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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Lying Bastard Giuliani, pt II: At the Tank 8/30

Let me count the number of times Judi and I had sex in Gracie Mansion while I was married to Donna

While I'm listening to Air America at home tonight, because I've been running two days straight, and if a man can't work from his own home one night, what's the point? Besides, I wanted to check out the TV coverage, since I'm going to be at the Tank most of the day tomorrow and Thursday night, unless I just crap out. After all, conventions are a lot of work, even when you sit on your ass and write.

Anyway, it's taken me this long to write about Giuliani's Mussolini-like speech because it so enraged me. It was filled with lies. But then, it takes a coward to admire a coward. Giuliani stole the credit from honest, hardworking New Yorkers and made himself into a hero across America. The racist prick can barely open his mouth here, but in cowtown USA, he's a real hero, despite the mousy voice and creepy grin.

Ok, like most non-white and many white New Yorkers, every time I see Giuliani, I feel like reminding him of the lives he ruined, starting with his kids and ending with the Dorismond and Diallo families. He strides across like a hero, when he's really just a small-minded punk. With a father who was a draft dodging knee-breaker, Giuliani is the second generation of draft dodgers in his family. His language is of the phony tough and the big talking bully, which is why he gets along with Bush so well.

Don't be fooled by Pataki's gracious words, Giuliani is his mortal enemy, but he is a patient man.

Anyway, John McCain's speech either sucked on purpose, masquaraded as high minded politics, or is laying the foundation for a John Walker level of betrayal. McCain knows the party neither likes nor trusts him. The odds of him surviving a primary campaign are small. However, if he torpedos Bush, the GOP may hate him, but he could switch parties overnight.

Not that I think he'll do this, but I, like any smart person, wouldn't trust McCain farther than I can piss. If he betrays Bush, well, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Read Rolling Stone's current issue. I bought to read about Michael Moore, but there is a strong piece on serial failure Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney.

Having turned Ford into their instrument, Rumsfeld and Cheney staged a palace coup. They pushed Ford to fire Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, tell Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to look for another job and remove Henry Kissinger from his post as national security adviser. Rumsfeld was named secretary of defense, and Cheney became chief of staff to the president. The Yale dropout and draft dodger was, at the age of thirty-four, the second-most-powerful man in the White House.

As the 1976 election approached, Rumsfeld and Cheney used the immense powers they had arrogated to themselves to persuade Ford to scuttle the Salt II treaty on nuclear-arms control. The move helped Ford turn back Reagan's challenge for the party's nomination -- but at the cost of ceding the heart of the GOP to the New Right. Then, in the presidential election, Jimmy Carter defeated Ford by 2 million votes.

In his first test-drive at the wheels of power, Cheney had played a central role in the undoing of a president. Wrote right-wing columnist Robert Novak, "White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney . . . is blamed by Ford insiders for a succession of campaign blunders." Those in the old elitist wing of the party thought the decision to dump Rockefeller was both stupid and wrong: "I think Ford lost the election because of it," one of Kissinger's former aides says now. Ford agreed, calling it "the biggest political mistake of my life."

Cheney is the dark omen which ruins presidencies.

Appointed to another powerful position, Cheney promptly went about screwing it up. He pushed to turn many military duties over to private companies and began moving "defense intellectuals" with no military experience into key posts at the Pentagon. Most notable among them was Paul Wolfowitz, who later masterminded much of the disastrous strategy that George W. Bush has pursued in Iraq. In 1992, as undersecretary of defense, Wolfowitz turned out a forty-page report titled "Defense Planning Guidance," arguing that historic allies should be demoted to the status of U.S. satellites, and that the modernization of India and China should be treated as a threat, as should the democratization of Russia. "We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role," the report declared. It was nothing less than a blueprint for worldwide domination, and Cheney loved it. He maneuvered to have the president adopt it as doctrine, but the elder Bush, recognizing that the proposals were not only foolish but dangerous, immediately rejected them.

By the end of the first Bush administration, others had come to the conclusion that Cheney and his followers were dangerous. "They were referred to collectively as the crazies," recalls Ray McGovern, a CIA professional who interpreted intelligence for presidents going back to Kennedy. Around the same time, McGovern remembers, Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft counseled the elder President Bush, "Keep these guys at arm's length."

Cheney is a power addict. He may be reflexisively conservative, but principles don't much matter to him.

Cheney suffered his biggest failure in March 2002, when he visited nine Arab and Muslim countries six months after the 9/11 attacks. The vice president anticipated a triumphal tour of the region as, one by one, he enlisted the countries he visited in the cause of "taking out" Saddam Hussein. In the end, not a single country Cheney visited provided troops for the Bush-Cheney war -- including staunch American allies in Jordan and Turkey -- and almost all refused to let their territory be used for the attack.

Once again, however, Cheney did not let reality dissuade him from his course. As the disaster has unfolded in Iraq, he has continued to insist against all evidence that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, that the dictator was aiding Al Qaeda, that nothing the Bush administration has done was a mistake. Those who have known him over the years remain astounded by what they describe as his almost autistic indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others. "He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met," says John Perry Barlow, his former supporter. Cheney's freshman-year roommate, Steve Billings, agrees: "If I could ask Dick one question, I'd ask him how he could be so unempathetic."

Cheney is as much a failure as Bush, but he hides it under a veneer of competence. Which, in Cheney's life, is an illusion. He, far more than daddy's boy Bush, has failed upward. At every turn, Dick Cheney has left a disaster behind him (see, Shia, 1991), but powerful patrons have saved him. There isn't the dramatic drunk to Jesus trail behind him, but there's enough damage behind him to rival a demolition derby.

So McCain's big "mistake" was to mention Michael Moore. Whether it was for a cheap applause line or to make the delegates look like thugs, it certainly worked on both accounts. Tonight, George Bush is whining about the "horrible" Michael Moore. Which is certainly ironic, since his cousin got Moore into the documentary business.

The Dems were handwringing about the Swift Boat attacks and were chided for it. Why isn't someone saying "hey, it's a film. Let it alone." Nope, he's all manner of scumbag liar instead. Look, if there was a lie in F 9/11 it would have been discreted. It hasn't been. So why make him more famous.

Anyway, while watching the speeches in the Tank, I was screaming shit out, like I was at the movies. Whenever Dick Cheney came on, I made a cup with my hands and hummed the Imperial March from Star Wars. I figure Maureen Dowd got one thing right, and that is Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. I think I called Giuliani a lying cocksucker several times. Recited his marital history. Called him a fucking liar. Racist as well. Then I mentioned his draft dodging thug daddy.

As Kos said, I speak like I write. The poor guy was on his Powerbook, wearing his Cubs jersey, and as I looked over his shoulder, checked on his rotisserie team. OSX is sweet. A lot of the bloggers have Macs, like Jeralyn Merritt, who I recognized from TV. I had been slighty confused as to if they were the same person (blogger and MSNBC person), but I guess they are. She's pretty nice, not that I said three words to her, besides pointing out an outlet. Her son, a Columbia Law student showed up. I think they went to the big Stand Up show at the Beacon. I haven't done shit other than write. It's my reporter head kicking in, besides, it was brutally humid the last two days. And to be honest, my job, such as it is, is to watch the convention and write on it, not see a comedy show.

But since I was sitting right behind him, I hope I didn't yell in his ear too much. Loud public discussion is a New York thing.

I should see something besides the inside of the Tank. But that's a decision for tomorrow.

However, the thing about blogging from the Tank, far more than from the Fleet Center, is that you have two different vibes, one, being outlaws, and bloggers need to at least feel that they're outside the system. Two, a wonderful sense of cooperation. Just like the rightwingers have. They all socialize and work together, but those of us on the left hadn't done so. There were no movement liberals.

So, even from home, I feel that this has been a MUCH better experiment with bloggers than what happened in Boston. No matter which party runs the show, people should seek to work outside it. They should keep that independent voice. Some of the folks there are, for lack of a better term, hardcore lefties. Some loyal Democrats. Hell, the McManus Democratic club have kept us fat and happy in dounts.

This is the kind of thing which has been so missing from Democratic politics. We have relied so long on the party to define what our role as citizens should be. There were conservatives before there were Republicans and liberals need to do the same thing. We can save ourselves if we want. We don't need terry McAuliffe, John Kerry or anyone to define our beliefs. They should reflect them.

In a small way, the Tank and the independent voice that the bloggers have there is the start of rebuilding our democratic voice.

posted by Steve @ 8:12:00 PM

8:12:00 PM

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