The Angry Left
I caught a bit of the Republican Convention last evening, including the Ronald Reagan tribute and as much of the Fred Thompson speech as I could take before shutting it off. I TiVo’d Joe Lieberman but it’s iffy as to whether I’ll get to it.
Matt Yglesias points to a sound byte that I first heard on NPR this morning: President Bush’s line from his video address from the White House: “If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry Left never will.”
The analogy between American liberals and Vietnamese Communists is extremely offensive. As is the analogy between criticizing McCain’s policy ideas and subjecting him to physical torture and imprisonment.
I’m presuming Matt’s outrage here is faux, given that this is rather standard convention red meat. Bush is saying nothing more offensive than “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
It is, however, a rather odd line. Aside from reminding Americans — in case they’d somehow forgotten — that McCain had been tortured as a prisoner of war, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to accomplish.
Is the base supposed to be fired up because people on the other side are 1) angry and 2) saying unkind things about McCain?
Are undecided moderates supposed to say to themselves, “You know, he’s right: Those lefties sure seem to be angry all the time. I’m going to vote for McCain! At least he’s always got a smile on his face! Oh, wait….”
Most of the time, it seems like speeches at party conventions are aimed only at people in the room.