July 29, 2004

Brass on the Stage

Before Ret. Gen. Shalikashvili spoke, they were spotlighting Dukakis down on the floor, a former military veteran. The 'peacenik' candidate that some Republicans (and defeatist Democrats) still like to hang around the party's electoral chances was also a veteran. I attended the Veterans Caucus Tuesday (yes, I'll write about it as soon as I get a chance), and the place was packed with people who had worn the uniform, cheering a stage packed with people who had worn the uniform. Many of the Democrats, like Max Cleland, who were attacked in the 2002 midterms as virtual terrorist sympathizers were veterans. The fiery liberal James Carville is a former Marine.

After the General spoke, several prominent retired military figures, including Wesley Clark came out to stand with him. They were raucously cheered, and their exit was followed by enthusiastic chants of 'USA, USA.'

How is it, exactly, that Democrats get painted as 'soft'? I couldn't say for sure, but that never stopped anyone from pontificating.

To pose the question in another way, before the Iraq war, several prominent generals spoke out with critiques of the necessity or planning of the war. Many were subsequently shuttled into early retirement. Were they 'soft'? I wouldn't like to watch the aftermath of someone telling them so to their faces, but that seemed to be the spin.

This was once a country that understood the value of speaking softly while carrying a big stick. But it seems that public discourse has become so shallow and trite that all we can do is talk loudly about our big stick. There's a word for that, and it sure isn't 'tough'.

Posted by nat in boston at July 29, 2004 03:29 AM | Elections | Technorati links |

The current administration is run by abusive spouses and parents. They're scared and so they scare us and promise to keep us safe and threaten us when we ask "how" or "why."

Scared, angry people shouldn't be running countries... especially countries with lots of nuclear megatonnage.

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at July 29, 2004 04:40 AM

The strongest people and leaders are ALWAYS the ones who don't have to puff their chests and say what bad asses they are. That is why cowards like Bush and Cheney have to pretend to be John Waynes and why the Repubs have to diminish men like Max Cleland. Who could be stronger that that man?!

Posted by: Scott at July 29, 2004 12:02 PM

Thank God for C-SPAN covering the convention gavel-to-gavel. What if I didn't have cable and had to rely on the networks? No thanks! I prefer formulating my own opinions. Whatever happened to unbiased coverage? Did that arrive at the convention DOA????

But, since girls gotta have fun, I've been plugging the major speeches into an online site I found that analyzes emotions behind words. Talk about getting a peek into the political psyche!

For example, I ran Teresa's speech through the site (JournalGenie.com) and it said: "Optimism is one of those qualities that consistently earns a thumbs-up from my side of the computer. It's what appears to be a theme in your writing today. English writer Samuel Johnson once wrote, "The habit of looking on the bright side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a year." And, in Johnson's day, that thousand pounds was a fortune. Why do you think optimism is so valuable? Perhaps it's simply because when people expect the best they often get it. After all, why step into the batter's box with two strikes of negativism against you?" Ain't that the truth.

And, for John Edwards speech last night: "Some people believe in luck-and from your writing today it appears that you might be one of them. Lots of people like to think they're lucky, and that's okay. However, I'd like to throw one more possibility into that pot of gold. Is it possible that you may be feeling on top of the world today because you took action to get you there? A wise woman once said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." Perhaps you could take some time to think about that statement and see if it applies to you." Sounds like the Dems have a party of optimists, doesn't it?

Can't wait to see what JournalGenie says about John Kerry's speech tonight--or how it will analyze Dubya's next month.

Posted by: Nancy at July 29, 2004 08:18 PM