Andrew Sullivan writes this
about Zell Miller's speech. It's easy for anyone halfway principled and half-awake to condemn a speech like Miller's, and some authors now have.
But I watched Bush's speech tonight, full as it was with hateful lies, and at the end of it the commentators counted the balloons
that had dropped, and made no mention of the statements in the speech that were directly contrary to fact.
Later and soberer...
There are a few decent comments on the various convention speeches.
"GOP Prism Distorts Some Kerry Positions"
, in The Washington Post
, doesn't go quite so far as I'd like. It feeds the discourse of epistemological relativism
with its gently chiding language that allows readers to continue to believe that you know, both sides lie a little, so how can you tell?
Joshua "Great Middle Name" Marshall
a particularly egregious section of the address to NBC's particularly responsible reaction. I've quoted below:
Two perspectives ...
Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaida, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaida was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."
"As speakers at the GOP convention trumpet Bush administration successes in the war on terrorism, an NBC News analysis of Islamic terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, shows that attacks are on the rise worldwide — dramatically.
Of the roughly 2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the attacks on New York and Washington, the NBC News analysis shows 58 percent of them — 1,709 — have occurred this year.
In the past 10 days, in fact, the number of dead has risen by 142 people in places as diverse as Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel. On Tuesday, the number of civilians killed by terrorists totaled 38 — 10 at a subway entrance bombing in Moscow, 16 in a bus bombing in Israel and 12 Nepalese executed in Iraq.
Moreover, the level of sophistication is increasing. Terrorism experts point in particular to the attacks apparently carried out by Chechen rebels during that 10-day period. The rebels, whose top military commanders have been Arabs, are operating at a whole different level."
September 2nd, 2004
Maybe if they keep lying this big-time, they'll start getting called on it. Bush has been overestimating his political capital for some time (this became clear to me in the Richard Clarke brouhaha) and it's possible that the next time he goes too far there will be consequences.