How We Got To The Moon

In April 1961, John Glenn famously said:

“They just beat the pants off us, that’s all, and there’s no use kidding ourselves about that. But now that the space age has begun, there’s going to be plenty of work for everybody.”

TG and I listened to the main speeches at the Republican convention on NPR tonight.McCain had a brilliant speech, delivered somewhat flatly until the end, when the punch line “…We fight for love of freedom and justice–a love that is invincible. Keep that faith! Keep your courage! Stick together! Stay strong! Do not yield! Do not flinch! Stand up! Stand up with our President and fight! We’re Americans! We’re Americans and we’ll never surrender! They will!” was delivered with what sounded like real passion.

Then Giuliani came on. I’ve never heard him speak; just a few sound bites from press conferences seen in airport lounges and hotels. He’s the street version of Mario Cuomo; they both have the knack for being both oratorical and personal. Giuliani gave a major speech as though he was having a conversation with a friend.

TG is a committed Democrat; she adores Edwards (as do I), sees gay marriage as the #1 issue and doesn’t share my misgivings about Kerry’s foreign policy. But she was rattled by the speeches tonight, and the clear line they seemed to draw between Kerry’s policies and Bush’s.

So I surf over to the left blogs – to TAPPED and TalkLeft and read – carping.

“GIULIANI’S SPEECH, 11:20 P.M.: This is unbelievably long.

–Sam Rosenfeld”

Sam, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not how it’s going to read in Pennsylvania.

If anyone is the personification of the opposite of freedom, it’s former federal prosecutor and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Herr Giuliani is a more apt name for him. How could anyone just not want to retch listening to Giuliani tonight as he tried to sell himself and the Republicans as the party that would bring freedom to the world.

Giuliani cleaned up the streets in New York by arresting the poor, the homeless, the squeegee cleaners, the mentally ill and the addicted. Yes, New York became cleaner, but at what price? At the price of freedom….which he now fraudulently pretends to champion. Sickening.

Jeralyn, I don’t think that that’s what is going to help swing votes in Columbus.

Look, I assume that I’m not the only one who would like there to be an election contest here. And what needs to happen if that’s going to be the case is pretty simple isn’t handwaving and denial.

One can only hope that’s not what’s happening behind the doors in the Kerry campaign. We didn’t get to the moon first by denegrating the Soviet space program.

7 thoughts on “How We Got To The Moon”

  1. Were you reading Instapundit or LGF during the DNC? They were carping so much they make the Talkleft crew look like pike(rs) (sorry, couldn’t resist the fish pun).

    Seriously, the partisans of both sides are completely out of touch with most voters, probably moreso than usual. Most people just want personal and job security, and they’ll vote for the person whom they believe will deliver.

  2. Yes, they were both good, but they were “Bush League” compared to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton’s speeches at the Dem convention.

    Elsewhere around the blogosphere, lots of folks are wondering what the Republican/Media response would have been, however, if the Dems sent up someone like Giuliani to tear into Bush as viciously as he went after Kerry. Just because the lies are delivered by a smoothie doesn’t make them any less wrong. E.G., Rudy baby excitedly repeated the misleading canard that “Kerry voted for the 87 billion before he voted against it”. Of course, he knows full well that this is the way legislation goes through congress and that it is common. I assume he also knows that Bush himself threatened to veto the 87 billion spending bill himself.

    “Here’s a brief review”:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/7/31/32211/9475, for those who still don’t get it.

    If you’d like our political discourse to be more elevated, A.L., you might start by demanding that politicians do not try to purposefully “mis-lead”:http://www.prospect.org/weblog/archives/2004/08/index.html#003774 the viewing public with distortions of the truth. That includes the vaunted “straight talker” John McCain.

    I’d be more impressed by your analysis if you could see through the personalities behind these speeches and look more closely at what exactly they are saying. And I have the sense that you do not give the “undecideds” in PA and OH enough credit for doing this as well.

    It will be interesting, in the next few nights, to see how the Republicans will try to undo Bush’s outrageous flip-flops on whether he is really trying to fight terrorism or not.

    First, perhaps trying to lower public expectations, he declares that “defeating terrorism is not possible”:http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040830/ts_alt_afp/us_attacks_vote_bush_040830222544.

    Now, he is saying “the opposite”:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=1&u=/ap/20040831/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_bush_26.

  3. AL: Well, the music was much better at the RNC. It took me weeks to get that foul “Everyday People” song out of my head. :-)
    But that is my real point– I tried to be impartial in judging the two conventions, but the RNC is much more umm, convicted I guess. Emblematically, the repubs could make up their mind. About the music, and the tone and text of the speeches. So far.

    VT: Obama’s speech was very good, up until the point he forcefully told me to vote for Kerry. Then the impedance load on my receptors blanked out everything he said. Unsubtle. But then, that speech wasn’t written for me to hear– it was written for you. :-)

  4. I haven’t seen Giuliani’s speech, but after reading AL’s comment:

    TG is a committed Democrat; she adores Edwards (as do I), sees gay marriage as the #1 issue and doesn’t share my misgivings about Kerry’s foreign policy.

    All I could think was wow… Gay marriage is the #1 issue? Truly? While we’re at war? I mean, I’m against gay marriage as much as anyone, but the #1 issue?

    Ahead of the war on terror (aka our race to democratize Islam before genocide becomes the only option)?

    Ahead of Social Security / Medicare / Medicaid prefunding and privatization?

    Ahead of national healthcare?

    Ahead of abortion?

    Gay marriage?

    In the wake of the developed world’s impending demographic collapse (due to a lack of children)…

    Gay marriage is the #1 issue?

    Wow.

    The mind just boggles…

  5. James – hey, what can I say?

    She leaves the terrorim and war issues to me. And she does make a point that’s hard to ignore, which is that it will be equally hard for Kerry to cut and run from Iraq and for Bush to invade Iran or Syria. I see a little (OK, a lot) more complxity there, but for her, that pretty much takes the issue off the table.

    A.L.

  6. AL: After the second night of the RNC, my hypothesis has only solidified. I think the Democrats can’t make up their collective mind about what they stand FOR. They are defined by what they are against. The RNC is much more committed to a proactive agenda.
    Dr. Krauthammer has a good analysis of the gay marriage issue that TG may be interested in reading– “Revolution by Fiat” (sorry, Wash Post subscription, but maybe also at Town Hall). The jist is, do we really want the Supreme Court to impose another Roe V. Wade decision in the domain of gay marriage?

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