Home > GOP & The Election, Political Ranting > A Look at Two Convention Speeches: Part Two

A Look at Two Convention Speeches: Part Two

September 6th, 2004

And finally, on to Bush’s convention speech.

Naturally, he opens with references to the bravery of others, on 9/11 and in the invasion of Iraq; in essence, he is saying, if you honor them, then you honor me. An easy sell, but dishonest as well; their honor is not his, their actions are divorced from his, not representative.

But then, he lapses into a strange metaphor of hills and valleys. 9/11 was a hill? And how is now a valley? Not exactly “morning in America” or even “the shining city on the hill.” Anyway, he goes on to praise Dick Cheney, his wife, his father, and then name-drops Ronald Reagan. But he quickly ventured into policy; according to some observers, the idea was that if anyone happened to flip through and momentarily watch the speech, they’d hear at least a few policy point.

In education, he claims progress–but there is no evidence that progress is being made. Bush continues to massively underfund NCLB, and those students who do attend Bush’s “magic bullet” charter schools have scored worse than students at public schools (probably exactly because Bush has failed to fund them). And instead of trying to fix the system, Bush is simply getting his Department of Education to stop collecting information on charter schools so no one will be the wiser, and instead hopes people will simply buy his unsupported line about how education is “improving.”

He then spoke of strengthening Medicare, but he has only done a spectacular job of destroying it. He lied to Congress and the people about the costs of the program he pushed through Congress. He illegally used government funds to create a Bush campaign commercial under the guise of “educating the public” about his plan. He cornered seniors into committing to a single plan for buying drugs, which the pharmaceutical companies can renegotiate whenever they like; he blocked the government from negotiating better prices for drugs, like many countries do to great affect; and now, we find out that Bush’s medicare prices are jumping by 17%, the greatest rise in premiums ever for medicare. In short, he’s done an abysmal job, and yet crows about how he’s some kind of Medicare Savior.

He goes on about his tax cuts, claiming that it benefitted “America’s workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers.” Bull. He only shifted the tax burden onto the middle class while dangling a plastic carrot “tax cut” for the middle class that was nothing more than a tax hike in disguise, while slashing taxes for the rich. “Farmers and ranchers” are a suggestion that his plan to eliminate the estate tax saves farms, when nothing of the sort is true–the individual farmer and rancher already have protections; the Bush changes only benefit the wealthy. And after three years, his magic solution to the weak economy is still ineffectual; the economy is still anemic, and the job market is destitute.

He recycles “compassionate conservatism,” with the term being just as ambiguous and without real meaning as it was four years ago. He claims that “government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives,” while at the same time spending money like a madman, tearing down our civil liberties, forcing fundamentalist religious policy into national laws, while refusing to be accountable to the people, veiling his administration in secrecy, thus giving Americans less power over government and our lives than ever before. He lied about Iraq to get Americans to agree to go to war, and now we find we’ve been suckered, and our young men are killed every day. That’s putting us in control of what happens to us? And yet he has the gall to speak of “expanding liberty,” whilst giving no clue as to what that supposedly means.

He even spoke of today’s economic woes of having multiple jobs and being laid off frequently as “a time of great opportunity for all Americans.” Incredible. He uses this as a prelude about how he wants to change government systems to “take the side” of the American people, when he has shown every intention of doing the opposite. Is stiffing seniors while giving huge benefits to pharmaceutical corporations “taking your side”? Is stiffing you at the gas pump while letting Big Oil write the nation’s energy policy “taking your side”? I don’t think so.

After four years of horrifically bad performance in jobs–the worst since Hoover and the Great Depression–he claims that his policies will get you more and better jobs. His performance so far, with the freedom to do practically anything he wants with minimal opposition, has resulted not only in massive losses of jobs, but also has resulted in what jobs we do have being worse than ever before, with salaries low, workload high, and very little job security–except for those at the top of the ladder, Bush protects them. But for you? Remember, this is the administration that wanted to redefine “manufacturing jobs” to include burger-flipping.

But Bush claims that his plan will “encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making tax relief permanent.” Good lord. “Restraining federal spending”? Bush has been on an unprecedented four-year spending spree. “Reducing regulation”? Where has he done that, except to allow for oil drilling in national parks or to remove roadblocks to corporate corruption? And making “tax relief” permanent? We’ve had this “relief” for close to four years now, and it’s only driven us deeper into the hole.

He goes on to say that he “will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy.” Really? How? What’s he done so far? He’s given good lip service, but the only way he’s tried to act to accomplish this goal is to drill in ANWAR, which, even if successful, will hardly solve any energy dependency problems–it would be 10 years before the oil would really start running, and would hardly be enough to make us oil-independent. Hey, maybe if he told Dick Cheney to let the public see how the Gas, Oil and Coal lobbies wrote our nation’s energy policies, maybe we’d get a better idea then!

Oy vey. That’s enough for tonight. And I’m not even halfway through the speech yet. In short, practically everything in the speech was either an outright lie, or had major elements of untruth, exaggeration, misdirection and other shades of dishonesty.

But Bush knows the drill: claim something is true long enough, strongly enough, and the American people will believe it to be true, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 70% believed that Saddam was in on 9/11. How many believe Bush’s current load of bull?

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  1. September 7th, 2004 at 20:53 | #1

    This is one of he best dissections of George’s speech I’ve seen anywhere. Kudos to you!

  2. Luis
    September 7th, 2004 at 22:36 | #2

    I’m not finished yet… There are just too many distortions in that speech to get through in one sitting.

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