Yeah, the Republican National Convention and Hatefest™ wrapped up over a week ago, providing America with equal parts of fear and slapstick comedy. And yeah, I'm just getting around to writing about it now. I've been busy.
Resisting the urge to lead off with Zell Miller, who went bonkers at the podium and advanced into full-on "get these spiders off of me!" dementia on the cable news programs a few moments later, I'd prefer sticking to my California roots and opening with the speech given by The Gubbernator himself.
A lovely speech, it was — filled with emotional imagery and such. Damn shame it was all just a big fat pack of lies. As it turns out, Arnold Schwarzenegger is apparently a real girlie man when it comes to history. According to the Associated Press:
Austrian historians are ridiculing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child and left a "Socialist" country when he moved away in 1968.
Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."
No way, historians say, challenging Schwarzenegger's knowledge of postwar history — if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America's most populous state.
"It's a fact — as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in Styria," the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.
In other words, much like Gubbernator Gropenführer's recollections of how he came to be a Republican — it was that dastardly socialist Hubert H. Humphrey, who, when he wasn't spewing the socialist platform to Austrian immigrants was crusading tirelessly for civil rights — this image in Arnie's feeble mind is either (a) a figment of his own hyperactive imagination, or (b) something that happened on a movie set once.
Wait a minute. I don't remember seeing Richard Nixon in Commando. I guess Arnie must have been lying. What a shock.
In case you're in the mood for more lies told to you with a thick accent, here's more of the AP article for you:
In his convention address, Schwarzenegger also said: "As a kid, I saw the Socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left" in 1955 and Austria regained its independence.
But Martin Polaschek, a law history scholar and vice rector of Graz University, told Kurier that Austria was governed by coalition governments, including the conservative People's Party and the Social Democratic Party. Between 1945 and 1970, all the nation's chancellors were conservatives — not Socialists.
What's more, when Schwarzenegger left in 1968, Austria was run by a conservative government headed by People's Party Chancellor Josef Klaus, a staunch Roman Catholic and a sharp critic of both the Socialists as well as the Communists ruling in countries across the Iron Curtain.
Damn those Roman Catholic conservative socialists!
But it's not just liberal bigmouths like me picking on the lunkhead's inconsistencies in his speech. Even some people back in Austria are thinking that Kindergarten Cop has flipped his gourd. Again from the Associated Press:
Norbert Darabos, a ranking official of Austria's opposition Social Democratic Party, sharply criticized Schwarzenegger's "disdain for his former homeland."
"The Terminator is constructing a rather bizarre Austria image," he said.
Spoken, I'm sure, like a true girlie man.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE FEATURE PRESENTATION of the convention: the fire-and-brimstone-and-demons-and-shaved-puppies speech from Sen. Zell Miller. The Republicans felt they scored quite a coup with this one, since Miller serves in the Senate as a Democrat. Might I take a moment to remind you that Strom Thurmond also tried to run for president as a Democrat, and Strom Thurmond believed that minorities were for and should be purchased at the docks. Nonetheless, Miller gave the keynote address at the 1992 Democratic convention, so getting him to bang the drums for Chicken George 12 years later had some Republicans foaming at the mouth.
I should mention, in a sidebar, that a whole heck of a lot of those Republicans were foaming at the mouth anyway. I mean, just look at that guy to the right. I'm sure there are many Republicans who are nice, intelligent people for the most part, but it doesn't look like very many of them made it to New York last week. Those zombies were creepy. I guess what the geneticists say about inbreeding is true. And wearing a hat that makes your face symbolize a scrotum? Never a good idea, regardless of your political beliefs.
Anyway, Democrats went into Zealot Zell's speech cursing him and downplaying the impact of his symbolic yet unofficial switch. By the time Zell's yells were done, Democrats were loudly letting Republicans know they could have him, and we'd even pay for his bus ticket into Rightyville. The Republicans, by the way, reacted by uninviting Zell to the presidential box the next day to watch Dubya's cavalcade of lies with Laura and the twins, presumably because the ladies have not had their rabies shots yet.
Stealing a page straight from the Republican handbook, Zell went straight for the fear card. Less than 90 seconds into his speech, he said:
In the summer of 1940, I was an 8-year-old boy living in a remote little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could.
Zell did not also mention that at the same time, there were hillbillies living in Appalachia who would chop him up and turn him into sausage if they could catch him. Since those same hillbillies are now referred to as "the conservative base," I guess Chicken George's campaign operatives cut that line out.
Miller, fully brainwashed at the same school that counts Dennis Miller and Ron Silver as alumni, also used the Republicans' hatred of All Things France to get an audience reaction, saying "Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide."
Now seems like a good time to point out that tomorrow is the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While planes across our country were crashing into our financial centers, the Pentagon, and — if not for the actions of a handful of brave passengers — the White House, Bush decided to sit in a classroom reading "My Pet Goat" with a bunch of schoolchildren. Zell Miller can say what he wants, but three years of killing tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens does not make up for seven minutes of frozen indecisiveness followed by a zig-zag ride aboard Air Force One. It never will.
After the speech, basking in his own insanity, Miller visited the set of CNN and suffered a meltdown while being asked rather benign political questions. Miller ranted, raved, turned red in the face, and waved a stack of paper around saying he had "proof" that Kerry was unfit to serve or something along those lines. Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the team continues to pepper him, and it was all Zell could do to keep from drooling on himself.
Then, Zell talked to Chris Matthews at MSNBC's "Hardball," and that's where the real fun started. At different points of the segment, Miller threatened to cancel the interview, yelled at Matthews to "get out of my face" even though Matthews was blocks away at the "Hardball" set, and — in what surely will go down as the best TiVo moment in political history to date — lamented that we lived in an age where he couldn't challenge Matthews to a duel.
Welcome to the Republican party, Zell. Maybe they'll continue to turn back the clock by defying science and civil rights, and you'll get your wish someday.
It should be noted that blogs written by the radical Right — the ones with no paragraph breaks whose authors shave their one eyebrow down the middle — practically deified Miller for his speech and for his dementia-inspired actions afterward. If that isn't a reminder that we all need to get out and vote on Nov. 2, I don't know what is.
AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE? Oh, I'm so sure.
From the oft-quoted Associated Press:
Two former Vietnam prisoners of war who appear in ads attacking Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry were appointed by the Bush administration to a panel advising the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You know, it probably wouldn't feel so dirty if Bush actually attempted to hide his corruption.
AS IS OFTEN THE CASE in this space, I have something to plug.
For those of you who have been wishing there was something like an accurate version of The Drudge Report for the liberal left, please visit The Times-Patriot. No lies, no rumors, just actual reports (and the occasional commentary) from actual, credible publications (meaning you won't see links to Robert Novak's column positioned as news, nor will you see reports from that Washington Times gestapo rag, nor will you see unconfirmed lies made up by some dork wearing a hat pretending to be a real journalist).
Make it your homepage, and click on some of the Google ads while you're there — especially the ones that look like they support Bush-friendly companies. Whenever you click on one, those organizations have to pay me money. It's not a lot of money, but it's enough to make me laugh.
You'll also notice that I write a column for The Times-Patriot. I'll probably be doing that twice a week or so, and I'll link to them here. They'll be quick reads — much quicker than this blog of hot air.
FINALLY TONIGHT, here's a little story of possible editorial bias that'll leave you sleeping with the lights on tonight.
From the Washington Post:
Conservative radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh, 53, who announced his separation from his third wife, Marta, in early June, is dating CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, 41, a spokesman for Limbaugh has confirmed to us. The two were spotted at a party Limbaugh co-hosted at a New York restaurant, where guests included Vice President Cheney, New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Bill Frist. The coupling came as a surprise to some friends who consider the Atlanta-based Kagan part of the liberal media axis and a feminist -- but, then again, opposites attract. Kagan, who has been with CNN for 10 years, hosts "CNN Live Today," which airs from 10 a.m. to noon, ending just in time to catch her sweetie's three-hour radio show.First off, let's get this out of the way. Eiw. I wonder if he's shown her his "little Newt" yet. I also hope for her sake that she has an ample supply of pills, because Rush loves those illegal narcotics.
Second, I really enjoy the characterization of Kagan as part of the liberal media axis. Presenting some research from the fine people at Media Matters for America:
On the July 14 edition of CNN Live Today, CNN anchor Daryn Kagan suggested to CNN Capitol Hill correspondent Ed Henry that internal strife and the inability to get anything done is a characteristic of the Democratic Party. While discussing the gay marriage constitutional amendment that would fail in the Senate later that day, Kagan asked:
[T]he division within the Republican Party leads to my "Ed Henry Question of the Day," Ed. And that is, a party's split, can't agree, can't get something through the Senate. Republicans almost look like -- dare I say -- Democrats?
As Media Matters for America recently noted, on July 6, Kagan and CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider portrayed comments made by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) as a "classic" example of Kerry being a "flip-flopper." Kagan asked, "Is that a classic John Kerry moment ... ?"
Boy, I'd hate to hear what the conservatives must be saying.
I'm sure we'll receive plenty of continued fair and unbiased reporting from "CNN Live Today." Megadittoes, Daryn. Meggadittoes.