Monday, August 30, 2004

The G.O.P. - Genius or Pathetic?

Yep, the Republican convention kicks off in New York, and the G.O.P. announces it's going to repeatedly remind everyone about September 11th.

Is this reminding everyone about the intelligence failures that led to the threat being overlooked? The national security failures that led to the terrorists being able to get into the country and onto the planes without being challenged once? The immense loss of life? The resultant wars that have led to even more loss of life?

What they're blatantly trying to do is remind everyone what a strong leader Bush has been in the aftermath. But what they could end up doing is reminding everyone how weak he was in the run-up. And with Michael (not as intelligent or insightful as he'd like to think) Moore's Farenheit 9/11 still in theatres, hinting at conspiracy, wouldn't they be better focussing on Bush's achievements, rather than his single most obvious failure? His was, after all, the man who was supposed to be responsible for protecting the US, and he failed.

Is this going to be another example of a Republican plan backfiring, like their mindless attempt to alter the constitution to ban gay marriage? It's highly insulting to the families of the dead, and to the survivors. To do this in the middle of New York itself seems remarkable callous.

But then again, maybe they've got a decent gameplan this time. Perhaps they've actually thought things through. Kerry's lead in the polls, though modest, is still a major blow, considering Bush's levels of popularity in the aftermath of 9/11. Perhaps the G.O.P. has some kind of cunning plan to remind everyone how much they were behind the President back then. It's possible. Just...

It's also worth pointing out that Rudolph Giuliani's plans to liken Bush to Churchill could also backfire for anyone who knows their history: "Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler when his opponents and much of the press characterized him as a warmongering gadfly. George W. Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is, and he will remain consistent to the purpose of defeating it while working to make us ever safer at home."

Of course, the fact that pretty much all of Churchill's military plans during WWII were disasterous, causing more harm to the Allies than good, is beside the point. As is the fact that he was also a pretty useless peacetime Prime Minister during the 1950s. Churchill is a name that resonates with Americans as symbolising great leadership. What he actually was was a great figurehead for more sensible people to work through from behind the scenes. So maybe the Bush analogy isn't too far off...

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