In 1984, they roused the rabble by having a Two Minute Hate. The Democrats just finished up a Four Day Hate.
Thinking back over as much of this week’s Democratic national convention as I could stand to watch, I’m struck by a lingering taste of empty hatefulness and dishonesty. Please don’t take this as any kind of nod to Republicans, but the Democrats this week put on the most distasteful show I’ve ever seen for a major party national convention.
There was not even the start of any real idea of a program being put forward- good, bad or indifferent. They didn’t present any plan. What, in particular, is President John Kerry going to do in Iraq? He’s going to get our allies on board. How – with his stunning charisma and quick wit? And just what special magic is it he thinks Chirac is going to do to make things work?
Christopher Hitchens, Rand bless his pinko heart, does the most precise dissection of the weaselness of Kerry’s speech, and perhaps THE most egregious part (built up in advance) in which Kerry talked about “opening firehouses in Baghdad and shutting them in the United States of America.”
This particularly galls me coming from this righteous rich liberal. If some cracker from Franklin County, Indiana were talking like that, complaining about sending all our money to them there fureners overseas, they would be (to some extent rightly) condemned as ignorant racists. As if whatever 1/2 of 1% of our budget in the next couple of years goes to Iraqi rebuilding is the cause of our problems.
Begrudging the Iraqis a little money to start re-constructing their country after we tore it up twice in a dozen years seems particularly hypocritical and weak coming from many of the same people who complained for all those dozen years in between about how economic sanctions were killing Iraqis. Lining up firemen to pan the cameras to in support of this cheap demagoguery reflected pretty badly on them as well.
Kerry was also particularly egregiously dishonest when he carried on with the nonsense about how terrible it was that US families were doing bake sales to raise money for body armor after he and Edwards famously voted against the $87 billion dollars, way most of which was just exactly money for our troops.
Damn John Kerry most of all for putting me in the position of even halfway defending the Republicans. Nonetheless, Bush would not be trying to put across whoppers like this. Honest or not, he knows he’d never be allowed to get away with anything like the dishonest and deceitful talk from these Democrats.
The only thing cohesing the group at this convention was their pure, unadulterated hatred for President Bush. Again, I’m surely not the president of the President Bush Fan Club, but absolutely nobody gives a rat’s ass for John Kerry. Depending on how you count them, probably fully half of the big applause lines were some kind of bitter personal attacks on the president or vice president. Pat Buchanan at his most hostile convention performances had nothing on these speakers – except that he was a better speech writer and speaker.
Perhaps the most maliciously dishonest example came from the real spiritual leader of the Democrats, Ted Kennedy, “The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush.”
The dishonest part mostly comes from their not very successful attempt at hiding this hate mob mentality. All week, one speaker after another was cut and trimmed severely by Kerry’s people so as not to look like some fascist hate rally on tv. Howard Dean and Al Gore were particularly neutered.
Yet all that hate couldn’t help coming through. Even Barack Obama, the new anointed rising rock star with the positive message of empty platitudes had to get in that nasty and dishonest dig about votes being counted “most of the time.”
The hate came through, though; it was simply gray in the presentation. They carefully throttled it down. Dean turned off the famous ranting, at least in front of the television cameras on the convention floor.
Kerry himself made some of the worst slanders, except that he did it mostly in slimy backhanded ways. He insisted on talking about how he would never “mislead the country into war.” This despite Bush being exonerated of these baseless charges of lying by the British inquiry and our 9/11 commission. The truth value of his statements obviously matters not to him.
It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if they had just unzipped themselves and had an open hatefest. Watching the veins on Dean’s neck bulge would have been honest and invigorating. Kerry directly pounding the lectern and calling Bush a liar would have been at least straightforward, open to being answered.
Instead, they kind of half-implied ugly stuff half under their breath. They tried to have their hate, but not look like they’re foaming at the mouth. They were foaming at the mouth under their breath.