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September 05, 2008

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When you've lost Hilzoy's goodwill and toleration ...

Being in government warps people, then warped people think it's a niche, and pretty soon nobody's safe.

Hilzoy, in his speech tonight McCain gave a litany of the horrors that would follow America's defeat in Iraq. The first item on the list was that our military would be demoralized by it; the last item was that our nation's security would be reduced. Maybe the litany was meant to be in reverse order of importance, maybe not. The fact remains that McCain (and the GOP generally) pay lip service to the idea that our military exists to serve the nation, but he cannot let go of the idea that the opposite is true: the nation exists to serve the military. Our troops want to win, dagnabit, and denying them the honor of winning is too horrible to contemplate. This is a deranged view of America, its military, and the people who wear the uniform. John McCain thinks of himself as a patriot. God spare us from such patriots.

--TP

Thanks, Hilzoy. That attitude about the military upset me too -- a lot. Yes, I did not serve! My family has no military tradition; to be honest, it didn't even occur to me as a possibility until we went to war when I was 21, and I decided (correctly) that the war would be over before I got through basic, so I didn't. Then too, I had glasses, flat feet, hay fever, and bunions; I doubted it was a career that played to my strengths. But I don't think that makes me undeserving to love America. I resent Sarah Palin's smug little snark about how Biden and Obama can't be real fighters b/c they didn't go to war. That says that she despises all of us who didn't. Well, fnck her too, and the tank she rode in on.

To be fair, McCain himself went out of his way to equate other kinds of service, including politics, ministry, and teaching, with military service. That's the attitude of most veterans I've met, they're proud but not contemptuous. Them, I respect.

Was the rest of the RNC more in tune with Palin, or McCain? Well, she got more applause, but I don't think that was why. (Well, more applause until the end, when the self-proclaimed NON-anointed-One hollered at the crowd to stand up and applaud him.) What did make me feel that way was the constant "USA" chants. I love my country, but that chant seemed to say that it was theirs and theirs alone, that their Party, their candidate was so clearly the truly American one, that cheering the country meant the same thing as cheering the candidate. Maybe I'm overreading simple patriotism, but that's how it made me feel.

Jim Henley said something that it's worth keeping in mind: "Country First" is a fascist slogan. It certainly is in the hands of this bunch of two-faced authoritarians, who deny the American-ness and patriotism of anyone who doesn't agree with them.

To hell with giving them the benefit of the doubt; they've forfeited that right.

Thanks, Hilzoy, for saying what needed to be said.

Hey Hilzoy,

I responded at the Monthly, but I hope you didn't take it as any sort of criticism. It was an observation, and an offhand one. I just watched the video (I avoided the convention tonight knowing that it would annoy me), and I understand where you're coming from. I agreed with Olbermann's take at the end. It was inappropriate.

If you did take it as criticism, I want to apologize. It wasn't meant that way.

Sujal

hilzoy: Disgusting and shameful. Only words I can think of to describe McCain and his attitude.

Trilobite: What did make me feel that way was the constant "USA" chants. I love my country, but that chant seemed to say that it was theirs and theirs alone, that their Party, their candidate was so clearly the truly American one, that cheering the country meant the same thing as cheering the candidate.

That's really one of the things I hate about the GOP. The Dem candidate is never a patriot, he's usually an out-and-out traitor. But the Republican candidate is a freakin' hero. McCain can say he doesn't like to talk about being a POW, but his campaign can bring it up every 5 minutes and that's just peachy. When Kerry gets a Purple Heart, though, it was self-inflicted and a bunch a-holes can wear Purple Heart band-aids but they're still the true patriots. They disgust me and they dishonor our soldiers and our country.

The "Republicans are the only real patriots" BS pisses me off more than anything else they do. But I think I'll stop my rant now, I don't think its really adding much to the conversation.

I'll try a little less anger this time, wishe me luck. ^.^

They will do their duty, as we see fit to define it for them.

That line just bugs the hell out of me. Yes, technically Congress and the President define the duties of the military. But something about that wording... I think its the "as we see fit" that bothers me the most. It sounds incredibly arbitrary and cocky. To be honest, it sounds like McCain doesn't give a damn about the soldiers, he only cares about looking tough or getting even with country X for disagreeing with us.

McCain's record on the military is horrendous (see some of hilzoy's posts). It demonstrates a lack of care about not only individual troops, but also the quality of our military. (How are we supposed to have the best volunteer army in the world if we treat our volunteers like crap?) Yet John McCain gets to run as being pro-military and he doesn't get called on it. John McCain gets to be a warmonger, but its okay because we know he cares about our troops.

I call BS on that.

Of course, all this concern about war and public policy makes you an unserious angry liberal.

Jon Stewart is increasingly one of the only people on TV in a position to say hard truths. He got a prolonged ovation the other night with one that applies here. After a clip of some patriotic display at the Dem convention (the retired generals, I think):

"Of course, this isn't necessary for the Republicans, who everyone knows love their country; they just hate half the people in it."

Although I think there are significant differences in Obama's and McCain's approaches to foreign affairs, even Obama does not seem to be interested in calling into question the fundamental militarism that underlies our nation's bloated defense budgets and our general approach to foreign affairs. Much of the debate this fall promises to be about whether we continue the escalation of the war on Iraq (McCain), or whether we should instead escalate the war on Afghanistan (Obama).

I share your distaste at the GOP's attitude toward war, but the Democrats' attitude seems different in degree not kind.

Another necessary truth that's being passed over way too quietly:

Tonight Stewart led off the show with the first acknowledgement on national television (to my knowledge) of the ongoing police action in St. Paul.

"But first, a word from the sponsor of the Republican National Convention: Mace. When someone's standing in front of you, and you want them to move: Mace. When 'get the f*** out of here' won't do: Mace."

Did you know that the RNC organizers took out a $10 million insurance policy for suits against the police and city, so that taxpayers are off the hook and there is no incentive whatsoever for police to stay within the law? Why, it's almost as if the Republicans wanted to encourage mass arrests, gassing, and excessive force.

Arrests are up to 500 now, almost half with felony charges. Terrorism charges have been filed against eight Republican Welcoming Committee members, most of whom were taken in the house raids over the weekend. Conspiracy to riot = planning to assemble peaceably. All it takes is for the police infiltrators to say it isn't going to be peacable.

"I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination. I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has." J.S. McCain, 9/4/08

"Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran" J.S. McCain, 5/18/07

John hates war so much, he sings funny parodies about it. Sadly, it has been a long time since the Straight Talk Express drove down my street.

Nell,

Christ... that explains a lot. Thanks for the info.

It's only war to hate, if it's not one-sided.
If "we" use sand[n-word]s for target practice and to fulfill our obligations under the Ledeen doctrine, that's OK. It's time for the "I hate war", when those towelheads have the gall to shoot back in any effective way.
[/snark]
---
What's also mainly ignored in the media is the reaction of the justice system to the assassination attempt against Obama/Biden during the Dem convention.
Justitia caeca dextro oculo http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/09/fbi-wanted-obama-plotters-charged-but.html>again it seems.

Hartmut: Wow. Just wow. It's almost as if politics trumps human life. Although it isn't nearly as bad, I kinda get an inkling of what running against Mugabe in Zimbabwe might be like.

Also, what does 'justitia caeca dextro oculo' mean? The translation tool I used gave me 'Equity blind right-hand eye' but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Nell: Arrests are up to 500 now, almost half with felony charges. Terrorism charges have been filed against eight Republican Welcoming Committee members, most of whom were taken in the house raids over the weekend. Conspiracy to riot = planning to assemble peaceably. All it takes is for the police infiltrators to say it isn't going to be peacable.

It is most disturbing - and I say that with all sympathy for those who have been arrested, tear-gassed, threatened, etc - that this has not been on the mainstream news. If the Republican Party wanted to present themselves as a party under threat from terrorists, the mass arrests would be on the news - big, showy, "look at us, the terrorists want to silence us" speeches.

Instead it is all happening very quietly - reporters aren't talking about it, Republican politicians aren't talking about it - hell, Democratic politicians aren't talking about it. Merely, the Republican Party is making clear that when they have a convention in a city of their choice, they will tolerate no visible dissent, no public protests.

Earlier this week, I got linked to a livejournal written by someone who lives in St Pauls who was simply cycling on a street near the convention, with the intent of taking photos if there was anything interesting to see: and the police blocked both ends of the street, and the journaller escaped arrest only because as it happened, they were among the last to be rounded up, and by the end the police weren't bothering to process their pickups through an arrest, just rounding them up and turning them loose.

The journaller said that it was clear that while some of the people on the street might have been walking towards the convention centre with the intent of joining a protest, most were locals - people who lived there, were shopping there, or just walking through.

I didn't keep track of the link - I picked it off a friends-list friends-list, I should think - but it confirmed independently what Glenn Greenwald has been saying and the mainstream news is not reporting: the RNC are making sure there are no messy visuals of protesters at their convention. First Amendment? What's that?

I don't want to invoke Godwin, but this really gives off fascist vibes. And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing. Are they afraid of repercussions by Bush before he leaves town? Do they not think police-state tactics in the heart of America is newsworthy?

Of course this angers me. But more than that, it scares me and makes me really worry about the future of my country. I keep getting back to the same thought I had during Katrina: This is America! That kind of stuff doesn't happen here!

At least, it used to not happen here.

"It is most disturbing - and I say that with all sympathy for those who have been arrested, tear-gassed, threatened, etc - that this has not been on the mainstream news."

Wtf are you talking about?

Obviously you didn't make even the most cursory look at the news.

Google News:

Police arrest demonstrators, prevent access to Republican convention
Los Angeles Times, CA - 3 hours ago
... National Convention on Thursday night led to a clash less than a mile from the arena that resulted in "a couple of hundred" arrests, authorities said. ...
Video: RNC: Behind The Scenes CBS
US election: Anti-war demonstrators face off with police at the ... guardian.co.uk
Nearly 300 arrested in convention protests Globe and Mail
Washington Times - The Associated Press
all 1,185 news articles »
Sure, 1,185 stories: hell of a way to not be mentioned.

"It is most disturbing - and I say that with all sympathy for those who have been arrested, tear-gassed, threatened, etc - that this has not been on the mainstream news."

Wtf are you talking about?

Google News:

Hundreds of anti-war protesters have marched on the Republican national convention in St Paul, Minnesota, hoping to confront John McCain as he accepts his ...

Several Protesters Arrested in Standoff With Police in St Paul
Voice of America - 8 hours ago
By VOA News Police in St. Paul, Minnesota have arrested several protesters who blocked a street near the Republican National Convention, refusing an order ...
Conspiracy theorists, unite!
MSNBC - 13 hours ago
That's what the dozens of Ron Paul supporters shouting outside of the Xcel Energy Center yesterday afternoon were telling Americans to do. ...
Video: RNC: Behind The Scenes
CBS - 17 hours ago
CBS cameras take a backstage tour of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. which is the site of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Show video

Police hope to avoid more GOP convention violence
The Associated Press - Sep 3, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — And on the third day, there was quiet. After an anti-war march Monday that drew abut 10000 people and an anti-poverty march Tuesday ...
Protest arrests: Security or repression?
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2008
A lone protester faced a line of police in downtown St. Paul on Monday. Some protesters have said the full riot gear and aggressive attitude did not help ...
Songs in the key of GOP
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2008
Singer Rachel Lampa (R) and Evan Weatherford rehearse before on day two of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 2 ...
Indiscriminate arrests leave behind a bad odor
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 3, 2008
By NICK COLEMAN, Star Tribune Well, today is Day Four of the GOP Convention. And for some Minnesotans, there is an unpleasant odor in the air - especially ...
Taxpayers off the hook for GOP convention lawsuits

GOP convention protest arrests tally nearly 300
The Associated Press - Sep 3, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police arrests tally nearly 300 following sometimes violent confrontations this week, and more protests were planned for Wednesday ...
Police Pepper-Spray and Arrest Protesters in Convention March
Washington Post, United States - Sep 2, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 2 -- Much of this city's downtown was blocked by a ring of steel barriers and police in full riot gear and gas masks on Tuesday, ...
Xcel center named after former Utah foe
Salt Lake Tribune, United States - Sep 2, 2008
By Thomas Burr ST. PAUL, Minn. - Utah delegates to the Republican National Convention are cheering on their party under the dome of the Xcel Energy Center, ...

Outside the GOP convention, protests, violence and arrests
Los Angeles Times, CA - Sep 2, 2008
ST. PAUL -- Here in the land of “Minnesota nice,” the specter of protesters flinging rocks at cops, and slapping or spitting on elderly delegates this week ...
Demonstrators voice anger about economic justice issues
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 2, 2008
By candidate: By donor: A vocal group of demonstrators took to the streets of St. Paul again Tuesday evening, voicing their anger about economic justice ...
Mass show of peaceful dissent soon makes a violent descent
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 2, 2008
By CURT BROWN, Star Tribune Civil Disobediance = GOOD example... MLK, Ghandi Attacking the Innocent and Distruction of property = BAD … read more example. ...
Minnesota arrests
Atlantic Online - Sep 2, 2008
Commenters are peppering me with demands to cover the arrests of protesters in Minneapolis. Frankly, I don't know what to think. ...
Protesters vow to continue; police hope for peace
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Sep 2, 2008
By MARTIGA LOHN and JON KRAWCZYNSKI , AP and yes, I'd be considered a liberal by the right-wing nutjobs who lack common sense. But what Amy Goodman did was ...
Protesters vow to continue rally outside Republican convention site

Protesting the GOP in St. Paul
TIME - Sep 2, 2008
A police officer holds onto one protester, while spraying another with pepper spray during a demonstration march from the Minnesota State Capitol to the ...

As Throngs of Protesters Hit Streets, Dozens Are Arrested After ...
New York Times, United States - Sep 2, 2008
By PATRICK HEALY and COLIN MOYNIHAN ST. PAUL — Thousands of protesters, many of them demonstrating against the war in Iraq, marched on Monday through the ...

Taking It To The Streets... Day 2 At The GOP Convention
Indianapolis Star, United States - Sep 2, 2008
Thousands of war protesters take to the streets of St. Paul, Minn. on a march from the Minnesota Statehouse to Xcel Energy Center, where the Republican ...
Hundreds to be charged in court after RNC protests
CNN - Sep 2, 2008
By Scott J. Anderson ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- Almost 300 people will be formally charged in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday after they were ...

Sure, 1,185 stories: hell of a way to not be mentioned. That's the first of 8 pages worth of stories, all major U.S. excerpted from the 1st page of results here out of "all 1,185 news articles."

Hell of a way to ignore it.

Also, what does 'justitia caeca dextro oculo' mean? The translation tool I used gave me 'Equity blind right-hand eye' but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Justitia (the anthropomorphic manifestation of justice, usually depicted with sword, scales* and a blindfold) is blind on the right eye (only). That saying that became popular during the 20th century** (I don't know when it was coined) means that the justice system has a strong tendency to ignore crimes on the right while going without mercy after crimes or alleged violations on the left often bending the law during the process.

*no, she is not a reptile or fish ;-)
**Most notorious in Weimar Germany (but also up to the present day), when right-wing assassins received leniency for "patriotic motives" while the mere suspicion of wrongdoings on the left (like running away from riot police as proof of criminal intent)led to preemptive incarceration.

"And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing."

Again: wtf?

Worst major speech I’ve ever seen by a politician. It was downright painful to watch at points.

The Washington Post even has video with their main story today.

Police Arrest 200 in March on GOP Convention

By RYAN J. FOLEY and MARTIGA LOHN
The Associated Press
Friday, September 5, 2008; 12:49 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Police surrounded and arrested about 200 protesters Thursday night after a lengthy series of marches and sit-ins timed to coincide with Sen. John McCain's acceptance of the Republican Party's nomination for president.

Caught up in the clash were several reporters assigned to cover the event, including Amy Forliti and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Officers ordered them to sit on the pavement on a bridge over Interstate 94 and to keep their hands over their heads as they were led away two at a time.

The arrests came three days after AP photographer Matt Rourke, also on assignment covering the protests, was arrested. He was released without being charged Monday after being held for several hours. Forliti and Krawczynski, who were among at least 19 members of the media detained, were issued citations for unlawful assembly and released.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the St. Paul police department and its police chief decided that members of the media would be issued citations and released.

Fletcher said he expected most of the charges would be for unlawful assembly.

"Whoever got arrested was whoever didn't disperse and was still on the bridge," Fletcher said. "The tactic of blocking people on the bridge could very well have prevented a lot of activity later tonight. Clearly there were a number of people with no intention of being law-abiding tonight."

The confrontation resulted in at least 200 arrests, Fletcher said. Protesters had gone ahead with a planned march near the state Capitol even though their permit had expired.

The protest began at 4 p.m. with a rally on the Capitol Mall. When marchers tried an hour later to march from the Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where McCain accepted his party's nomination for president, they were stopped by lines of police in gas masks and riot gear.

Police told them their permit to march expired at 5 p.m.

Marchers tried to cross two different bridges leading from the Capitol to the Republican National Convention site but were blocked by the officers backed by snow plows and other vehicles.

A cat-and-mouse game followed as protesters moved around the Capitol area, splintered, and then organized into a marching force again. The size of the crowd varied from a high of about 1,000 down to a hundred and back to around 500.

About three hours into the standoff, about 300 protesters sat down on a major thoroughfare and police closed the four-lane boulevard. Officers then set off smoke bombs and fired seven percussion grenades, causing protesters to scatter.

Some of the scattering protesters entered a residential area north of the Capitol. Later, at least three smoke bombs were discharged in the area of apartments and houses.

About two hours into the standoff, police began arresting people and police were still processing people more than three hours later.

"The important thing is even though we didn't have a permit to march, people have decided they want to keep protesting despite all these riot police," said Meredith Aby, a member of the Anti-War Committee.

Even as protesters were being arrested, the mood was much more relaxed than earlier in the week. It even turned festive at times.

More than 600 people have been arrested in the past week, most on Monday, when violence broke out at the end of another anti-war march.

They also have this Reuters story and this AP story and a number of prior stories, such as this and this and more.

That last:

'IT'S A BARBARIC WAR'

Dozens of War Opponents Arrested in St. Paul Protest

St. PAUL, Minn. -- Dozens of protesters were arrested on Thursday during a protest against the war in Iraq. The campaigners originally planned to march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where the last day of the Republican National Convention was taking place, but did not have permits for the hundreds of activists to proceed.

After gathering at the park around the Capitol for a concert, activists tried to cross one of the several bridges leading over the freeway toward downtown St. Paul, but police and police horses blocked the route. After an hourlong sit-down on one bridge, protesters moved to block an intersection and police began making arrests. Fifty-five protesters were arrested.

"The war in Iraq has got to end," said Catherine Ashton, who lives near St. Paul. "Millions of Iraqis are suffering and hundreds of soldiers have died. We were lied to and it's a barbaric war."

She said she was appalled by the "police intimidation." "I never thought I would see this in St Paul," she added.

On Aug. 30, a 23-year-old Michigan man was charged with illegally possessing Molotov cocktails, which he allegedly intended to use at the Republican National Convention. According to an FBI affidavit, Matthew Bradley DePalma of Flint, Mich., discussed throwing napalm-filled Molotov cocktails at police officers, stating, "I will light one of those pigs on fire."

Much of the action during the week was coordinated by the RNC Welcoming Committee, which held a news conference on Thursday morning to "unmask." Its base was raided before the convention began, but members insisted it was unnecessary.

"We were watching a movie," said Brian Hokanson, one of the organizers.

He added that "he had not seen any member of the RNC Welcoming Committee commit acts of violence," and insisted that informants working for the police had been introduced to the group.

Elliott Hughes, 19, said that he had been beaten by the police after he was arrested and was subjected to homophobic slurs. "Six or seven officers came into my cell. One officer punched me in the face," he said, showing scars on his face.

-- Holly Watt

Similarly see CNN, NY Times, LA Times, and every damn major paper there is.

CBS News:

1. More Protests & Arrests At RNC Video 09/04/2008
"CBS News RAW:" A crowd chanted "Let them go," after police in St. Paul arrested two people during a protest against the Republican National Convention. There have been over 400 arrests at the RNC.

2. St. Paul Mayor Says Protest Crackdown... Blog 08/31/2008
(ST. PAUL) St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman defended police raids and arrests Saturday night as the city prepares for the GOP convention which kicks off Monday. Dozens of people were handcuffed and ...

3. NYPD Spied On Activists Before '04 ... Story 03/25/2007
Undercover NYPD officers traveled around the U.S. and in Europe to infiltrate activist groups planning to protest at the 2004 GOP convention, even those who showed no sign of illegal intent, The ...

4. Convention Arrests Top 1,700 Story 09/03/2004
The number of protestors arrested in and around the GOP convention is nearly triple the total of demonstrators arrested at America's most notoriously contentious political gathering: the 1968 ...

5. RNC Protest Arrests Top 1,500 Story 09/02/2004
Thousands of people formed a three-mile-long "unemployment line" to protest Bush economic policies, as police said they had made more than 1,500 convention-related arrests. AIDS activists disrupted...

6. More Arrests At RNC Protests Story 09/01/2004
Police arrested 260 people during a day of civil disobedience aimed at the Republican convention. Officers encircled demonstrators with orange netting during a protest near Ground Zero, while other...

7. Big Apple Protesters Bash Bush Story 08/29/2004
On the day before the Republican convention, more than 100,000 protesters angry at Bush administration policies — especially the Iraq war — marched peacefully in New York City, forming a line two ...

8. Convention Arrests Already Story 08/28/2004
Some 250 bicyclists were taken into custody during a mass protest ride through Manhattan, days before the start of the Republican gathering. Separately, two men reportedly were nabbed in connection...

9. A Raw Deal For RNC Protesters? Story 08/25/2004
Why did it take so long - in some cases, as much as 66 hours - to process the arrests of the over 1,700 people arrested in connection with political demonstrations timed to coincide with the ...

MSNBC:

Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26548721/

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26525301/

[...]

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ... (8/18/2008)
Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26268958/

Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26548721/

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26525301/

Republicans (1207) (9/3/08)
PAUL, MN -- At a press conference here at the GOP convention, female supporters of McCain gave the media a scolding for what ... windows in storefronts and vehicles; some hurled objects at the police who responded with tear gas and a few quick arrests.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/category/1021.aspx
msnbc.com

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ... (8/18/2008)
Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26268958/
court on Tuesday after being arrested during protests at the Republican National Convention
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22054271/

No razor wire for convention holding cells - Security- msnbc.com (8/20/2008)
No razor wire for convention holding cells Plans changed to use chain-link in ... Warehouse set to process convention arrests
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26320585/

Etc.

This is a hell of a way to suppress news. Wouldn't it be a good idea to actually bother to check the news before writing stuff like "And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing"?

But I have never thought that I had a monopoly on honor and decency and love for my country. I wish more prominent Republicans would stop assuming that they do.
The sickening new Repub slogan, "Country First" makes the slur against Democrats, and Obama in particular, a bedrock component of their campaign. It's a gross insult that constantly implies your opponent puts his interests over the Nation's. Yet McCain has the gall to claim he doesn't attack Obama's patriotism, just his "judgment."

The Republicans nauseate me.

The Washington Post even has video with their main story today.

Police Arrest 200 in March on GOP Convention

By RYAN J. FOLEY and MARTIGA LOHN
The Associated Press
Friday, September 5, 2008; 12:49 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Police surrounded and arrested about 200 protesters Thursday night after a lengthy series of marches and sit-ins timed to coincide with Sen. John McCain's acceptance of the Republican Party's nomination for president.

Caught up in the clash were several reporters assigned to cover the event, including Amy Forliti and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Officers ordered them to sit on the pavement on a bridge over Interstate 94 and to keep their hands over their heads as they were led away two at a time.

The arrests came three days after AP photographer Matt Rourke, also on assignment covering the protests, was arrested. He was released without being charged Monday after being held for several hours. Forliti and Krawczynski, who were among at least 19 members of the media detained, were issued citations for unlawful assembly and released.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the St. Paul police department and its police chief decided that members of the media would be issued citations and released.

Fletcher said he expected most of the charges would be for unlawful assembly.

"Whoever got arrested was whoever didn't disperse and was still on the bridge," Fletcher said. "The tactic of blocking people on the bridge could very well have prevented a lot of activity later tonight. Clearly there were a number of people with no intention of being law-abiding tonight."

The confrontation resulted in at least 200 arrests, Fletcher said. Protesters had gone ahead with a planned march near the state Capitol even though their permit had expired.

The protest began at 4 p.m. with a rally on the Capitol Mall. When marchers tried an hour later to march from the Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where McCain accepted his party's nomination for president, they were stopped by lines of police in gas masks and riot gear.

Police told them their permit to march expired at 5 p.m.

Marchers tried to cross two different bridges leading from the Capitol to the Republican National Convention site but were blocked by the officers backed by snow plows and other vehicles.

A cat-and-mouse game followed as protesters moved around the Capitol area, splintered, and then organized into a marching force again. The size of the crowd varied from a high of about 1,000 down to a hundred and back to around 500.

About three hours into the standoff, about 300 protesters sat down on a major thoroughfare and police closed the four-lane boulevard. Officers then set off smoke bombs and fired seven percussion grenades, causing protesters to scatter.

Some of the scattering protesters entered a residential area north of the Capitol. Later, at least three smoke bombs were discharged in the area of apartments and houses.

About two hours into the standoff, police began arresting people and police were still processing people more than three hours later.

"The important thing is even though we didn't have a permit to march, people have decided they want to keep protesting despite all these riot police," said Meredith Aby, a member of the Anti-War Committee.

Even as protesters were being arrested, the mood was much more relaxed than earlier in the week. It even turned festive at times.

More than 600 people have been arrested in the past week, most on Monday, when violence broke out at the end of another anti-war march.

They also have this Reuters story and this AP story and a number of prior stories, such as this and this and more.

That last:


Dozens of War Opponents Arrested in St. Paul Protest

St. PAUL, Minn. -- Dozens of protesters were arrested on Thursday during a protest against the war in Iraq. The campaigners originally planned to march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where the last day of the Republican National Convention was taking place, but did not have permits for the hundreds of activists to proceed.

After gathering at the park around the Capitol for a concert, activists tried to cross one of the several bridges leading over the freeway toward downtown St. Paul, but police and police horses blocked the route. After an hourlong sit-down on one bridge, protesters moved to block an intersection and police began making arrests. Fifty-five protesters were arrested.

"The war in Iraq has got to end," said Catherine Ashton, who lives near St. Paul. "Millions of Iraqis are suffering and hundreds of soldiers have died. We were lied to and it's a barbaric war."

She said she was appalled by the "police intimidation." "I never thought I would see this in St Paul," she added.

On Aug. 30, a 23-year-old Michigan man was charged with illegally possessing Molotov cocktails, which he allegedly intended to use at the Republican National Convention. According to an FBI affidavit, Matthew Bradley DePalma of Flint, Mich., discussed throwing napalm-filled Molotov cocktails at police officers, stating, "I will light one of those pigs on fire."

Much of the action during the week was coordinated by the RNC Welcoming Committee, which held a news conference on Thursday morning to "unmask." Its base was raided before the convention began, but members insisted it was unnecessary.

"We were watching a movie," said Brian Hokanson, one of the organizers.

He added that "he had not seen any member of the RNC Welcoming Committee commit acts of violence," and insisted that informants working for the police had been introduced to the group.

Elliott Hughes, 19, said that he had been beaten by the police after he was arrested and was subjected to homophobic slurs. "Six or seven officers came into my cell. One officer punched me in the face," he said, showing scars on his face.

-- Holly Watt


Similarly see CNN, NY Times, LA Times, and every damn major paper there is.

CBS News:

1. More Protests & Arrests At RNC Video 09/04/2008
"CBS News RAW:" A crowd chanted "Let them go," after police in St. Paul arrested two people during a protest against the Republican National Convention. There have been over 400 arrests at the RNC.

2. St. Paul Mayor Says Protest Crackdown... Blog 08/31/2008
(ST. PAUL) St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman defended police raids and arrests Saturday night as the city prepares for the GOP convention which kicks off Monday. Dozens of people were handcuffed and ...

3. NYPD Spied On Activists Before '04 ... Story 03/25/2007
Undercover NYPD officers traveled around the U.S. and in Europe to infiltrate activist groups planning to protest at the 2004 GOP convention, even those who showed no sign of illegal intent, The ...

4. Convention Arrests Top 1,700 Story 09/03/2004
The number of protestors arrested in and around the GOP convention is nearly triple the total of demonstrators arrested at America's most notoriously contentious political gathering: the 1968 ...

5. RNC Protest Arrests Top 1,500 Story 09/02/2004
Thousands of people formed a three-mile-long "unemployment line" to protest Bush economic policies, as police said they had made more than 1,500 convention-related arrests. AIDS activists disrupted...

6. More Arrests At RNC Protests Story 09/01/2004
Police arrested 260 people during a day of civil disobedience aimed at the Republican convention. Officers encircled demonstrators with orange netting during a protest near Ground Zero, while other...

7. Big Apple Protesters Bash Bush Story 08/29/2004
On the day before the Republican convention, more than 100,000 protesters angry at Bush administration policies — especially the Iraq war — marched peacefully in New York City, forming a line two ...

8. Convention Arrests Already Story 08/28/2004
Some 250 bicyclists were taken into custody during a mass protest ride through Manhattan, days before the start of the Republican gathering. Separately, two men reportedly were nabbed in connection...

9. A Raw Deal For RNC Protesters? Story 08/25/2004
Why did it take so long - in some cases, as much as 66 hours - to process the arrests of the over 1,700 people arrested in connection with political demonstrations timed to coincide with the ...

The Washington Post even has video with their main story today.

Police Arrest 200 in March on GOP Convention

By RYAN J. FOLEY and MARTIGA LOHN
The Associated Press
Friday, September 5, 2008; 12:49 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Police surrounded and arrested about 200 protesters Thursday night after a lengthy series of marches and sit-ins timed to coincide with Sen. John McCain's acceptance of the Republican Party's nomination for president.

Caught up in the clash were several reporters assigned to cover the event, including Amy Forliti and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Officers ordered them to sit on the pavement on a bridge over Interstate 94 and to keep their hands over their heads as they were led away two at a time.

The arrests came three days after AP photographer Matt Rourke, also on assignment covering the protests, was arrested. He was released without being charged Monday after being held for several hours. Forliti and Krawczynski, who were among at least 19 members of the media detained, were issued citations for unlawful assembly and released.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the St. Paul police department and its police chief decided that members of the media would be issued citations and released.

Fletcher said he expected most of the charges would be for unlawful assembly.

"Whoever got arrested was whoever didn't disperse and was still on the bridge," Fletcher said. "The tactic of blocking people on the bridge could very well have prevented a lot of activity later tonight. Clearly there were a number of people with no intention of being law-abiding tonight."

The confrontation resulted in at least 200 arrests, Fletcher said. Protesters had gone ahead with a planned march near the state Capitol even though their permit had expired.

The protest began at 4 p.m. with a rally on the Capitol Mall. When marchers tried an hour later to march from the Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where McCain accepted his party's nomination for president, they were stopped by lines of police in gas masks and riot gear.

Police told them their permit to march expired at 5 p.m.

Marchers tried to cross two different bridges leading from the Capitol to the Republican National Convention site but were blocked by the officers backed by snow plows and other vehicles.

A cat-and-mouse game followed as protesters moved around the Capitol area, splintered, and then organized into a marching force again. The size of the crowd varied from a high of about 1,000 down to a hundred and back to around 500.

About three hours into the standoff, about 300 protesters sat down on a major thoroughfare and police closed the four-lane boulevard. Officers then set off smoke bombs and fired seven percussion grenades, causing protesters to scatter.

Some of the scattering protesters entered a residential area north of the Capitol. Later, at least three smoke bombs were discharged in the area of apartments and houses.

About two hours into the standoff, police began arresting people and police were still processing people more than three hours later.

"The important thing is even though we didn't have a permit to march, people have decided they want to keep protesting despite all these riot police," said Meredith Aby, a member of the Anti-War Committee.

Even as protesters were being arrested, the mood was much more relaxed than earlier in the week. It even turned festive at times.

More than 600 people have been arrested in the past week, most on Monday, when violence broke out at the end of another anti-war march.

They also have this Reuters story and

Crap. a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/03/AR2008090300553.html">this AP story and a number of prior stories, such as this and this and more.

That last:

'IT'S A BARBARIC WAR'

Dozens of War Opponents Arrested in St. Paul Protest

St. PAUL, Minn. -- Dozens of protesters were arrested on Thursday during a protest against the war in Iraq. The campaigners originally planned to march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, where the last day of the Republican National Convention was taking place, but did not have permits for the hundreds of activists to proceed.

After gathering at the park around the Capitol for a concert, activists tried to cross one of the several bridges leading over the freeway toward downtown St. Paul, but police and police horses blocked the route. After an hourlong sit-down on one bridge, protesters moved to block an intersection and police began making arrests. Fifty-five protesters were arrested.

"The war in Iraq has got to end," said Catherine Ashton, who lives near St. Paul. "Millions of Iraqis are suffering and hundreds of soldiers have died. We were lied to and it's a barbaric war."

She said she was appalled by the "police intimidation." "I never thought I would see this in St Paul," she added.

On Aug. 30, a 23-year-old Michigan man was charged with illegally possessing Molotov cocktails, which he allegedly intended to use at the Republican National Convention. According to an FBI affidavit, Matthew Bradley DePalma of Flint, Mich., discussed throwing napalm-filled Molotov cocktails at police officers, stating, "I will light one of those pigs on fire."

Much of the action during the week was coordinated by the RNC Welcoming Committee, which held a news conference on Thursday morning to "unmask." Its base was raided before the convention began, but members insisted it was unnecessary.

"We were watching a movie," said Brian Hokanson, one of the organizers.

He added that "he had not seen any member of the RNC Welcoming Committee commit acts of violence," and insisted that informants working for the police had been introduced to the group.

Elliott Hughes, 19, said that he had been beaten by the police after he was arrested and was subjected to homophobic slurs. "Six or seven officers came into my cell. One officer punched me in the face," he said, showing scars on his face.

-- Holly Watt

Similarly see CNN, NY Times, LA Times, and every damn major paper there is.

CBS News:

1. More Protests & Arrests At RNC Video 09/04/2008
"CBS News RAW:" A crowd chanted "Let them go," after police in St. Paul arrested two people during a protest against the Republican National Convention. There have been over 400 arrests at the RNC.

2. St. Paul Mayor Says Protest Crackdown... Blog 08/31/2008
(ST. PAUL) St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman defended police raids and arrests Saturday night as the city prepares for the GOP convention which kicks off Monday. Dozens of people were handcuffed and ...

3. NYPD Spied On Activists Before '04 ... Story 03/25/2007
Undercover NYPD officers traveled around the U.S. and in Europe to infiltrate activist groups planning to protest at the 2004 GOP convention, even those who showed no sign of illegal intent, The ...

4. Convention Arrests Top 1,700 Story 09/03/2004
The number of protestors arrested in and around the GOP convention is nearly triple the total of demonstrators arrested at America's most notoriously contentious political gathering: the 1968 ...

5. RNC Protest Arrests Top 1,500 Story 09/02/2004
Thousands of people formed a three-mile-long "unemployment line" to protest Bush economic policies, as police said they had made more than 1,500 convention-related arrests. AIDS activists disrupted...

6. More Arrests At RNC Protests Story 09/01/2004
Police arrested 260 people during a day of civil disobedience aimed at the Republican convention. Officers encircled demonstrators with orange netting during a protest near Ground Zero, while other...
...

Be happy, that you are not forced to listen to current German politicians, OCSteve. Walking violations of the narcotics law. Not even any entertaining demagogues available (even the demagogues lack talent these days). :-(

MSNBC:


Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26548721/

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26525301/

[...]

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ... (8/18/2008)
Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26268958/

Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26548721/

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26525301/

Republicans (1207) (9/3/08)
PAUL, MN -- At a press conference here at the GOP convention, female supporters of McCain gave the media a scolding for what ... windows in storefronts and vehicles; some hurled objects at the police who responded with tear gas and a few quick arrests.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/category/1021.aspx
msnbc.com

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ... (8/18/2008)
Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26268958/
court on Tuesday after being arrested during protests at the Republican National Convention
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22054271/

No razor wire for convention holding cells - Security- msnbc.com (8/20/2008)
No razor wire for convention holding cells Plans changed to use chain-link in ... Warehouse set to process convention arrests
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26320585/

Etc.

This is a hell of a way to suppress news. Wouldn't it be a good idea to actually bother to check the news before writing stuff like "And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing"?

MSNBC:


Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100./

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...

[...]

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ... (8/18/2008)
Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to .../

Police block anti-war march to GOP convention (9/3/08)
... to clear the area Thursday were arrested after a planned, anti-war march to the site of the Republican National Convention ... Police began making arrests about two hours into the standoff as the crowd dwindled from about 1,000 to around 100./

St. Paul set for more politics and protests (9/3/08)
Paul as the Republican National Convention resumes at the Xcel Energy Center. ... At least three of the arrests came during a march against poverty. The march was tense but neither as widespread nor ...

Republicans (1207) (9/3/08)
PAUL, MN -- At a press conference here at the GOP convention, female supporters of McCain gave the media a scolding for what ... windows in storefronts and vehicles; some hurled objects at the police who responded with tear gas and a few quick arrests.

Warehouse set to process convention arrests - The conventions- msnbc ...

Etc.

This is a hell of a way to suppress news. Wouldn't it be a good idea to actually bother to check the news before writing stuff like "And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing"?

I also found it highly ironic when McCain talked about "if you don't like how government works, join it and fix it, or help people". Seemed a contrast from the previous night with Rudy using sarcastic pronounciation to turn "community organizer" into a joke.

The contradiction of an anti-government political party has always been there, but this man and this speech seemed to do a worse-than-average job at resolving it.

I didn't want to write about that. It's still pretty close to the bone. But I have never thought that I had a monopoly on honor and decency and love for my country. I wish more prominent Republicans would stop assuming that they do.

What makes you think that McCain thinks he has "a monopoly on honor and decency and love for my country"? I don't think that your convictions are less deeply-felt or settled than his. And, yet, despite your convictions, you acknowledge that those who have differing convictions may be honorable, decent, and love this country as much as you.

I agree that other Republicans have played the "Democrats aren't patriots" card. McCain also has a biography that Obama can't match, and so focusing on that biography can feel harsh. But saying "Obama's love of country has not been tested in the same way McCain's has" is not the same as saying that "Obama doesn't love his country." Heck, it doesn't even exclude the possibility that Obama's love of country has been tested in other ways that John McCain's hasn't.

von,
The class of Prominent Republicans has more than John McCain in its membership, why do you assume that Hilzoy only meant John McCain? Especially when the paragraph immediately preceeding this says:

And when I hear that in the midst of a convention full of people who act as though they own love of country, concern for the troops, duty, honor, and service


LJ, if Hilzoy excludes John McCain, Republican nominee," from the "the class of Prominant Republicans," she can certainly say that. In a post about John McCain on John McCain's night, it's hard not to think that she includes John McCain in that group. If she excludes McCain, it's certainly worth noting.

In a post about John McCain on John McCain's night

So, the title of the post refers to McCain and not Hilzoy? I'm sorry, but I think your apparently reflexive defending of McCain is affecting your judgement here. Also, you know as well as I do what is cutting close to the bone, and it's very disingenuous, imo, to take the line that you are. Apologies for coming up to a line in the sand for the community here, but if you don't see it, you may want to step back and reconsider.

von, when speakers at John McCain's nominating convention, who have been selected, vetted, prepped, and ran their speeches by John McCain's crew, stand up and question and denigrate the patriotism of Democrats, including Barak Obama, I think it's fair enough to say that John McCain either shares their views, agrees with them, or isn't bothered by them. And so it's fair enough to attribute the views at John McCain's convention to John McCain.

Speaking of anger, I'm really enjoying the emergence of AngryRussell in recent threads. You speak for more than yourself, my friend. Keep it up.

Jeffrey Feldman points out that the "9/11 Video Tribute" started out its "historical survey" with the Iranian hostage crisis. So they're not only linking Iraq to 9/11, they're pulling in Iran, too.

von, how has McCain's love of country been tested in a way Obama's Hasn't?

BTW, the POW experience and time in service doesn't count because he has already stated he didn't feel love of his country until he became a POW.

Anyone else get the sense that if McCain had gotten up there and intoned seriously that the security of the United States meant that we had to go to war with Eastasia immediately, the crowd would have been all for it?

von: I wrote that the convention was full of people who seemed to assume that. (Sarah Palin, for one.) If McCain is not, in fact, in charge of his own convention, if he did not approve her speech, if he didn't write or voluntarily pronounce the words he said about how in opposing the surge, Obama (and thus also you and I and the joint chiefs and everyone else) were putting something above love of country, then OK, it doesn't apply to him.

In that case, I'm only angry, at him, about what was the much more serious charge to start with: that he claims to hate war and do whatever he can to prevent it, while in fact being downright eager to get us into wars, and that he lacks the insight into his own character to see that the noble restraint that he claims for himself, like the deliberation, judgment, and statesmanship he appealed to in the speech I quoted above, are traits he wholly lacks: nice words that make what is in fact a rush to war sound better.

Sujal: I didn't take it as a criticism; just as an observation that seemed to me, on reflection, to be right, and made me think. For which I thank you.

In my last comment: "Obama (and thus also you and I and the joint chiefs and everyone else)" was meant to be: ... everyone else who opposed the surge.

von: Even as a conservative, a longtime Republican, an ardent supporter of the military, and someone who greatly respects McCain’s story – if there was one overriding theme I saw in this weeks convention it’s the one that has hilzoy angry. Every night just reeked of holier-than-thou patriotism.

Yes, McCain stayed away from it – that’s how these things work. The VP and the surrogates do the dirty work, letting the candidate keep their hands clean.

Jeeze – I started to compile a list of these remarks but there are just so many.

And the one thing that bothered me most about last night – I’ve noticed that real heroes never ever get in your face and tell that they are a hero. If you push them on it, the response is typically something like “Ah shucks – I just did what anyone else in that situation would do…”

I still have the utmost respect for McCain and his life. But now I feel like he has prostituted those things I most admired about him grasping at this straw.

Ugh: Anyone else get the sense that if McCain had gotten up there and intoned seriously that the security of the United States meant that we had to go to war with Eastasia immediately, the crowd would have been all for it?

Nope. But the night before? If Palin had pointed up at the media booths and demanded that the crowd storm the booths and string them up – I think they might have.

But then came McCain, saying "I hate war."

Sounds like the Emperor saying "I love democracy."

Nope. But the night before?

Good point, I was thinking of the crowd the night before and McCain stepping up and saying we need to go to war.

If Palin had pointed up at the media booths and demanded that the crowd storm the booths and string them up – I think they might have.

Hatred is a powerful force.

You know, I really hate certain acronyms that are used on these here internets, especially the one for rolling on the floor laughing my ass off, but if there is an occasion for it, it might be this.

I agree that other Republicans have played the "Democrats aren't patriots" card. McCain also has a biography that Obama can't match, and so focusing on that biography can feel harsh. But saying "Obama's love of country has not been tested in the same way McCain's has" is not the same as saying that "Obama doesn't love his country."

Riiiight. So the slogan for his campaign is "Country First" because he wants to give the impression that both he and Obama value their country equally? I heard the choice of campaign slogan was a toss-up between "Country First" and "Member of the Senate"...

And because McCain never ever implied Obama's position on the war implied a lack of patriotism either...

You're either hopelessly naive or extremely disingenuous if you think McCain's entire campaign has been premised on exploiting Obama's perceived deficit of 'Americaness'.

von: McCain also has a biography that Obama can't match, and so focusing on that biography can feel harsh.

Yeah, he was a POW, you know. But he doesn't talk about it much. Still. For five and a half years. A POW.

Speaking of pandering videos: did you catch the "McCain history" video where hundreds of Navy men die from a friendly fire accident, John McCain survives, and Fred Thompson intones "Maybe God had something more for him to do"? Did anybody but me think that was wildly insensitive to the hundreds dead? "Maybe God was using them as window-dressing."

Well, he DID repeat his common and vile theme that Obama puts himself before his country. Kind of a textbook impugning of patriotism there.

homunq: and never forget, it's Obama who thinks that he's "blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need."

Speaking of pandering videos: did you catch the "McCain history" video where hundreds of Navy men die from a friendly fire accident, John McCain survives, and Fred Thompson intones "Maybe God had something more for him to do"?

Wait, WHAT? I don't understand.

Ooookayyy.

According to LJ at 8:21 a.m., I'm wrong to read Hilzoy as saying that McCain is one of her "prominent Republicans."

According to LJ at 8:41 a.m., I am being "very digingenuous" to assert that "prominent Republicans" includes McCain.

According to Nate at 9:09 a.m., however, of course McCain is a "prominent Republican." Contrary to LJ's view, Nate thinks that "it's fair enough [for Hilzoy] to attribute the views at John McCain's convention to John McCain."

And then according to Hilzoy, McCain is one of the "prominent Republicans" unless "he didn't write or voluntarily pronounce the words he said about how in opposing the surge, Obama ... were putting something above love of country, then OK, it doesn't apply to him." So only if I think that McCain is being controlled by some kind of Rovian voodoo doll and isn't voluntarily saying the words he's saying -- or something like that -- he's off the hook.

I'm going to assume from this that I needn't genuflect, as LJ demands, but that my original understanding of Hilzoy's post is correct.

Now that I've cleared away some of the weeds and ridiculous piling-on, I'll respond to Hilzoy's substantive point in her comment .... in another post.


Von apparently thinks this is an example of straightforward advertising:

This portion of A Prairie Home Companion brought to you with the best wishes of Old Folks at Home Cottage Cheese...the name you've gradually come to trust since 1939....Old Folks at Home Cottage Cheese — the only cottage cheese that says right on the label: contains no arsenic and no formaldehyde. Do other brands make that same promise? Old Folks at Home does. Creamy goodness, a fair price, and no arsenic or formaldehyde. That's Old Folks at Home.

Sarah Palin resurrected an attack line of Dick Cheney's, that aroused a standing ovation from the delegates, but no comment that I've seen:

"As Al Qaeda terrorists plan for catastrophic harm on America...he's (Obama) worried that someone won't read them their rights."

So, we have the hatred, AND a guarantee that she'll continue the fight for lawlessness. What is it again that they were all saluting?

von: nothing I said directly implied that I did think McCain was one of those prominent Republicans, so I think lj et al were fine to interpret it as they did. However, assuming as I do that McCain has some say over the tenor of the speeches at his convention, and disliking as I do arguments about how if only the czar knew..., I am prepared to go there.

McCain's conduct throughout this campaign has destroyed the respect I used to have for him. I used to think of him as someone I disagreed with a lot, but respected a lot. Listening to him lie has changed that, as has listening to him paint himself as a man of restraint and concern for the troops, whom he has "kept faith with" not just by opposing better education plans for them etc., but by advocating a pointless war in which they, not he, suffer and die.

(Preemptive note: the word 'pointless' is key there. Obviously I am not a pacifist, and do not oppose all wars. But McCain lays claim to restraint and judgment and a reluctance to go to war when it's not really necessary. I suspect he actually believes that. But we expect some modicum of self-knowledge from grown-ups, especially when they're running for President.)

some of the weeds and ridiculous piling-on

3 people = piling on.

post entitled 'Angry' that specifically references "convention full of people" = "a post about John McCain on John McCain's night"

I hope you can let us know whatever other equivalencies you plan on using in your next post so folks other than DaveC can understand it.

What is it again that they were all saluting?

It was kind of a weird salute too, with the arm straight out at the end and all.

von: I wrote that the convention was full of people who seemed to assume that. (Sarah Palin, for one.) If McCain is not, in fact, in charge of his own convention, if he did not approve her speech, if he didn't write or voluntarily pronounce the words he said about how in opposing the surge, Obama (and thus also you and I and the joint chiefs and everyone else) were putting something above love of country, then OK, it doesn't apply to him.

Hilzoy, you were a bit less circumspect than that. You wrote that "I have never thought that I had a monopoly on honor and decency and love for my country. I wish more prominent Republicans would stop assuming that they do."

I don't see any assumption on the part of McCain -- spoken or unspoken -- that he has a monopoly on honor and decency and love for country. In fact, he said the opposite:

Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.

It's true that McCain has said that Obama would rather lose a war than a political campaign. I didn't think that comment reflected well on McCain, although claims that it's beyond the pale are a little silly -- arguments like this have been a feature of democracy since, well, Athens. And Democrats have made the same charge in return: think of claims that Republicans are employing jingoism or talking tough to win elections at the expense of the national interests.

Still, none of these comments by McCain leads to the conclusion that he (or Republicans) have a monopoly on patriotism -- particularly when McCain's actual speech was directly to the contrary.

McCain's conduct throughout this campaign has destroyed the respect I used to have for him.

Exactly. Even though Obama's speech was more negative than Palin's, his was grounded in truth about Republicans. Even thought, Palin's was less negative her's was full of blatant lies about Obama and Democrats.

The difference is obvious.

von: nothing I said directly implied that I did think McCain was one of those prominent Republicans, so I think lj et al were fine to interpret it as they did. However, assuming as I do that McCain has some say over the tenor of the speeches at his convention, and disliking as I do arguments about how if only the czar knew..., I am prepared to go there.

Huh? So LJ's justified in calling me disingenous and demanding an apology on your behalf when, if fact, I had understood you correctly? That's good for him, I guess, in a heads-you-win-tails-I-lose kinda way.

Von, inserting one paragraph that contradicts much of what his convention has actually said, especially the previous night, doesn't get McCain off the hook. Did you also believe the bit about ending "partisan rancor"? At some point the myth of McCain has to yield to what the actual person is doing.

KCinDC, have you ever seen a political convention in which the party of the hour didn't contend that it represented that genuine spirit of the country and its people? By either Democrats or Republicans?

I seem to be alone, here, but my view is that politics in a democracy is a negotiation over what it means to be a member of that democracy.

Of course patriotism is part of the debate. It has to be. But McCain has never said he has a monopoly of patriotism.

von: Still, none of these comments by McCain leads to the conclusion that he (or Republicans) have a monopoly on patriotism -- particularly when McCain's actual speech was directly to the contrary.

So you feel the other Republicans just got "off message" when they attacked the patriotism of Americans who vote for other parties - that McCain's just got no control whatsoever over what prominent members of the party he leads say at their national convention?

I ask because it appears to me that you are exonerating McCain, as party leader, from any responsibility whatsoever in the concerted attacks by prominent Republicans on the patriotism of those who don't intend to vote for them this November.

If McCain can bear no responsibility for that, it's because McCain had no control over what was said, on stage at the RNC - not even the content of a speech written by his campaign team for his Vice President nominee to read. Would that be a fair statement of your view of McCain versus his party/his speechwriters?

von, Republicans have been claiming for years that they and they alone are the real true patriots. It's been a promenent theme from the Joe McCarthy days on.

There have been Deomcrats who claim the moral high ground, claim to be the ony ones who actually care about doing anything real to serve the people of this country, but that claim is much more defensible than the R party's claim to being the only realtrue patriots.

I really can't think of a time when the Democratic party leadership has used claims of superior patriotism as a theme. Democrats have been playing defense on this in recent elections: climing to be just as patriotic, Obama never attacks McCain's patriotism while insisting that his own be recognized. On the other hand McCAin and his surrogates have repeatledly tgried to paint Obama as unpatriotic.

No I realy son't think t hat there is a way to rationalize it a way: the Rpeublican party is totally into marginalization and demonization. Hoaving no real ideas to offer hate the Democrats is their fall back message.

"Country First" is a fascist slogan.

"Country first" combined with "our country above others" is not just a slogan, it's the heart of fascism.

McCain's conduct throughout this campaign has destroyed the respect I used to have for him.

You and me both.

I've always held McCain in some regard as someone who was basically not in the tank with the rest of the "movement conservatives". This week he's shown himself to be perfectly willing to jump in the deep end if that's what it will take to get him into the White House.

This election is going to be yet another chapter of the American Culture Wars. It didn't have to be so, but it will be so.

Speaking as someone on the left side of the American mainstream, I can say that I have no interest or desire for a culture war. I can't see anything good, or useful, or constructive coming out of it.

But here we are anyway. Culture war has been declared on me and people like me. Whether I want it or not, I'm in it. My only choice is whether I bend over and offer my @ss to be kicked, or whether I make folks like Palin et al work for it.

If you think that's an unfair or inaccurate characterization of the situation, I have to ask where the hell you've been for the last 8 years.

IMO everything I value about this nation is in the process of being destroyed. Not just destroyed, but pissed away, carelessly and recklessly, and with contempt.

I, personally, have had a pretty comfortable and easy life, but people close to me, people I love, have made great sacrifices for this nation. Some in wars, some in other forms of service, some just to get here in the first place.

I won't see that legacy trashed by the punks, pissants, and professional yahoos that populate the Republican party of our day.

McCain has lined himself up with them, in order to achieve his personal goal of being President of the United States. So, you know, I do, sincerely, respect his service to the country, and profoundly respect and admire his courage and suffering in Vietnam, but today is today. As far as I'm concerned, he's sold his integrity out for his own personal ambition.

He doesn't deserve the office.

Thanks -

in a heads-you-win-tails-I-lose kinda way.

Kinda like ignoring 99% of the convention and every other speaker and claiming that fragments of McCain's speech absolve them of meaning. No wonder you use the word genuflect.

You try to reduce a post about the Anger [of Hilzoy] to being about 'John McCain on John McCain's night'. I express my opinion that is is unfair, and you come back with some bs about yup, yup, Hilzoy is totally excluding John McCain, isn't that convenient. Then you try and invoke your reductio ad absurdum when hilzoy addresses you. Disingenuous doesn't begin to scratch the surface of that.

There are some other issues here for those that have eyes to see them, but I'll pass cause I don't want you to feel so piled on.

McCain has never said he has a monopoly o[n] patriotism.

Well, that's a clincher, isn't it.

No one's a racist unless they say "I don't like colored people." No one's claiming they're the only true patriots unless they say "Our party has a monopoly on patriotism."

Von, please show just a little more respect for the intelligence of your fellow commenters. It takes a lot to anger Hilzoy. This isn't a hissy fit, or a partisan display of faux outrage.

There is an ugly message coming from this convention -- orchestrated by John McCain and the Republican Party he leads.

von: if lj demanded an apology from you, I missed it. I thought he was interpreting what I actually said correctly, but that I was willing to say to you what I had not said in the post, namely that I think John McCain acts as though he has a monopoly on patriotism and concern for the troops. LJ could not have said that, not being me.

Jes: "Yeah, he was a POW, you know. But he doesn't talk about it much. Still. For five and a half years. A POW."

Apparently, this still constitutes as big news. After the speech, Kelly O'Donnell -- NBC's McCain campaign correspondent -- said McCain rarely speaks about his POW days. Amazing. Talk about losing one's credibility.

hilzoy: "assuming as I do that McCain has some say over the tenor of the speeches at his convention"

Perhaps you have forgotten that the candidate doesn't speak for the campaign.


There is an ugly message coming from this convention -- orchestrated by John McCain and the Republican Party he leads.

Or that leads him. Either way.

Sarah Palin's assertion that Barack Obama wants to "forfeit Iraq" adds a great deal of validity to hilzoy's argument.

Moreover, implicit in "Country First," it seems to me, is "No Dissent," which would be a continuation of the Bush administration policy that you are unpatriotic -- unAmerican? -- if you question your government or, heaven forbid, the president.

I supported the Iraq war because I was convinced by the so-called "liberal" case for war. I am a young man, and in 2002 & 2003 I simply did not know what I was talking about.

Although I did support the Iraq war, I believe I can, in 2008, sincerely and accurately claim to hate war.

Hilzoy, I agree with your sentiments regarding McCain; and Obama's judgment in 2002 is primarily what has drawn me to him. However, I don't think that one's support of the American invasion in 2003 disqualifies one forever from speaking about these matters.

I think part of the problem is the US has only 2 parties. If the Reps are patriotic, then the Dems can't be. If the Dems are compassionate, then the Reps are heartless. If the Reps are financially responsible (I said IF), then the Dems are spendthrifts. If the Dems are tolerant then the Reps are intolerant. That's the dynamic as I see it anyway.

Von, please show just a little more respect for the intelligence of your fellow commenters. It takes a lot to anger Hilzoy.

Hilzoy has been angry about the Republicans and McCain in nearly every post for almost the last year. Occasionally, she'd alternate being angry with Bush/McCain/the Republicans with being angry with Hillary or Hillary's supporters.

Mind you, I'm not faulting her for it. And I'm not qualified at all to say whether it takes a lot or a little to make Hilzoy angry. I don't know her.

Hilzoy, I confess I have no idea how to square your self-serving claim at 12:53 p.m. with what you wrote at 10:06 a.m. But if you can do it, fine -- and there's no need to show your work.

As for this "if lj demanded an apology from you, I missed it," I'm sure you can review the thread at your leisure if you like. But it's a pretty boring topic of debate.

Von,

Face it, the only one posting here who is angry is you. The piling on you are experiencing and the parsing of your phrases is not everyone expressing anger, but frustration at your lack of understanding.

The Democrats are loving and caring individuals. At their convention they didn't bad mouth Republicans or claim that BusHitler and McCain are the same thing.

Republicans however are odious. The sooner you deal with that reality the better.

You have obviously been blinded, but fortunately for you many here can help you see the light.

I can't believe that an intelligent person like you would actually believe that anything the Democrats said at their convention would be considered bad-mouthing the Republicans. The truth isn't bad mouthing.

LJ, if you'll confine yourself to what I wrote rather than what you'd like to argue about, you'll see that the only claim I have made is that McCain did not say that he had a monopoly on patriotism, honor, etc. In fact, he said the opposite.

You might also consider my comment at 12:33 p.m., which directly undercuts your premise about what I'm arguing and/or believe.

Toml, if you are actually a liberal, I respectfully request that you stop helping.

TomL, I have seen the light!

Oops, I should have added the obvious for you Von.

Democrats are the keeper of Truth. Republicans are the keeper of Lies. That should help your understanding.

If you lack this basic understanding then there's just no helping you.

Mahty persuasive, toml. You haz made me see tha lite!

And von is an honorable man.

Okay, I'm calling spoof.

von: "Occasionally, she'd alternate being angry with Bush/McCain/the Republicans with being angry with Hillary or Hillary's supporters."

Speaking as someone who was a strong Hillary supporter in the primaries, and, granted, I have a short memory, I can't recall Hilzoy attacking Hillary or her supporters without merit.

Trying to speak objectively: Hillary and her campaign -- thanks largely to Bill (and let's not forget Mark Penn) -- did a lot of good but also set themselves up for a lot of criticism, one reason the campaign never gained the momentum to put her over the top.

toml 1

toml 2

and here

Yeah, KC has it pegged, methinks.

Let's see if I've got this straight.

80% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Unemployment is rising, the mortgage/financial crisis is a big deal, and the next President will have major responsibilities in extracting our troops from Iraq.

The McCain campaign's response is, essentially: (a) all the bad stuff is the fault of baaad republicans, but I'm a good republican; and (b) Obama can't be trusted.

Now, given that (a) is a pretty tough sell, in the last few days we've heard a lot of (b), from Palin, Giuliani, Rove and the rest of the republican spin machine. (How 'bout the Republican congressman from Georgia calling Obama "uppity"?)

And somewhere along the way, Patriotism with a capital "P" came into play. And true to form McCain came out with a great soundbite that Obama would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.

That's just ugly. But it's also a true statement of how the republicans campaign. Hit low, then "apologize" for other people "misunderstanding" the comment.

And somewhere along the way an esteemed Professor of Ethics and published author decided, like the democratic party candidate, that she'd had ENOUGH!

Me, too.

Von, take off the advocate hat for a minute. McCain may have never said that he had "a monopoly on patriotism, honor, etc." but he has implied it and the party he now leads has most definitely said it. Your legal parsing might be sufficient for you to persuade yourself, but you've got a long way to go to persuade people who have been on the receiving end of the slurs of the righteousness of your position.

Gary, some of the stories you linked do refute Jes's contention that police repression of nonviolent dissidents hasn't been reported, but others, if anything, are examples of highly inadequate news coverage. I saw the NYT story you linked first and it gives a very different impression from Greenwald's stories. In Greenwald's account, the police have been going out of their way to intimidate peaceful protestors, breaking into homes and accusing innocent people of plotting violence. When one reads the NYT account, I would have thought that some demonstrators got violent and the police responded in kind and possibly in a few cases went too far themselves.

I know there were violent rioters--what is not clear if you read the NYT story is whether the police have been going far out of their way to mistreat peaceful protestors along with the violent ones. Assuming Greenwald is telling the truth, the NYT story is misleading.

Via Billmon:

From McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers:

"The fact that Barack Obama chose to launch his political career at the home of an unrepentant terrorist raises more questions about Senator Obama's judgment than any TV ad ever could"

Nope, no claim about a monopoly on patriotism, honor, etc. there. Certainly not.

von: interpreting my words = interpreting what I in fact said, without benefit of knowing my actual state of mind. LJ did that: "I wish more prominent Republicans would do X" does not imply "John McCain did not do X."

I, however, am prepared to include McCain as one of those Republicans whom I criticized. LJ didn't know that, not being me.

I am, of course, angry. My Constitution has been trashed. My government agencies have been staffed by people like Monica Goodling. My President took us into a needless war which has killed 4,154 American troops, 300+ coalition troops, and God alone knows how many Iraqis, as well as making millions of people refugees. Our standing in the world has plummeted. We are deeply in debt. Our economy has tanked. We have spent eight years denying the need for anything resembling an energy policy. Of course I'm angry.

And it just sort of brings it out when I hear speech after speech implying that Republicans are the ones who keep faith with the troops, the ones who know how to keep us safe, not to mention the great laugh line about their knowing how to preserve our freedoms.

So sue me.

"But McCain has never said he has a monopoly of patriotism."

No, he leaves that to all the surrogates. Von, do you expect us to fall for that? Do you expect us to believe McCain should be relieved of responsibility for what his campaign, and the Republican leadership, and the Republican National Convention, and all its speakers, say and do, because he stands off and says some nice words, and leaves most of the dirty work to everyone else?

That's what people mean when they suggest you're being disingenuous. It's just not a plausible line of argument you appear to be making. And if that's not the argument you're making -- that McCain, the czar, has no knowledge of what everyone under is doing, and thus no responsibility -- then I have absolutely no idea what argument you are making.

"Of course patriotism is part of the debate. It has to be."

Oh? Why?

Is the Obama campaign making McCain's patriotism part of the debate? Are the Democrats in general saying McCain doesn't love America? Are the Obama campaign or Democrats in general saying that we're more patriotic than Republicans? If so, please give us some pointers. If not, then how is what you just said there true?

I don't question that McCain or Republicans in general love America. I don't question their patriotism (though I do question much of what they think it requires, and the policies they believe flow from it).

Why, then, do so many Republicans, and the theme of Republican conventions and so many Republican politicians, over and over question my patriotism, and love of my country, and that of so many Democrats, both rank-and-file, and our politicians?

Why, my friend?

And von, to be clear: I don't know who you think is asking you to genuflect, apologize, whatever. For my part, I don't think I have the standing to ask you to do anything.

That said, while I don't think there's any reason for you to care what would please me, as far as I can tell all your comments for the last several months have been strained attempts to defend McCain, whatever he says, and however utterly indefensible they might be, to the point where I'm not sure what McCain could do that you would not try to find some way of explaining away. I have no idea why you think this is worth doing, especially since, putting on my mind-reading hat, I credit you with a lot more knowledge and common sense than some of these attempts display.

It makes me sad.

"As for this 'if lj demanded an apology from you, I missed it,' I'm sure you can review the thread at your leisure if you like."

No: it's your claim. Link to, and quote the specific words. Or don't be credible. Your choice.

The only place LJ mentioned anyone apologizing was himself, here: "Apologies for coming up to a line in the sand for the community here, but if you don't see it, you may want to step back and reconsider."

Maybe in your haste -- you have a consistent history over the years of apparently reading too fast, and misunderstanding people, and writing too fast, and not noticing when you're being incoherent -- you misread him. If so, you do owe him an apology now. It seems to me that you clearly don't read people very well, out of haste.

Otherwise, if LJ demanded an apology, plase either point to it, or withdraw your claim that "So LJ's justified in calling me [...] demanding an apology on your behalf."

Thanks.

(Incidentally, someone uncorked all the earlier attempts at posting my comments with the quotes about the Mipple-stipple protests from the spam queue that I never asked to be uncorked, since I simply was able to edit them into shorter comments. The result is that it appears that I knowing posted a bunch of repetitive comments, which everyone then had to wade through; it would be better to wait for me to specifically request that a specific comment be uncorked, please, than to do that again. Thanks muchly!)

"As for this 'if lj demanded an apology from you, I missed it,' I'm sure you can review the thread at your leisure if you like."

No: it's your claim. Link to, and quote the specific words. Or don't be credible. Your choice.

The only place LJ mentioned anyone apologizing was himself, here: "Apologies for coming up to a line in the sand for the community here, but if you don't see it, you may want to step back and reconsider."

Maybe in your haste -- you have a consistent history over the years of apparently reading too fast, and misunderstanding people, and writing too fast, and not noticing when you're being incoherent -- you misread him. If so, you do owe him an apology now. It seems to me that you clearly don't read people very well, out of haste.

Otherwise, if LJ demanded an apology, plase either point to it, or withdraw your claim that "So LJ's justified in calling me [...] demanding an apology on your behalf."

Thanks.

(Incidentally, someone uncorked all the earlier attempts at posting my comments with the quotes about the Mipple-stipple protests from the s p a m queue that I never asked to be uncorked, since I simply was able to edit them into shorter comments. The result is that it appears that I knowing posted a bunch of repetitive comments, which everyone then had to wade through; it would be better to wait for me to specifically request that a specific comment be uncorked, please, than to do that again. Thanks muchly!)

(Oh, for crissake's, this comment was rejected as s p a m because I originally mentioned that word.)

It makes me sad.

I don't want you to be sad, Hilzoy, so I'm going to offer a joke. I hope you haven't already heard it (but you probably have, given your line of work).

What did the Buddah say to the hot dog vendor?

punch line below

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Make me one with everything.

Donald: "...but others, if anything, are examples of highly inadequate news coverage."

I don't disagree, but that's an entirely different point and claim then the one made by Jes and MeDrew.

Note that I have no disagreement whatever with what Nell originally wrote.

But Jes went beyond commentary on the type of coverage, to claim: "It is most disturbing - and I say that with all sympathy for those who have been arrested, tear-gassed, threatened, etc - that this has not been on the mainstream news. If the Republican Party wanted to present themselves as a party under threat from terrorists, the mass arrests would be on the news...."

And they were. And MeDrewNotYou wrote: "And I keep wondering why the mainstream media hasn't said a thing."

Those claims are simply wildly false. That's all.

Getting into critiques as to how the coverage should be much different and better is something I agree entirely with, but as a separate issue than saying that there was no mainstream reporting of mass arrests.

I appreciate the fact that the war is THE issue for so many citizens. And I can begin to understand how Hilzoy was so offended by those words (I think I understand even better than that from what I've read here, but I'm sure most of you think I still don't get it, so I'm keeping an open mind in that regard).

But while the tenor of the convention was more confrontational, McCain was not. Von's cite above was noticeable. The response to McCain's "despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other" was FAR louder and resulted in a standing ovation. Obama's "I love this country and so does John McCain" barely elicited a response (though Joe Biden did stand) until Obama reminded the crowd that democrats gave their blood for this country too. Then they stood.

Now, that to me doesn't mean much except that the left takes the patriotism issue too personally. Waving the flag, chanting "USA" and all that stuff is good stuff no matter who is doing it. It may be that those on the left are more cognizant of our nation's faults and thus have a more difficult time getting worked up to a full-throated roar. I'm certainly o.k. with that. But don't knock those that do. (BTW, I'm ordering fifes so my daughters and I can contribute to the 4th of July festivities in our small town because it's something I've always wanted to do). Calling the RNC flag waving fascist rankles me.

As for the speech, I haven't watched a lot of McCain. I think I'm pretty cynical. Yet I thought he came across as sincere. He explained his "Country First" quite well and, while I can't read the minds of those in attendance at the convention, it appeared that those supported his definition. I don't see it as russell does (our country above all others). I took it as JFK's "ask not" imperative. McCain certainly went out of his way to mention virtually all who contribute to society and called us up "to arms" to better ourselves. Nothing wrong with that.

And as for the "hate war" line, from what I know of McCain, he felt that our withdrawal from Vietnam was dishonorable and that the war could have been won. I'm sure that colors who he is today. Withdrawal in Iraq in anything less than a way that can be viewed as honorable and a win isn't something he's likely to support. I'm sure he felt that going to war was going to protect America. I don't think being wrong on the war makes him a hypocrite on the issue, especially after what he went through.

Judged as a speech, it wasn't that good. Obama is clearly a better orator. But I thought McCain, by employing a conversational style, communicated well and avoided a style that would have been a failure. And I thought it was an appropriate use of is POW story given how it lead to his urge for us to fight for a better country.

I didn't at all feel that the Republicans "own" patriotism. YMMV. And I'm sure it does.

along the lines of hsh's comment...
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the Dalai Lama jubilantly opening an empty box: "Nothing! Just what I always wanted!"

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