

    Nope. You invaded Iraq because of 17 wonderful flavours…er, I mean 17 different reasons (16 of which were made up on the fly as lame excuses in case Reason #1 didn’t cut the public’s mustard).

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oh, you mean Bush was trying to save what little was left of his father’s honor for not taking out Saddam when he had the chance?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yes, sir. I believe that was Reason #12, if I recall correctly. I believe Reason #18, which was left off by mistake, had something to do with wanting to catch an early glimpse of Saddam’s novel, I’m Okay, You’re Uday.

  • http://www.thoughtsonstuff.com Patrick

    For starters when are you going to grow up and stop spewing that nonsense that the President lied about going to war? Hillary Clinton herself stated on more than one occasion that her husband had the exact same Intel regarding WMD’s and the threat that Iraq presented to the world…bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi and Kenya left Al Qaeda scant free time to do little more than just plan 9/11, so the attack would have to wait 6 months until the next administration took over.

    And, what do the two have to do with each other? Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq until we invaded. Iraq had nothing to do with the ‘war on terror’ or getting back at the people who attacked us on 9/11, it was unrelated. Perhaps you think it was still a good idea to invade, that’s a potentially valid reading, but don’t claim that doing so made us safer.

    Secondly, what makes you think Barack Obama is some savior who’s going to lead us to a better word? Because he says so?

    If you read the article, you’ll see that I outright said that I don’t see Obama’s policies as particularly revolutionary, it’s precisely the way that he speaks, the way that he’s able to excite people about the process that makes him such a powerful candidate. And, I think the judgment he showed on the Iraq War, the Bush tax increases and other prominent issues indicates an ability to view problems in a more insightful way than McCain.

    How is he going to unite the country when he’s the single most liberal Senator (National Journal 2007) and has never crossed party lines to back any prominent bi-partisan legislation.

    As I also discussed earlier, it’s absolutely absurd for Republicans to criticize people for never crossing party lines when they’ve got a totally united voting block that never ventures from the party line. And, even if something passes the senate that they don’t want, Bush is going to veto it. Also, he has backed prominent bi-partisan legislation, such as the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, with John McCain himself.

    And, on a different tact:

    Re: Guns
    They’d be perfectly happy to take away our fundamental rights and sell us out to the same old washington insiders. That’s not the message of change I’m looking for.

    It’s no one’s fundamental right to have a gun. Ordinary citizens are not a ‘well regulated militia,’ and having guns out there only causes more violence. Why is it that conservatives are so zealous to protect the law of the land when it comes to guns, but aren’t so strict when it comes time to not torture people?

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    They’re too busy playing with their blow-ticklers and rabble horns Patrick, I’m just hoping this website will be back to normal after they lose the election.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    News Flash-Confused National Guards sent to Atlanta after Bush was told Russians invading Georgia.

  • Cannonshop

    Um, Patrick?

    The Supreme Court disagrees. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. (Heller vs. Washington D.C.)

    Having been on a Campus with “Speech Codes” (I went to school during the last layoff), I can say without reservation that Libs do not support free speech, either. In fact, y’all seem to be as eyebrow deep in Hypocrisy as any televangelist, but without the scruples to be embarassed by it.

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