War is Peace - Freedom is Slavery - Ignorance is Strength

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Serious Consequences

God damn. I'm up to my ears in the fucking bullshit that GWB dumped all over my television screen tonight.

Like the good German that I am, I got fucking loaded this evening, and watched The President's convention speech. I even chanted "U - S - A" along with the delegates, cheering on our great leader, or as the German's would say, Der Fuhrer.

In all actuality, I found the Republican herd to be suprisingly subdued, and unenthused about Bush's speech. While they certainly did cheer, and occasionally build up the "four more years" chant to a reasonable crescendo, the response was not the orgiastic celebration of certain victory that usually accompanies the speech of an incumbent president at their convention. One reason that the crowd may have been somewhat unawed is simply that The President's speech was so lackluster and lacking in original material. The only real policy proposals that the president made were Social Security "reform," and "simplifying the tax code," which happen to be proposals which he also made the first time he was running for President, and with considerably more detail at that time than he provided now.

To be fair, Bush couldn't spend much time proposing new policies because he had to devote large amounts of time to defending and explaining away the policies he has already instituted. Foremost amongst the blunders that Bush had to spin on was Iraq, and the terrible miscalculations that he and his advisors made about WMD. This portion of the speech was really my favorite.

Somehow it is perversely entertaining to me to watch Bush lean into the podium, squint up his beady pig eyes, drop his voice to a tone usually reserved for addressing children, and "make" his case for why it was still a good idea to invade Iraq. "In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences." I'm sure that Evil Dick explains it to him exactly the same way.

On the economy - the most important issue to actual voters - Bush offered little more than the same hollow claims that his policies really have worked, and we just have to wait a little longer (i.e. at least till November 3) to see the results. The convention crowd, composed mostly of white-bread upper middle-class idiots, lapped up Bush's assertion that making permanent his tax giveaway to the ultra-rich would cement the "economic recovery" and spread prosperity to all.

Sadly for the Bush Campaign, poll after poll shows that a strong majority of the public is well aware that this is total horse shit. Somehow, the memory of a one-time $400 dollar tax-rebate doesn't bring nearly as much satisfaction - three years on - as having a job, or health care for you and your family. And the joy of knowing that the people who live in the hills above you have an extra one, or ten thousand dollars in their pocket come tax time, doesn't really salve the pain of knowing that most of the social security payroll tax being taken out of your already meager paycheck is being used for general government expenses, instead of being invested in a trust fund to pay for your benefits when you retire.

Serious policy (if it can be called that) critique aside, the speech also had plenty of partisan fluff, most of which was recycled, including the "Actually I voted for it, before I voted against it" crowd-pleaser. The one gem, which I believe was new, (at least I hadn't heard it before) was a quote from a New York Times editorial that Bush read.
In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same person's still around, writing editorials.
The selection of this quote is really hilarious because it is so fucking a-historical, and assumes that the listener knows absolutely nothing about the aftermath of World War II.

Now, I am a little drunk right now, but let me do my best. At the end of the war our "occupation policy" was to split Berlin and consequently Germany into occupation zones controlled by the United States, France, Russia, (and Britain I think). The result of this policy was the blockade of Berlin by the Russians, and ultimately the institution of a communist government in East Germany that took another 45 years to get rid of. This is something that GWB should know something about because he just announced a plan to realign our armed forces by dramatically reducing our troop levels in Germany. When that rotation takes place we will have been in Germany for sixty years. Hopefully we can get our troops out of Iraq a little more quickly.

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