Thursday, October 28, 2004
by Wayne Besen
With less than one week to go before Election Day, things have gone Stir Crazy. Both tickets are impersonating the famous jail scene with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder where the two terrified wimps strut to look tough on their first day in prison.
"That's right, we bad. Uh huh, that's right, we bad."
It's all-tough, all-terror, all the time. We have Kerry as Rambo without the biceps, taking on Bush as a homely, dim-witted Tom Cruise. It's fatigues vs. the flight suit. It's a testosterone tug-of-war where the winner claims the prize of America and her new, sunny province - Iraq!
Team Bush struck first with a television ad showing ferocious wolves - metaphors for Al-Qaeda - advancing towards viewers. "Weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm," warns a menacing voice.
Team Kerry responded with an aviary attack ad showing a soaring Eagle, representing Kerry, and contrasted it by depicting Bush as an ostrich with his head in the sand. We can only image what zoological zingers both campaigns have in store for us in the final desperate days. Will it be Kerry as a slithering snake and Bush as a slippery silverfish?
"Deferment Dick Cheney" chimed in warning that a win for Kerry, a Vietnam War hero, is a win for the terrorists. But as insurgents savagely executed 50 Iraqi soldiers this weekend, one would think that the bad guys are pretty happy with Bush.
Indeed, one of the precious few jobs Bush created this month was for Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who Osama bin Laden promoted to run his new franchise, "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." Bush likes to claim success on the war on terror, but of late our military has had more trouble meeting its recruitment goals than Al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, Bush's spurious hillbilly routine has forced Kerry to convince Joe Average that he's an Average Joe. Desperate to get a gun in his hand, Kerry went goose hunting. He then went to Ohio, stomping through patches of pumpkins to lure batches of fence-sitting bumpkins.
Ironically, in a bitterly divided election with weighty security issues, the contest might be decided on peripheral, yet easily exploitable concerns - gays, guns and God.
Bush's entire election seems to rest on exploiting gullible evangelicals with a campaign of scare and prayer. Unfortunately, the dopes are easily roped. As reported by Ron Suskind in the New York Times Magazine, George Bush told some farmers, "I trust God speaks through me." It seems God needs a new human resources director, if the most eloquent spokesperson He can find is Bush.
Amazingly, the president was able to out-God Pat Robertson. The slick televangelist told Bush that God said Iraq would be a messy disaster. "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties," Bush, the wannabe Messiah, replied to Preachy Pat.
George play-acting as Jesus, combined with Republican political operatives posing as Catholic Bishops, have forced Kerry to the pulpit. I saw John Kerry speak on Sunday and I wasn't sure which booth he was trying to get me into - voting or confessional.
In the end, if there is one glaring reason Bush must lose is that he is singularly unable to protect America from terrorism. As long as he is president, I submit that we are uniquely vulnerable to attack. While he unveiled his new wolf ad, it is his crying wolf on weapons of mass destruction that has disqualified him as an effective Commander in Chief.
There are millions of people, like myself, who originally supported the war in Iraq. I even promoted it on a talk radio show. Unlike Bush, I can say I was dead wrong and that I'm sorry.
But I was duped because Dick Cheney told us Saddam and Osama were connected. Condi told us that we couldn't wait for the smoking gun to be in the shape of a mushroom cloud. She even showed us Iraqi aluminum tubes that were supposedly for nuclear centrifuges.
While I never respected W., I respected his office. I reasoned Team Bush must have Top Secret intelligence that we weren't privy to. Living only a half mile from the White House, I, like millions of Americans, was intentionally frightened into accepting their scam and rattled into buying their racket.
We now know the administration cynically hyped the war. The aluminum tubes used to justify the invasion have about as much to do with a nuclear bomb as aluminum foil and tubes of toothpaste. It turns out that the real threat was not Saddam leveling American cites, but a president who did not level with American people.
When America is united, we are a great superpower. But we are now vulnerable and bitterly divided because half-truths cost Bush the trust of half the nation. Bush squandered his post-9-11 mandate by choosing to secure his base over the security of our nation. With no credibility, he can't effectively lead us or warn us of the real wolves lurking in the shadows.
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