The Convention from BCC’s Own Intrepid Roving Reporter

Yes, the one and only true Mormon blog managed to sneak a correspondent into the RNC this past week. Yours truly spent a couple of memorable days sitting in Madison Square Garden, with press credentials around my neck, smiling politely and thinking…”whatever you do, don’t let anyone know you’re a Democrat.” I was planning on filing blow by blow descriptions of the Convention, but didn’t quite manage to become cyber-enabled in New York. (Thus explaining one reason that I’m a fake reporter instead of a real reporter). So, you’ll have to settle for my end of the week overall impressions.

1. I’m apparently easily star struck. Here’s a list of people that I stared at from an embarressingly close distance: Don King, Peter Jennings, Brooks and Dunn, Some Christian Rock Band with Really Really Hot Guys (not their actual name), Sarah Evans, Larry King, George H.W. Bush, Anderson Cooper, some guy from ABC news with a fake tan, and the very best…..Triumph the Comic Insult Dog WHO WAS FILMING RIGHT BEHIND MY CHAIR!!!! Oh, and Zell Miller, which leads me to point number two….

2. Zell Miller scared me. Not the Republicans though, they loved him. Which scared me too. Here’s the story. I finagled (read, “politely asked for”) a floor pass, pushed my way to the front of the floor to watch Sarah Evans up close, and then Zell Miller started talking, so I decided to stay. And then people started shrieking like banshees all around me, and pressing in closer, and I started feeling really claustrophobic…..which probably heightened my sense of fear. But really, just his talk kind of scared me. I wanted to shout out logical phrases (like: “none of this makes sense unless you can prove a connection between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, which you can’t!”) refuting his reactionary rant, but that sure didn’t seem wise. So I just made my way back to the press section wishing that I had taken at least one other Democrat in my travel group–someone that could share my wide-eyed look of trepidation. Who knew that Chris Matthews would soon be my wide-eyed ally, lending some credibility to my fear….

3. Old people who are Republicans dress up in really funny hats, and you can laugh at them behind their backs, and even take their pictures, and they like it!

4. The audience reacted very differently to Cheney and Bush. Cheney was just another speaker. Didn’t register nearly as much applause as his new buddy Zell. At some points, I think the audience was just being polite in it’s reaction to Cheney. Bush, on the other hand, was a rock star– surrounded by screaming masses of old ladies in funny hats–audience chanting and waving signs as cued by the young Republicans sitting behind the stage. They LOVED his self deprecating jokes, they LOVED his smirky disses on Kerry, and they LOVED when he talked like the commander in chief. Here is something they didn’t love though, about either Bush or Cheney: domestic policy. Cheney got in about two lines. I think education and health care. Barely a smattering of polite applause. Bush hit it a little more. Again, even for the Elvis of the Republican party, barely polite applause. The Republicans were not interested in domestic policy. Nothing nada. They are counting on the traditional strength of the Republican Party–national security–and are, I suppose, hoping that people don’t dig too deeply into the logic or morality of this administration’s choices. Whether this means that the Democrats should concentrate on pointing out the rash and ultimately harmful security actions of this administration, or whether they should concentrate on the economy and domestic issues, I don’t know. But it was loud and clear what the Republicans were relying on, to the exclusion of any other issues.

5. If I wanted to rip off my dress and reveal my “pink slip” underneath (clever clever) while shouting anti-Bush slogans, I too could have been carted off by two amazingly buff security guards like the woman in the section next to me. But it didn’t so much seem worth it.

6. The convention was surprisingly negative. I heard a pundit say that they counted a TOTAL of five references to President Bush in the entire Democratic Convention. In Cheney’s speech alone, there were dozens. And many of the other speeches had the same tone. They were clearly winding up for a dirty campaign, and the audience LOVED IT. I think we’re in for a very long 60 days.

7. Mitt Romney was a disappointment–much to my surprise. He was by far, and I think to his credit, the most polite of the “bash Kerry” speakers. But, there was no fire, no electricity, no inspiration. If he was hoping to use this as his entrance into the national Republican limelight, I think it was a failure.

8. As Jen mentioned, there were policemen everywhere. But rather than seeming menacing, they were pretty much just hanging out. A couple of them cat-called my roommate and I. Which was tres amusant. I never felt threatened, though. Although, I imagine this had something to do with the fact that I was wearing press credentials, and walking in the midst of the Republican crowd. The only problem I ever had was after my friend and I went down to the Media Welcome Center to grab some dinner. We had left our picture i.d.’s up under our chairs in the arena. The security guards didn’t want to let us back in. It quickly became clear to me that they were worried that we were protestors with slogans written on our underwear, and for a brief moment I was worried I was going to have to undress in the middle of a metal detector line to prove that rather than a protestor I was just a nice Mormon girl–thereby bringing to life a recurring nightmare I’ve had since junior high. Fortunately, some sweet smiles and polite assurances that we were not protestors eventually got us back into the Convention. All in all it taught me valuable lesson. Next time I pretend to be a reporter, I shouldn’t expect to get free food out of it.

Comments

  1. john fowles says:

    (cont.) (Sorry Steve Evans)

    (5) take the war to the terrorists and away from American soil. The terrorists started the war; we did not, unless you subscribe to wild conspiracy theories that 9/11 was anything but a surprise attack in the good old fashioned sense of that word (i.e. no amount of preparation short of actual knowledge could have prevented it–if you want to find the person to blame, see the video released by the 9/11 commission of the negligent airport security workers who are shown letting some of the hijackers through security).

    My point is that it is very easy to criticize what Bush has done but we need to realize that we are not privy to all of the information that Bush has at his disposal. Also, hindsight is 20/20 and it is fallacious to judge Bush’s decisions in a crisis on what a professional commission has dug up after months of research. He had to make his decision with the intelligence available at the time and did so with a strength of character that is admirable, or should be, to everyone, regardless of political persuasion.

    As to your distasteful reaction to the RNC, you are allowed to your opinion and I would never presume to take it away or force you to believe something else, but I am also entitled to mine and here is what I suspect: you went to the RNC expecting to see something and so that is exactly what you saw. To be sure, the fact that you saw it meant that it was indeed there. The thing is, though, that you might have missed myriad other things (many positive) because of your focus, which stems from your openly admitted preconceived worldview.

    I thought that Bush’s speech was very good, objectively speaking (i.e. no Elvis-comparison necessary). He only began on Iraq after spending 35 minutes on domestic issues. He was good-natured in his criticisms of Kerry and his self-deprecation, which you jeered at, was really very funny. One reason that it was funny was that it confronted much of the personality criticism that the left hurls at Bush head-on and accepts some of it while showing how silly it it at the same time.

  2. john fowles says:

    If I wanted to rip off my dress and reveal my “pink slip” underneath (clever clever) while shouting anti-Bush slogans, I too could have been carted off by two amazingly buff security guards like the woman in the section next to me.

    I sense a latent criticism of the Republicans in this statement, as if you are implying that Republicans are too quick to “sensor” speech or something like that; I guess I would just point out that if a protester did that at the Democrat Convention they would have been carted away in the exact same manner as someone interrupting the program.

    They are counting on the traditional strength of the Republican Party–national security–and are, I suppose, hoping that people don’t dig too deeply into the logic or morality of this administration’s choices.

    I suppose that you have some morally superior insight than half of all Americans who avidly support Bush. For example, rather than believe that Bush really believed that there were WMD, I suppose you hold to conspiracy theories instead. Maybe you even sign on to Michael Moore type hysteria as to evil designs of personal enrichment. Bush is anything but a sincere and religious man, right? He is evil and has malicious designs.

    The convention was surprisingly negative.

    So the RNC actually addressed the opponent, his record, and his character? You mean politics has stooped so low?

    I guess that there is no reason for you to hold back on your own negativity then.

  3. So the RNC actually addressed the opponent, his record, and his character? You mean politics has stooped so low?

    This is not the issue. The issue is that the incumbent obviously feels that he can’t run on his own record. When he spoke of his goals for the next four years, it was as if some other guy had been president.

    I have decided that we are like the battered wife, convinced that he’s going to be better to us in the future.

  4. Who knew that Chris Matthews would soon be my wide-eyed ally, lending some credibility to my fear….

    I feel Chris Matthew’s reporting on the RNC was quite miserable and biased. At least a few questions I heard him ask (not that I was following him too closely) were so loaded and inaccurate in their assumptions that I was wondering how a supposed consummate professional like Chris Matthews could be asking them.

    I can fully understand a reporter being liberal and I don’t have any problem with that — I just expect them to at least make an attempt to appear objective and reasonable.

  5. Nathan Tolman says:

    ?

    Book burning is obviously a reference to Nazis. Who has not had those old news reels of Nazi bondfires that used Freud and Enstien for kindling.

    The best refernce I could find for Evangelical bookburning was a parish or two that took a disliking to Harry Potter.

  6. Danithew,

    Good to see you on the blogs too!

    Whew, I have to say that was a bit jarring…it’s tough to be called an unprofessional journalist when you really are neither a journalist nor professional. (The closest I would ever want to get to journalism would be writing weekend update on Saturday Night Live….)

    Mmmm, yes, New York was fun, but it’s nice to be back in No. Virginia with my house, friends, and car. I’m hopelessly suburban.

  7. Nathan Tolman says:

    Did I say they were trademarked by the Nazi’s? Only that the most common image associated with the practice is the Nazi’s burning books. If I remember correctly there is a passage in Acts where converted sorcerers come out and burn their books of sorcery (Acts 19:19) but I doubt that is what Dean had in mind. Dou you think it was an appropriate statement?

    Even if you dispute what Dean was referring to, the point is the description was a hateful one, just as full of venom as you accuse the Republicans. My point in the original post was that the Democratic Convention was not full of venom because of the some change into a kinder, gentler party after dragging Bush through the mud for the previous year or so. It was because they were stopped from doing these things.

    On intellectual honesty:

    With all the condemnation of Republican vitriol on this page, it is strange that Democratic excesses are given passes.

    BTW I was examining the statement, not Dean as a whole. Beyond the Angry Man front, Dean had some solid, common sense, left-of-center policies, that would have gave him a good one-two-punch in the general race. He would have been a much better candidate than Kerry, but alas, the myth of electibility . . .

  8. Judy Brooks says:

    Hang in there, Karen! You’re doing great.

    I’m just shaking my head at your opposition. :(

  9. Have you forgotten the people that assembled around the country, at the behest of radio stations and conservative groups, to burn their Dixie Chicks CDs after Natalie Maines talked trash about Bush during a concert.

    And Braden, I’m astonished that you think the attacks on Bush were harsher than those on Kerry. I don’t want to get into it here (there was quite a tussle about it over at OT and PoliticalJuice), but really, there were some charges lobbed during the RNC that were knowingly, outrageously false — simply in terms of factual record, setting aside the nasty tone in which they were made.

  10. Heh. I’ll have to be careful how I write and make sure I’m clear about what/who I’m talking about. I went back and read what I wrote originally and I can see how it could appear that the second paragraph was slightly vague as to who it was referring to. Not you! :)

  11. Hmmm, John, actually, my comment about the demonstrator was to call attention to the humor of the situation and not to CENSORship. I would hope the security guards would carry out a protestor who was interrupting the speech–otherwise no one would have been listening to the President. You are right in suspecting that I am in favor of free speech, but wrong in assuming that I favor trespassing.

    Further, I would never claim to be “superior” to others, but I do disagree with the Bush administration’s foreign policy. I think that the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strikes is dangerous and short sighted, as is the administration’s disregard for the Geneva conventions. I think that ultimately, both will be used against our own soldiers and citizens–and that scares me. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but do believe that the administrations’ reliance on faulty intelligence should be carefully examined, as should their decision to focus on one rogue regime (among a possibility of several others) while the real focus should have stayed on Al-Qaeda. I think that Bush is neither evil, nor malicious, but I question his judgment and decisions regarding the war in Iraq–as is my right as an American citizen.

    Ronin, I would never refer to any one else as a “dummy” and am simply passing on what I witnessed. Sadly, I think that Al-Qaeda will try to attack the U.S. no matter who is the president, and I would expect any president of either party to respond swiftly and forcefully, acting in the best interests of the defense of the nation. I am not familiar with the term “islamofascist” and therefore don’t feel that I can directly respond to that.

    Finally, come on guys, don’t peg me with the responsibility of answering for every liberal you’ve ever disagreed with. We all know that both parties are inhabited by a wide range of opinions, from moderate to extreme. I happen to be pretty moderate–and I don’t expect you to personally take responsibility for every thing that any kind of Republican has ever said that I disagreed with….

  12. I agree that the name Bush wasn’t mentioned as much, but my recollection is that there was a great deal of criticism that was clearly directed at Bush.

    I’ll admit that I was uncomfortable with some of the criticism directed at Kerry, I thought some of it was too over the top. I also was disappointed to hear some exaggerations and lies from the Republicans (John Kerry will seek permission from the UN to defend the country–he explictly said he would not, and I would take him at his word).

    On a more partisan level, though, after hearing all the anti-Bush stuff that Nathan points out–Bush is Hitler, Bush betrayed us, Bush lied, yadda yadda, none of which were ever responded to in kind, my natural man did revel in hearing Kerry get a little of it.

    Still, and it might be partisanship coloring my recollection, the criticism I heard about Kerry was based on his record, not him as a person. I think that is a fundamental difference between the two campaigns. The Republicans (officially) disagree with Kerry’s ideas, but don’t slam his as a person. The Democrats do both, but seem to hate Bush personally as much or more than they disagree with him.

  13. I think Dixie Chicks cds should be trashed and burned on their own merits rather than for any political reasons.

  14. I wasn’t comparing the Dixie Chicks CD burnings to the Nazis, I was saying that the “burning books” reference cited above might not be as indelibly and exclusively a Nazi reference as suggested.

    And yes, there were numerous factual errors. See here for a rundown.

    As far as the personal/policy attack distinction, I think the damage done by the Swift Boat Vets have made that distinction an impractical one for politicos to worry about at this point.

  15. Nathan Tolman says:

    Jeremy,

    If Dean was talking about CDs he would have used “CDs” or “media” or “music” not “books.” I remember people going over them in a steam roller, not burning them. Plus, If this is really what he was thinking, how does the actions of relatively few of Bush’s supporters get translated into “this administration?” Again, if this is the case, Dean is being intellectually dishonest.

  16. Jeremy,
    I acknowledged one falsehood I heard, but wasn’t aware of others, but, perhaps I haven’t been following everything closely. I didn’t say that the attacks were harsher on Bush, than Kerry–I said that I felt that the attacks on Kerry were (accurate or not) directed towards his record, not on personal matters whereas there was a great deal of vitriol directed at Bush personally.

    I could be wrong, but I think that is a fairly accurate depiction–I’m open to correction, though.

    On the cd burning–that was silly and stupid. But there are two important points I’d like to make.

    1. Based on my admittedly shallow knowledge of Nazi Germany, I think there is a qualitative difference in some people trashing cd’s they purchased as opposed to trashing bookstores, finding every available copy and destroying it. The first is a form of protest, however misguided, the second is trying to get rid of those works–sponsored by the Government. That seems a compelling difference to me. The Dixie Chicks made a lot of money on those destroyed cds, I don’t think Freud, Hesse, and Einstein got a cut on what the Nazis burned.

    2. I support the Dixie Chick’s 1st Ammendment right to say whatever they like about anyone–but speech has consequences. It would be wrong for the government to impose those consequences, but citizens also have a 1st ammendment right to express their displeasure.

  17. John, as we’re both fans of diplomacy, can we call a detente? I’ll respond to your points if you stop inferring that I’m a conspiracy theorist? :o)

    Okay, my responses to your Iraq war justifications:

    1. First, I understand that intelligence is a tricky business, but from all reports, it looks as if the administration was getting the intelligence it wanted to get. I feel that with such serious business as putting American soldiers’ lives at risk, it had a very solemn obligation to be extraordinarily careful in its examination of the available facts. From reports leaking out of the white house, it seems as if they were asking the intelligence community to make a link to Iraq. That kind of single-mindedness worries me–mostly because it has the power to take attention away from more ominous threats.

    Also, the doctrine of preemptive strikes scares me. There is a reason that international law arose (I realize that some conservatives/intl rel. realists make an argument that without a judicial enforcement power, that international law isn’t really law, but I disagree, and think that precedent and international agreement have a force of legitimacy). It protects nation states from “unfair” aggression, and gives them the moral authority to respond. By saying that we support pre-emptive strikes we are no longer relying on any notion of international law to protect us, only our military strength. The same argument applies to ignoring the protections of the Geneva conventions. I think that it is unwise to subject our troops to the dangerous possibility that other parties will respond in kind, and we’ll have no moral argument against their behavior.

    Finally as to the doctrine of pre-emption. We are not invading other countries who are arguably more dangerous than Iraq. Both Iran and North Korea have or are developing nuclear capabilities–a technology that is a proven danger as opposed to the theory that there are effective deployable chemical and bio weapons. If the Bush administration is really creating a new foreign policy doctrine of preemption–then I believe it should be appliable consistently. This doctrine isn’t, and so I don’t believe that it is either efficacious or wise.

    2. I’m not convinced that the administration’s argument about enforcing UN resolutions is sincere. First, the Bush administration and conservatives in general do not consider international organizations to be credible. Bush has himself derogatorily referred to the UN as a debating society. Second, ultimatley we invaded Iraq without the blessing of the UN. The war in Iraq was a multi-lateral move on behalf of a small percentage of UN members, not a sanctioned move by the UN security council. Had it been a UN security council resolution, I would be more supportive of the war.

    3. I have no doubt that Saddam was unstable and should have been carefully monitored. I also do not agree with certain other liberals that wanted to end

  18. Karen,

    LOL! I wasn’t referring to you as an unprofessional non-objective reporter … but to Chris Matthews!

    And yes, I do recall working with you at Infobases … though that’s quite the distant memory. I had no idea! Good to see you on the blogs! Glad you made it out to New York too! Must be fun to be out there, politics notwithstanding.

  19. Karen,
    Did you attend the DNC as well? I am curious for your opinion–do you feel that the DNC was less negative than the RNC? I watched both and, in spite of all the press is reporting, I’m not sure there is much of a qualitative difference between the two. I grant that Sen. Miller showed more passion and energy than anyone at the DNC. In fact, I felt the speakers at the DNC were mostly fairly lack-luster (kind of like Mitt Romney)–they were Stepfordized or something. But, I’m not sure that they were more positive. I heard lots of subtle and not so subtle digs at Bush.
    What do you think?

  20. Karen,
    I just re-read my earlier comment. It sounds a lot harsher than I meant it to. I was sincerely asking, not trying to be snarky.

  21. Karen, an amazing report! Thanks.

    John, are you actually going to try and defend the war on Iraq on BCC? Good luck with that, brotha!

  22. john fowles says:

    Karen, were you referring to me, Danithew, or Steve with regards to infobases.

    I just want to point out, to the sure incredulity of many BCC and T&S readers, that I am not a registered republican. My own relatively conservative views developed in a rather bizarre and strikingly unpolitical way (progressing from a teenage/college student skateboarder interested in socialism to what I am now over the period of a decade and three university degrees). I have voted for democrats before and won’t exclude it in the future, although in the last couple of years the democratic party’s support for abortion and SSM has made me nervous to vote for a dem because I will be voting for those social agendas by proxy, even if the individual dem doesn’t particularly support them. Also, the special interests that fund and support the dems seem much more radical to me than the republicans’ special interests (and I am not referring to corporations here because despite much leftist rhetoric, the same corporations often contribute to PACs on both sides).

  23. LIke John said, I think the RNC Convention and the talking pundits and the ordinary republican on the street was a lot less negative compard to what I saw during the DNC in Boston. Unfortunately, I odnt have the superior in sight you and your fellow travellers seem to have, so, I guess dummies like me will continue to support Pres Bush. Because, if Kerry and his fellow travellers come to power, I wouldnt at all be surprised if the US becomes victims of Islamofascist terrorist attacks. But, talking abou people who frighten me – the raving crazies at the democratic Underground, or those who read and believe every word of what Atrios has to say, actually frighten me a lot more than Zell Miller, or Pres Bush, becasue, in their quest to be oh, so, politically correct, they refuse to see what Islamic Wahabi extremism is – terrorism, irrational and dangerous, and they are too politically correct to call for action against it.

  24. Nathan, it wasn’t just Nazis who burned books. The Christian Evangelicals seem to do it to-ala “Footloose”! ;->

  25. No need to get defensive man; I didn’t think it was an entirely appropriate statement, I just am not as worked up about it.

    I am also not as worked up about the descriptions of RNC vs DNC vitriol. Neither camp has behaved very honorably, IMHO, but I don’t have a problem with people expressing their views; Karen, having been there and witnessed things firsthand, seems to have a fairly sound basis for hers.

    p.s. I haven’t accused the Republicans of anything, I don’t think. Perhaps a different Steve?

  26. Oh, and finally, (Steve this is not an attempt to bulk up my comments!) I totally dislike Chris Matthews style, but I was referring to the incident where Zell Miller tried to challenge him to a duel. It was very very funny.

    Incidentally, I don’t know if you remember, but I’m pretty sure we were friends at BYU…worked at infobases together before I left on my mission for Russia? Ring any bells?

  27. Okay sorry, should have known that would happen….(cont….)

    3. I have no doubt that Saddam was unstable and should have been carefully monitored. I also do not agree with certain other liberals that wanted to end the sanctions against Iraq pre-war. I think that ultimately, as in the case of Libya, sanctions are effective in bringing a bout internal change–one which citizens can have ownership over.

    4. I have three problems with “CREATING free societies.” First, this is not traditionally a Republican notion. There was no support for proposed interference in the former Yugoslavia…a traditionally explosive region that was dealing with a problem of genocide. There is no serious discussion of overthrowing the government in Sudan, even though Africa has been proven as a region susceptible to terrorist threats.

    Second, The notion of CREATING a free society (esp. in the middle east, esp. now when the US is viewed with such mistrust) is a pretty heady concept. In order for a democracy to really function, citizens have to have ownership over their society.

    Third, I’m totally uncomfortable with the idea of the US overthrowing a sovereign government to create a goverment to our liking. It smacks of colonialism and Soviet-type expansion. I realize that the US is only trying to encourage democracy, a form of government that I believe to be morally superior, but we shouldn’t use the tactics of governments with which we so fundamentally disagree.

  28. Nathan Tolman says:

    On the RNC Bashing:

    One should remember there was plenty of Bush bashing in Boston, that only trickled into the DNC convention. Can you find Republican rehtoric, inside or outside the convention, that compares with Dean’s statement, made before a forum sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future in Cambridge MA, that the Bush administration is “an administration where they like book burning better than reading books.” Comparing people to the Nazis is not only disingenuous, but rhetorically hollow.

    There was little Bush bashing in Boston, not because the Democrats are suddenly convinced of the need for a positive campaign, after dragging Bush through the mud for almost a year. It was just that anti-Bush statements were muted.

  29. Sorry about that….I’m pretty sure I worked with Danithew at infobases in provo before my mission, unless I have him mixed up with someone else….entirely possible on the internet….

  30. Sorry Braden, I got so caught up in my foreign policy nerdiness that I ignored you. Actually, I think it’s a really great question–and I can’t answer it. I wasn’t at the Dem’s convention. (Although I wish I would have been able to go, I think it would have been fascinating to compare the two.)

    Here are my suspicions. I think that Kerry was actually named many more times at the RNC than Bush was named at the DNC. I’ve heard pundits say it, and it tracks with my recollection. (although that doesn’t touch your point of inferred criticism….) However, I’m sure that I was much more sensitive to Kerry bashing, because I was feeling a little outnumbered in the stadium. So I’m totally willing to admit that my perceptions were at work as well. Does anyone else want to attempt an objective opinion?

    One thing that did strike me was that the Republicans seemed to have set aside Wednesday night as the night to dish dirt on Kerry. There was a newspaper aimed at journalists covering only the convention made available to the press corps. I recall reading that the Republicans were careful in their selection as to who had to be the bad guys, speaking on Wednesday night. For instance, Romney’s lieutenant governor spoke before he did, and the conventional wisdom seemed to be that she was there to warm up the crowd so Romney wouldn’t look so harsh. I suspect it was the same for Zell Miller and Cheney. Cheney looked positively tame after Miller spoke. I wish I would have saved the paper, because it was pretty fascinating….

  31. john fowles says:

    Sorry for misspelling “censor.” But thanks for calling me on it, though.

    I guess that such a display could really only be funny to a fellow dem because it seemed irresponsible and radical to me, as an observer. I also hope that you don’t harbor any beliefs that republicans somehow have less interest in (legitimate) freedom of speech than dems (even though it is of course your right to believe anything you want to–even republicans will admit that).

    I also happen to be uncomfortable with Bush’s foreign policy and above everything, with his diplomacy. What aggravates me, though, is the Catch 22 that Bush is being held accountable to even though he didn’t participate in creating it: people accuse the US whether they intervene or not, so who is to say that intervention in Iraq was unwise?

    Let’s look at Bush’s goals with invading Iraq:

    (1) preempt a real threat to the US (it is true that WMD have not yet been found and that faulty intelligence might have been responsible for the information that Saddam had deployable WMD, but that doesn’t change the duty of the President of the US to defend the country against such a threat when it is reported);

    (2) enforce UN Security Council resolutions, both the resolution ending the Gulf War and the unaminous resolution threatening consequences for Saddam if he did not cooperate fully with weapons inspectors and disarm;

    (3) destroy the terrorists’ support network–you have said that Bush cannot prove a connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, well, that is not exactly what the 9/11 report found and anyway, what about the way Saddam was funding the Palenstinian suicide bombers? Isn’t that evidence of his goodwill towards what ronin terms “islamofascists” (which is really a very good description of these people), and that the intelligence Bush had about such a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda was credible to him as a result during the period in which he was making such difficult decisions in the interest of protecting America?

    (4) create a free society in the heart of the middle east and let freedom do its own work from there (why would a leftist–who usually are the idealists around here, aren’t they–find fault with this motive?). Bush has good precedent on this point, see invasion/occupation of Germany and the result of a free and stable democracy in the heart of Europe;

  32. Steve, please don’t shoot me!!!

    5. Terrorists absolutely started the conflict with us. Please stop trying to paint me as some sort of conspiracy theorist. I don’t disagree with the notion of taking to fight to them. I think it is a necessary show of force, and mandatory to a good defense. However, I don’t think that goal logically leads to the overthrow of a foreign government with only arguable and tenuous ties to those terrorists. I believe that the continued attempt to discuss Iraq and Al-Qaeda in the same breath is a rhetorical device meant to scare people into agreeing with a move that they would otherwise find distasteful. This is not a radical viewpoint, but a worry shared by most Democrats.

    Finally, John and Danithew, I saw plenty in New York that I was impressed with. But I was posting my “report” on a snarky liberal site, and qualified it with several references to my status as a sneaked in fake reporter. I’m really sad that you mistook my attempt at humor for a lack of objectivity as a serious reporter….clearly a writers flaw that I’ll have to work on.

    I was impressed with the organization of the party, and with the consistency of message. Everyone knows what the Republicans stand for. The Republicans are handling this campaign so much better than the democrats, and it is something we Democrats should be worried about.

    I also thought that Bush’s speech was probably the best I’d seen him give. And I’m serious that the audience LOVED him. Rock star loved him. The Elvis reference was to the audience reaction, not to Bush. He’s not exactly a pelvic thrusting, wooing ballad kind of guy. I also thought that his jokes were very funny, and they got hearty laughs, even in the impassive press section I was sitting in. I also met a lot of really nice people there, and really enjoyed myself.

    But, fundamentally, I was not “converted” as all my winking Republican friends kept asking me….

  33. Take it from me, it’s really hard to burn a CD. They just melt into weird shapes. Unless you have a CD burner, of course….

    Nathan, I agree with Jeremy: burning books/steamrolling CDs is not trademarked by the Nazis. It’s the hallmark of all intolerance, regardless of political affiliation. If you want to question Dean’s intellectual honesty, I think you may want to find more substantive grounds on which to do so.

  34. Howdy Blogger,
    I’m impressed with what you wrote here in your The Convention from BCC’s Own Intrepid Roving Reporter post. I gave up my search for rash guards information and wanted to hang out here on your blog – well done. I might make a blog like yours about rash guards, but I wouldn’t try to compete with you. You’re doing a great job Blogger.
    You got a great thing going… by friend.

  35. Hi Blogger,
    I have to say that your blog hits the spot!
    I was out looking for information on rashguards volcom but found your post: The Convention from BCC’s Own Intrepid Roving Reporter to be far more interesting than what I was looking for. Quite a good job you’re doing on your site here… I’m thinking about making a blog about rashguards volcom I want to make it look like yours here. If you have any tips or secrets maybe you could share :)

    It was great to visit your blog, thanks.

  36. Aloha Blogger,
    I’m a visitor from Hawaii and just found your post The Convention from BCC’s Own Intrepid Roving Reporter. I like it… it’s interesting so I decided to read and say hi. Although my interests are mostly about rashguard related information right now, your blog got my attention and was a nice change. Thanks for your nice blog Blogger, I think I’ll tell my cousin to stop by if that’s okay.
    ~ Aloha ~

  37. Blogger, this has got to stop! People like you are doing a great job on their blogs yet people still manage to junk them up with spammy comments. I’ve given up, one of my blogs is getting destroyed with the clutter of these comments. Oh well, I guess there’s still a lot to enjoy. My grappling rash guards site is starting to be a better investment of my time. It’s easy to maintain, there’s a lot of information on grappling rash guards out there so I’m not having much trouble there. I don’t know what to do… You’re doing such a great job and I wish my blogs were like yours!

    Thanks for letting me post.

  38. Hi, you almost lost me for one second there… but I’m glad I didn’t click away. First, I enjoyed your post, and second, maybe you can help. I don’t know how much blog spam you get but I get tons on my blog. Most of the time I’m talking about grappling rash guards stuff because I have a grappling rash guards website, and people post all this junk with their links and stuff. As blog owners, I guess we’ll always be subject to the unethical and inconsiderate. Well, hopefully it’s not driving you to crazy… Good luck partner, enjoy the positives friend.

    Bye ~

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