Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

RNC - Day 3 Part 9 - Dick Cheney edition
Written by: Beck

This should finally put to bed rumors that Cheney would step aside and let someone more popular accept the vice presidential job. Unless he suddenly has a heart attack in mid-speech, which you shouldn't rule out.

Of course, if that happens, everyone will, naturally, question the timing of it. And by everyone, I mean Joshua Micah Marshall.

"I'm sure glad Zell Miller's on our side." First sentence, and I couldn't agree more. Miller looked like he wanted to go out and kill him some krauts or something he was so enraged.

"I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States." And it's official.

Update: The "4 more years" chants are getting old. It's official. My prediction now is that Bush, during his speech tomorrow night, will have to wait at least a half-dozen times while the crowd annoyingly persists in chanting, "4 more years."

"People tell me Senator Edwards was picked for his good looks, his charm, and his great hair. I say, 'How do you think I got the job?'" He's used that line before. You'd think he would try to come up with more material. Of course, creativity may be difficult for cyborgs. Especially cyborgs with notoriously bad hearts. Speaking of which, why does he always seem to have a perpetual sneer? Did he have a stroke at some point in his life or something?

Update: "It is the spirit of this country that people can dream big dreams." Looks like we're in for more of the night's official "Land of Opportunity" theme.

Followed by touting the No Child Left Behind program, "The most significant education reform in 40 years."

"Opportunity also depends upon a thriving, vibrant economy." Yep.

"The Bush tax cuts are working," said after listing a number of positive economic indicators.

In other news, Cheney could really stand to work some emotion or pitch modulation into his voice. And there goes another 4 More Years chant. Not really for any reason either--it's not like he just said some huge applause line or something. In other other news, the 'v' key on my keyboard sticks ever since I spilled a glass of red wine on it. Just thought you might like to know.

Update: Cheney has spent the last 5 minutes going through a lengthy list of foreign policy accomplishments, concluding sedately, "And we are safer as a result." The biggest problem here is he doesn't sound especially excited about these facts himself. His voice never really changes.

This followed by thanking the troops, getting one of the bigger applause responses of the evening. "Moments come along in history where leaders must make fundamental decisions about how to confront a long-term challenge abroad..." He makes the point that we have to stick to our commitments to fight terrorism now, or we'll woefully lose the battle in the future.

No surprise--this is a transition to criticism of Kerry (along with the caveat that we honor Kerry for his service in Vietnam), "But there is also a record of three decades since, and the differences between Senator Kerry and President Bush are the sharpest, and the stakes are the highest." "Time and again, Senator Kerry has made the wrong call on national security. He began his career by saying he would like to see our troops deployed only at the behest of the United Nations." Audience boos. The list Cheney is enumerating of Kerry's history of foreign policy bungles is much the same as the list Zell Miller enumerated. Thing is, when Miller listed it, it was with righteous fury. Cheney might as well be reading off his grocery list.

Update: "We face an enemy who seeks to use the deadliest of weapons against us, and we cannot wait for another attack. We must use all the tools at our disposal, and that includes the use of military force." For a second there--just one quick split second--I thought he was going to say something about using nukes.

Update: "On Iraq, Senator Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats, but his liveliest disagreements have been with himself." Liveliest. Heh. That's a funny word. INCITE -- cutting edge analysis for the 21st century. "Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual." Now that was a good one-liner. Then he went and spoiled it by saying, "America sees two John Kerrys." The golden rule of humor: if you have to explain your jokes, your jokes aren't that good.

Cheney is getting a bit louder now, which suggests that perhaps he's wrapping things up. It's hard to tell though.

Update: "Bush has... a moral seriousness and calls Evil by its name." Good point: academics, relativists, and their liberal fellow travelers are very hesitant to ascribe the word "evil" to anything, and think it somehow reflects theological motivations. If you try to establish a worldview in which "good" and "evil" are just degrees, not absolutes, and are relative across cultures, you invite evil people to have their way with society. Only the honest and hard working wind up being condemned--for daring to believe they should benefit from the fruits of their labor. Evil and Good are moral absolutes, and though defining and delimiting them may not be the easiest task in the world, it remains a possible task. For instance, when "freedom fighters" behead civilians, they are engaging in evil, unforgivable and absolute, and anyone who argues otherwise is engaged in evil themselves.

The second to last sentence of Cheney's speech was silent as the sound went out on PBS. I don't think I missed anything.

Anyway, that's it for tonight's coverage. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as I cover, comment, and expound on the RNC's last night of speeches. INCITE -- watching the whole damned convention so that you don't have to. If someone would tape Scrubs for me, I'd really appreciate it.

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