HEY, I DIDN'T APPROVE OF THAT MESSAGE!
So the RNC has put out it's first ad of the year. You can watch it through here
It excerpts Bush at this year's State of the Union, saying grave and somber things about either terrorism, or Iraq as terrorism. Here's the transcript:
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: "It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known."
CHYRON: Strong and Principled Leadership
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: "Our war against terror is a contest of will in which perseverance is power."
CHYRON: Some are now attacking the President for attacking the terrorists.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"
CHYRON: Some call for us to retreat, putting our national security in the hands of others.
CHYRON: Call Congress Now
CHYRON: Tell them to support the President's policy of preemptive self-defense.
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: "The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."
CHYRON: Ed Gillespie
CHYRON: Chairman, RNC
CHYRON: The Republican National Committee paid for and is responsible for the content of this advertising. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. www.gop.com
First of all, Ed Gillespie's little McCain-Feingold-required blurb came out as badly as I've ever heard it. The Dem candidates have become very good at throwing in the approval-of-message bit pretty seamlessly.
But on to the substance, or what there is of it.
"Some are now attacking the President for attacking the terrorists
". Okay, who's doing that? Who the fizzyfuck is doing that??? Howard Dean? He and just about everybody else, save for Barbara Lee (who isn't exactly a national figure and, last I checked, isn't running for president), supported the invasion of Afghanistan and the toppling of the Taliban. To a head, every Democratic candidate is a whole lot
more serious than Dubya about bringing the actual perpetrator of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, to justice.
Naturally, this line only makes sense if it refers to the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. Let's think this through. Virtually no one criticized Bush for attacking the Taliban and Al Qaeda. A great deal of people criticized Bush for attacking Iraq. So Saddam's Ba'athist regime, and apparently only
the regime, is being referred to by the Republican National Committee as "the terrorists". Are the bad guys? Yes. But isn't this setting the definition bar for "terrorists" pretty low? They're a brutal regime indeed, but they had nothing to do with any terrorist attacks aganst the United States, ever
. And the only things they ever did that border on widely-accepted definitions of terrorism were done with stuff we gave to them
! So let's all follow Bush and the RNC's example, and start referring to the leadership of Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, etc, as "the terrorists". Anything we can do to simplify the world order would be appreciated by our Dear Leader.
"Some call for us to retreat, putting our national security in the hands of others
." Uh, guys, you do realize that Bush is calling for a speedy transfer of power to the Iraqis and for America's troop numbers to decline significantly next year, right? So the next chryon: "...like this guy, George W Bush"?
The rest is the greatest hits of fearmongering to which Bush treated us in the SOTU back in January. The use of the "some have said we must not attack until the threat is imminent..." line is presumably part of the administration's recent campaign (with an assist from conservative hacks like Andrew Sullivan) to distance itself from the idea that they ever said Iraq was an imminent threat. Of course, that's a lot to throw down the memory hole
I have to admit, this ad seems pretty easy for a Democratic candidate or opposition organization (MoveOn, ACT) to counter. In fact, they don't even have to edit it any differently. Just take the other fun bits from the SOTU, such as the aluminum tubes, the uranium from Africa, the chemical and biological weapons, heck, even when he says "peninchula" instead of peninsula, and intersperse them with headlines like "all proven untrue", "a systematic effort to distort the truth", and so on. Trippi! Lehane! McCauliffe! Get to work!