As If the Last Eight Years Never Happened
By Tom Sullivan
September 5, 2008 - 2:52am ET
Scratch out Barack Obama's name and insert Al Gore or John Kerry's, and this week’s GOP convention was the same gleeful character assassination fest we have come to know and loathe. Except during Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech when it took on the air of a political movie written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.
Come to think of it, a lot of the convention had that feel.
Republicans campaigned this week against Washington. They campaigned as reformers. They promised change, smaller government, fiscal responsibility, an energy policy, and tax cuts to create jobs. It was as if the last eight years of Republican rule never happened. As if they never ran Washington, tried these things and failed miserably. As if the Iraq occupation and its spiraling costs, cooked Iraq intelligence, Abu Ghraib, rendition, torture and Guantanamo never happened. As if the loss of America’s international standing never happened. As if warrantless wiretaps, voiding habeas corpus, record deficits, soaring debt and expanded government never happened. As if presidential power grabs, a politicized Justice Dept., vote suppression, Rep. Tom DeLay and the K-Street Project, or Jack Abramoff’s conviction never happened. As if declining incomes, outsourced jobs, the sub-prime mortgage crisis never happened. As if energy uncertainty, economic uncertainty, health care uncertainty, and that heckuva job responding to Hurricane Katrina had nothing to do with conservative rule.
Seven years after 9/11, and they still can’t connect the dots.
The problem for progressives now is effectively reminding people of all that in a sound bite. Here’s one I have been working on that doesn’t name-call or blame. It is a “just the facts, ma’am” walk down memory lane. It is interactive, inviting listeners to fill in the blanks themselves.
They told you there’d be candy and flowers.
They told you they’d rebuild New Orleans.
They told you we don’t torture people.
They told you tax cuts would create jobs.
They told you they’d bring honor and dignity.
What else have they told you lately?
Create your own.
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