Monday, September 8, 2008

Also AWOL at Convention: Bush & Cheney

Along with no new ideas and no policy specifics, the other things remarkably absent at last week's Republican Convention were George Bush and Dick Cheney. Remember them? The President and Vice President of the United States.

I don't blame the GOP for not wanting to shout their names from the rafters of the Xcel Center, but come on, no-shows? To be fair, they did take time out to acknowledge their sitting President (although not their sitting VP).

On Sarah's big night, there were speeches by Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, and of course Sarah Palin herself. Between the four of them, there was one reference to President Bush. It came from Romney and was delivered well before the prime-time audience tuned in. Romney praised Bush for labeling “the terror-sponsor states the axis of evil.” (apparently, Bush's only compliment-worthy action in 8 years).

Of course on Tuesday night, we did get to see Bush live via satellite from the White House. Using Hurricane Gustav as an excuse, McCain & company were able to turn Bush's in-person speech into a video greeting card from D.C instead. (While Cheney was just plain dissed).

And Bush really delivered! Hitting the lead-off run to what would become a grand slam of insults and innuendos from every speaker to follow, Bush said:

"If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry left never will."

Did he just liken those who disagree with McCain to war criminals? Moving on...of course, it didn't take long before Bush threw in a reference to 9/11:

"My fellow citizens, we live in a dangerous world. And we need a president who understands the lessons of September 11, 2001: that to protect America, we must stay on the offense, stop attacks before they happen, and not wait to be hit again. The man we need is John McCain."

Those fear-mongering tactics have served the Republicans well for the last 8 years so why not parade them out again? You can also deduce from Bush's statement that McCain is willing and able to thrust us into yet another "pre-emptive" war.

It's a bit puzzling why McCain was running so scared of Bush at the convention. He has embraced him (literally) and his policies for the last 18 months while pandering to the conservative base. At the same time though, he has slammed Obama for pointing out the similarities. In McCain's own words:

Maybe McCain didn't think he needed Bush at the convention since he sounded a lot like him during his acceptance speech. Take a look (the whole clip is great but the comparisons to Bush start at 4:20 into the clip).

My conclusion: McCain and Bush are actually one and the same, that's why Bush wasn't needed at the convention.


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