Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The dis-Courage Factor 
It's just incredible how self-deluding David Brooks can be. His column today, headlined The Courage Factor:
John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the big stars of the first two days of the Republican convention, but they didn't get their prime-time slots because they're moderates. ... McCain, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger are speaking because they are brave. ... [they] are featured because they embody the brand of courageous conservatism the party has sought to project since 9/11 ... they are obsessed with character. When they talk about problems, they talk about selfishness and dishonor. Mayor Giuliani was never so aggressive as when somebody had violated his sense of decency. Once McCain finds corrupt malefactors ... he latches onto them with his teeth and he will not let go.
Aside from his examplary performance during the the week of 9/11 (when he did everything George W Bush should have done, but didn't), Rudy Giuliani is best remembered in New York for flaunting his girlfriend in public, while still married to then-wife Donna Hanover. He was so 'honorable' toward his wife and children that he told the press he was getting a divorce before he told his family. And now we know what Giuliani really thinks of New York, where he was Mayor for eight years - he really doesn't like it very much. In his speech last night he said "I’ve never seen so many Republicans in New York City. It’s great, great. I finally feel at home." How 'honorable' is it to so disrespect the city that gave you such opportunities? If he's never felt at home in New York, he's quite welcome to leave ...

And what of John McCain's dealing with corrupt malefactors? When it was time to take a stand to support the honor of a man he knew to be admirable and honorable, a political rival but a long-time friend, McCain did indeed take a stand - at the side of George Bush, whose surrogates attacked his friend, John Kerry, as vivciously as they had attacked McCain himself. All for the dubious chance that Bush's sponsors might someday let McCain run for President too.

Oh yes, these gentlemen are very brave - until their courage and their honor came between what they wanted and what they knew to be right. The quality of their character is this - they took the self-serving choice. That, I suppose, is why they were chosen to speak at the Republican convention - they are the perfect examplars of George Bush's America.

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