Angertown pt 5
Americans speak their mind
Upstaging Before the Show
By TODD S. PURDUM
Published: August 30, 2004
In a few dozen blocks of the same slender island, two worlds collided yesterday: the Republican convention's calculated claims to patriotism and the presidency met elaborately planned and heavily Democratic street protests that turned those same arguments back at President Bush - in ways that might help, or hurt, both sides.
The demonstrations were New York City's biggest in decades, and the most emphatic at any national political convention since Democrats and demonstrators turned against each other in fury over Vietnam in Chicago in 1968. But the first day was overwhelmingly peaceful, and the demonstrators doused a good bit of Mr. Bush's intended message with television images of dissent.
This was not the reception the Republicans had planned. They chose New York to evoke the moment of national unity that rallied Americans to Mr. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks, only to find protesters claiming Mr. Bush had forfeited that goodwill by attacking Iraq. The marchers carried placards calling Mr. Bush "the next Milosevic" and demanding, "What would Jesus bomb?"
"I left God's country," said Leon Mosley of Waterloo, Iowa, co-chairman of his state party. "They could use a bunch of people from Iowa to come here to show New Yorkers what life is all about, what being patriotic is all about, and what country is all about. I'm as confident about Bush being re-elected as I am that eggs are going to be in New York tomorrow morning.''
This man can kiss my ass. More New Yorkers have died in Iraq than Iowans. We don't need lectures on patriotism from rednecks. Doesn't he have a cow to fuck or something?
"The protests are anti-Bush, with heavy antiwar overtones, but this is Chicago without the fisticuffs, without the fight, without the bloodshed - so far," Mr. Gergen added. "To interpret this politically is hard, but my gut is that large, peaceful protests are not what the Republicans want. The protesters are stealing the story for the first day and drowning out the Republican message. If there's violence, that could all change."
To be sure, a seething anger pulsed throughout the protesting crowds. T-shirts and signs branded Mr. Bush a warmonger, a liar or a criminal, and there were fly-swatters with an image of his face. Two protesters, Jim Higgins and Kathy Roberts, dressed in suits made of duct tape to spoof Mr. Bush's handling of national security.
A certain clash of cultures is inevitable when so much of red-state America crams into so few square miles of the blue-state Big Apple. The White House was so concerned that the Republicans be gracious guests that it issued a stern warning to administration officials attending the convention not to misbehave at cocktail parties and turn down gifts worth more than $20, The Chicago Tribune reported.
posted by Steve @ 1:21:00 AM