While the Democrats have planned a Rocky Mountain high for Denver (that is if the Clinton’s stop thinking everything is always about them and come back to the reality of planet earth), those heading to the Republican convention in Minneapolis (or is it St. Paul?) have been jumping ship like proverbial rats.
Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas’ press spokeswoman announced he will be busy campaigning that week finishing off a tour of his state’s 105 counties, so… he can’t make it. That brings the total number to eight (10 two more added on Friday) Republican US Senators, 1 in 5, not attending their party’s convention.
Couple this with the latest Republican smear book from Dr. John Corsi, he of Swift Boat fame whose defamatory book of lies and hearsay masked as journalism contributed to the defeat of John Kerry four years ago and many Republicans simply no longer have the appetite for their party’s politics of destruction. MediaMatters.org found 80 lies in the first 36 pages of his vile and reprehensible tome posing as journalism.
So where is the dignified issues-based campaign John McCain promised? Nowhere to be seen.
Even after being called out by Russia and Georgia this week for meddling and not understanding the nature of the conflict, McCain saw no problem that his key foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, lobbyed the senator or his staff on 49 occasions over a 3½ period while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of Georgia. President Saakashvili just wants his money back thinking they had purchased influence and support of US troops. Oops.
Too, President Bush and Vice President Cheney addressing the convention in prime time, convinced seven other Senators that campaign issues back home were far more pressing. No one wants to be seen within a country mile of these two.
So, Ted Stevens of Arkansas, Elizabeth Dole whose husband was once the party’s nominee(!), from North Carolina, Gordon Smith of Oregon, perennial sure bet Maine’s Susan Collins, disgraced senator Larry Craig of Idaho, Chuck Hagel from Nebraska (an open Obama supporter) and Wayne Allard of Colorado will skip the festivities.
Add to the confusion that the convention hall is in the other Twin City St. Paul and resents it that Minneapolis always is named first (like Kansas City, Missouri gets top billing over the Kansas side across the river) and the locals are peeved and insistent that we get it right.
Here’s a convention lead for McCain, divert the goings on inside to an inter-city squabble requiring a UN Security Council resolution and maybe no one will notice that Bush/Cheney are speaking.
You end up with a resolution after days of negotiation like: “Welcome to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron Kentucky” or my all-time favourite, “Welcome to Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Dania, Broward County Florida.”
At least they’d get something done.
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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