YORK - JUST WHEN you thought it was only Democrats
who promised everything to everybody, President
George W. Bush made his own promises and hoped
Americans would have amnesia. After Zell Miller,
Dick Cheney, and a host of others did the dirty
work in tearing apart John Kerry in the first
three nights of the Republican National Convention,
Bush accepted his party's nomination for a second
term by promising to bring back compassionate
conservatism. He promised to resurrect education,
health care, and prescriptions for senior citizens.
once again, a party whose face is overwhelmingly
white trotted out a black minister for the opening
prayer, a black gospel singer, a black business
classmate of Bush, and Mel Martinez, the former
secretary of housing who is running for the US
Senate out of Florida. "Nothing will turn us back,"
Bush said about those social issues.
as in his first three and a half years as president,
this was only a lead in, a tease to the heart
of his speech: that only he and not John Kerry
has the guts to prosecute the global war on terror
and to invade Iraq, even if there were no weapons
of mass destruction.
have fought the terrorists across the earth not
for pride, not for power, but because the lives
of our citizens are at stake," he said.
may have been true for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan,
but it was not true for Iraq.
was only the beginning of his national plea for
amnesia. He said nothing will turn us back even
though he turned his back on his own pet plan
for education, No Child Left Behind, leaving it
so chronically underfunded many school boards
are screaming for either funding or its elimination.
said nothing will turn us back even though his
thirst for invading Iraq -- while maintaining
tax cuts he said again last night that he wants
to make permanent -- figured prominently in the
fiscal crisis that has forced severe cutbacks
in schools and other services.
after nearly three years of being the grim commander
in chief, tried his hand at Reagan, sunny-side-up
politics. But in his speech, he offered not a
cent of sunrise for his social programs.
are on a path to the future, and we are not turning
back," Bush said. In saying that, he asked Americans
to give him four more years but to turn their
backs on the history of the first four.
Posted: September 7, 2004