Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, September 02, 2004

RNC Final Day - Part X - President Bush edition continued
Written by: Beck

That last one was getting a bit long. If you're just tuning in now, the first part of Bush's speech is covered in the post below.

"Government must take the side of working families. We will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly work place."

New theme: creating an ownership society. Another good idea. If every American had a vested interest in stock and debt markets, impediments to economic growth would meet for more resistance, and from a far better educated society (from a financial standpoint).

Update: He just brought up his social security personal savings account plan from four years ago. Frankly, I thought that was the best of all his plans from four years ago, and it was one of the ones which never happened.

"No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live, your school will be your path to the promise of America."

Update: He's going on about standardized testing in schools and the funding to make it possible. I'm really not kidding when I say that Kerry had about 3 concrete proposals for what he intended to do if elected, outside of lots and lots and lots of pontificating about leadership, war, leadership, terror, and war. Bush has lined out about 20 concrete policy proposals. This is what a convention speech is supposed to be like.

First "Challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations" line floated while I was typing that last bit. Because you knew it had to be coming. In Spanish: "We will leave no child behind." I know he speaks Spanish fluently, but unlike George P. Bush, W.'s accent is terrible. It reminds me of Peggy Hill of King of the Hill speaking Spanish.

Update: New proposal: "Fund early-prevention programs to catch children at risk of not graduating." Followed by expanding Pell grants, and other plans to help people start their careers with a college diploma.

"Enroll millions of poor children who are eligible, but not signed up for, government health programs." He makes a point that has been neglected by everyone--a lot of programs exist out there already to provide health benefits for those who cannot afford them. People simply are unaware of them, or don't take advantage of them.

Update: "My opponents policies are significantly different from ours." First mention of Senator Kerry.

"He opposes medical liability reform. Opposed doubling the child credit. Opposed lowering income taxes... To be fair, there are some things my opponent are for. He's proposed more than 2 trillion dollars in federal spending so far, and that's a lot even for a senator from Massachusetts." I guess Bush decided to have fun with the fact that he doesn't stand a chance of carrying Massachusetts anyway.

"He has proposed raising taxes, and that's a promise a politician usually keeps." Kerry, Bush argues, supports the politics of the past. Get ready to hear more about the "politics of the past" in days to come.

This lead to the "4 more years" chant finally. It's the first one. I'd expected 4 or 5 of those chants by this point. Thank god the audience is restraining themselves.

"I support welfare reform that supports family and requires work." Good for you Bush. "If we're going to make a commitment for society to support its weakest members, we must make a commitment to the unborn child." That's about the nicest possible way you could have phrased pro-life beliefs.

"Because religious charities provide a safety net of charity and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them." Followed by protection of marriage against "activist judges." It looks like he's getting all his social conservatism out in one big quick wodge, sandwiched in the middle of his speech.

"I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and strict enforcement of the letter of the law."

Update: He's attacking one of Kerry's claims now that he was the representative of conservative values. "If you condemned the Reagan presidency as 8 years of moral darkness..." And more of the like, followed by, "then you do not represent conservative values. He switched off the routine after using the catch line just four times. Very well written speech thus far (from a mechanical standpoint I mean. It moves around quickly, makes the points concisely, ropes in the audience, but doesn't have to halt every five seconds for an applause line).

Update: Now he's moving on to the War on Terror finally. Tripled funding of HLS and first responders. Transforming our military. Strengthening intelligence services. Staying on the offensive. Striking terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home. Working to advance liberty in the Mid East because prosperity will bring hope and peace. "And we will prevail."

Update: I think there must be protesters inside the arena. There were weird shouts. More shouts now. Whenever there are shouts, the audience breaks into "4 more years" to drown them out, and Bush keeps speaking over them.

Yep, protesters. The camera has shifted finally to what's going on. People just got fucking hauled out of the arena by security. Like sprinting.

He just enumerated all the accomplishments on the war in terror--al Qaeda associates detained and killed, military successes, attacks prevented, etc.

Update: "The toughest decisions was Iraq... We knew his history... We know that September 11th requires our country to think differently. We must and we will confront threats before it's too late."

More protesters making a scene now. The audience is drowning them out, but it's forcing Bush to halt. Demonstrators on the floor really making a mess of things. Yeah, that's democracy at work all right. What I want to know is how the fuck they got in in the first place. I mean, if demonstrators and protesters can get into the floor of the convention while Bush is speaking, how the fuck does the Secret Service plan to keep the president alive? How hard would it really be for someone who was willing to die to assassinate him?

About Saddam: "Do I forget September 11th and take the words of a mad man, or do I take action..." Perhaps one of the most potentially effective lines of the speech, completely splattered by the interruption of the infiltrated floor demonstrators. They would seem to have accomplished their mission.

Update: He's arguing that free societies in the middle east will give growth and hope, making futile the efforts of terrorists, born of frustration and resentment.

To the servicemen, "Because of you, women are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, people in Iraq no longer fear being executed and being left in mass graves. Because of you the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory."

Update: Bush just quoted the, "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it," line. He's going on with more attacks on the waffling. I didn't actually think Bush would whip out that line, after all, other speakers at the RNC have already made plenty of it. Frankly, I think, that was a bit beneath Bush, as people who've read into the vote understand that Kerry, while trying to have the best of both worlds with a soundbite, meant something a little more sophisticated than what the quote sounded like on the surface.

Tony Blair, being thanked by Bush, just received a huge applause line.

"My opponents takes a different approach. My opponent calls our allies, 'A coalition of the coerced and the bribed.'" Then lists our allies, and the people that Kerry has thus implied are coerced or bribed, then, [paraphrasing] "These are people who deserve our thanks and support, not our scorn."

"I respect every soldier from every country who serves beside us. America is grateful, and America will not forget." For some reason that makes me think of France, who has forgotten.

Update: "I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed and the greatest force for good on this earth." Money quote of the evening right there.

My hands are dying. My finger muscles are starting to seize up on me I think. It doesn't help that I'm one of those people whose typing style is like an all-out assault on the keyboard. A person listening to me type before actually described it as sounding like a hail storm hitting a tin roof. (Keep in mind that I live in Texas).

Moving on....

"Palestinians will get the message..." something about hope, followed by a comment about, "Our friend Israel." Israel is a very controversial subject, and a lot of politicians would have stayed away from it. I think it's smart to jump right out and embrace it. After all, if you support the nation, trying to act like you don't to be perceived in a better light by an anti-Israeli world media isn't going to make you a better person or more honest. Again, I tend to support principle over expediency.

Update: He just took a potshot at the press, likening the modern press to the anti-war press from just before World War II. I was too busy publishing the previous update to get the text, but it was funny. And thank god, he didn't feel the need to explain his joke--I fucking hate that.

Now Bush is roping together the history, from World War I forward, of the United States backing the growth of Democracy and the benefits it has yielded. I agree here. There are grounds on which you can oppose this "Go out and create Democracies across the world," form of geo-politics, but you can't argue against the great number of historical successes at that very policy (take Germany and Japan for example).

In other news, I wish Bush could pronounce, "kept." There's a 't' on the end there. It's not "kep."

"And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me. In the last four years as we've grown to know each other, even if we don't agree, at least you know where I stand."

"You may have noticed I have a few flaws too. I even sometimes have to correct my English. I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. You may have noticed I have a certain swagger, which in Texas, is called, 'Walking.'"

Very good. A little self-deprecation goes a long way, and he handled it very humorously. "One thing about the presidency, whatever shortcomings you may have, people are going to notice them, and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them."

Update: One thing I just noticed, he hasn't had a single slip up, gaff, miscue, repeat, stumble, or other speaking mistake. You expect to hear one or two. His delivery has been well nigh perfect. Considering the man doing the speaking, that's pretty godamned impressive.

"Here buildings fell, here a nation rose," about people looking at the site of the World Trade Towers. Second best quote of the evening.

"Having come this far, our tested and confident nation can achieve anything."

"To everything we know there is a season." Yes, it's a bible quote, but every single person in America just thought to themselves, "turn, turn turn." He's going to get a hard time for that.

Update: And that's that. God bless us, everyone. My fingers are going to fall off now. He spoke for just over an hour, though it didn't feel like it at all.

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