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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Bad Night for Logic

If you want a reasonable analysis of the first night of the GOP Convention, check out today’s New Dem Daily. But I’m not feeling very reasonable after watching John McCain and Rudy Guiliani last night.
I think Saletan pretty much nailed it in his convention blog in Slate. Guiliani’s speech, in particular, was a masterpiece of loose reasoning and false analogies, leading to the bizarre conclusion that George W. Bush is the Churchill of our era. You know, Churchill stood up to Hitler, Bush stood up to Saddam, and the appeasers didn’t like either one of them. I especially like Saletan’s dissection of the “offensive/defensive” rhetoric used by Guiliani. It’s no secret that Neocons tend to think that worrying about homeland security is kinda wussy; real men go out and “take it to the enemy” (which is a bit problematic when the enemy is a stateless terrorist network). But this kind of reasoning is particularly strange coming from the living symbol of New York’s response to 9/11. Maybe Guiliani will take the next step and call on New Yorkers to turn back their federal homeland security money. After all, with W. at the wheel, there’s nothing to worry about, right?
There was a kind of rough logic to the McCain and Guiliani speeches, however. These guys basically disagree with Bush on just about everything other than his decision to invade Iraq. So in order to make the case for his re-election, they had to pretend that’s the only issue that really matters. Never mind that about half the delegates they were addressing think abortion or gay marriage is the only issue that matters, while the other half get up in the morning determined to abolish the income tax and destroy the federal government. I’m beginning to think that Bush’s main political asset is to serve as the empty vessel for other people’s obsessions.

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