So today’s Republican message at the convention (or as Air America is calling it--the "Republican National Debacle") is “compassion.” I don’t know if I’ve written about this yet or not on this blog, but here goes. As a general rule, whenever people have to spell out something and repeat it over and over, the truth is the opposite of what they’re saying.
Example: “Fox News, fair and balanced.” This slogan doesn’t come up every hour or so in just a quick graphic with some hip music in the background, like a mandatory FCC ID. No, they beat you over the head with it--every host or newsreader says it going out of every segment into commercial on top of the ID every hour. They all say they are "fair and balanced" several times during a given program.
Therefore, it is not true.
CNN is not quite as bad, but their slogan is “CNN: The most trusted name in news.” Says who? The fact that they try to make trustworthiness part of their marketing identity lets me (and now you) know that they aren’t trustworthy at all. I mean, news networks are by definition supposed to be fair and balanced and trustworthy, and for these organizations to take pains to paint themselves that way is precisely because they’re aware of one or both of two things: 1) they know they don’t live up to those qualities, or 2) they’ve been told they don’t live up to those qualities.
One more example: Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. I mean, that's so laughably transparent that it's not even worth discussing.
And that brings me to my point. The same principle holds true for political parties, especially the Republicans. Tonight’s theme is “compassion” and all the pundits are speaking warmly and wistfully of the days of yore four years ago when Bush used that slogan to great effect and assure us yokels that he really means it.
So what tonight is really about is getting away with ripping people off. Tonight is supposed to provide cover for illegal, immoral pre-emptive wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, anti-labor deregulation, the decline in the ranks of the insured, and the increase in those living in poverty. Us rubes are supposed to be just out of it enough that all we remember is to connect three things: 1) G. W. Bush 2) the term "conservative" and 3) compassion.
When your job gets shipped overseas, just thank sweet Jesus that our president is a compassionate conservative.
When you're lucky enough to get a job in fast-food manufacturing and can't afford health insurance or even prescription drugs for your family, thank our Lord in heaven that we don't have a liberal, abortionist wacko for a president. No, no we have the great George W. Bush, and why, he's a compassionate conservative.
When you finally break down after years of slipping on stray grease at Whataburger and can't work anymore because your back "done give out" but no disability checks are available because we "can't afford" to give health care to every American because we're spending our billions in a "war on terror" that even the president doesn't think we can win after antagonizing the "evil ones" to begin with. But you know what? You'll have a good ol' compassionate conservative running our country. Straight into the ground.
But I Digress...
As I was saying, look for Bush to do the opposite of what he says he's doing. He says he's protecting us from terror, meanwhile our antagonization of Iraq has only brought terrorists to Iraq that weren't there to begin with and helped radicalize young Muslims to consider giving terrorism a try.
Again--Bush generally does the opposite of what he says he's doing. That is, unless he's promising his big donors that he will provide them "relief" from "excessive" regulation and "burdensome" taxation.
Senator Tom Harkin said it well in this piece, to which I've already linked above:
To understand what the Bush administration is really up to, it pays to watch what it does, not what it says.
What happened on "Hardball"?
I was half-watching the lame "Hardball" from today, but I happened to look up right as someone was being tackled onscreen and then Matthews later referred to someone trying to attack him. Someone hip me to what happened...
Ride The Blinds
Heard a kickass new band at the end of last week. They're called Ride The Blinds and they're from California. I wrote them an email to tell them how much I dug their record, and I came up with the only comparison that springs to mind right now--like Jimmy Page playing with the Dexateens.
And thanks, Democratic Underground, for linking to me!!!