Tuesday, August 26, 2008

POLITICAL Conventions . . . why bother?

By l.t. Dravis

DENVER, COLORADO – Friday, August 22, 2008 . . . Here we go again. Another four years has passed, convention fever is back, and it’s everywhere.

The Democratic Convention in Denver will hit us full-on from Monday, August 25 through Thursday, August 28. We’ll be inundated with 24 hour coverage from cable news networks, plus network specials every night, plus whatever coverage the good folks at PBS can come up with.

Every thinking voter has to ask the obvious question, “How much time do I want to spend watching millionaire celebrity politicians pat themselves and each other on the back while they make promises they’ll never keep?”

Don’t think that’s the case?

Okay, then, let’s compare some of 2004 Republican nominee George W. Bush’s convention rhetoric to his actions after he was elected to a second term as President of the United States.

In his acceptance speech, nominee and incumbent President George W. Bush said, “In the work we have done and the work we will do, I am fortunate to have a superb Vice President. I have counted on Dick Cheney’s calm and steady judgment in difficult days, and I’m honored to have him at my side.”

I have to ask (permit me a snicker here, will you?), but how has Dick Cheney’s ‘calm and steady judgment’ made your personal or professional life better in the past four years?

Nominee Bush then said, “I believe this Nation wants steady, consistent, principled leadership and that is why, with your help, we will win this election.”

Bush’s ‘steady, consistent, principled leadership’ initially resisted the establishment of a 911 commission, then ultimately ignored most of the commission’s recommendations, failed to finish the reconstruction in New Orleans three years after Hurricane Katrina, supported paying hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to newspaper columnists to promote administration policies, implemented surveillance of American citizens’ Emails, internet activity, phone calls, and text messaging without court warrants, played political games with the careers of United States Attorneys, commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence for convictions on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, and on and on.

Nominee Bush said, “To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making the tax relief permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy.”

So, in light of an impending $10 trillion dollar national debt and $120 a barrel oil, how honest was the nominee about his plan to ‘restrain federal spending and ‘make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy’?

The nominee then said, “Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve and our economic future demands a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code.”

What ever happened to any bipartisan effort to simplify the tax code? I don’t remember it . . . do you?

Bush also said, “We will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.”

Don’t think every poor county in America has a health center . . . if they do, I couldn’t find a list.

The nominee then wound up his acceptance speech by saying, “In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path -- a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more control over your own life. And the path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and character can take them. Tonight, I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child: No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live, your school will be the path to promise of America.”

Nice rhetoric, but given the state of schools in too many parts of America today, it turned out to be nothing more than another empty promise.

I won’t waste your time by quoting the gratuitous compliments and promises made by Dick Cheney, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Bernard Kerik, Bob Taft, Sam Brownback, Bill Frist, Elizabeth Dole, Lynne Cheney, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Zell Miller and others . . . but there was a bunch of them.

In any case, as I reflect on what I’ve just written, I’m thinking it would be a better use of my time next week to catch up on some reading.

I could start Monday night with Audacity of Hope and end Thursday with Faith of My Fathers.

Then I’d be free Friday to turn the TV on again and watch the 6th season debut of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.

What do you think?

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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