See You in New York

Enough is enough. First we had to stare in horror as Bush and the Mayberry Machiavellis stymied the 9-11 investigation, covered up their shocking lack of due diligence, hijacked the tragedy for partisan political purposes, and then used it to gin up a public relations “war” based on bellicose assertions, faked evidence and endlessly repeated lies.

Then we winced in agony as Bush, the man who left his post in time of war (even when that post was 7,000 miles from actual combat) starred in a nauseating, taxpayer-financed “Top Gun” Disinfo-mercial, “thumbs-upping” the crowd, acting like he himself was a “wind in the hair, lead in the pencil” fighter pilot, rather than a passenger.

Now comes the news that Rove and the audacious campaign 104 team are going to pull off their most cynical maneuver yet–possibly the most cynical ploy in American political history. They have decided to push back the date of the Republican National Convention in New York City to the first week of September. This violates the 3gentlemen’s agreement2 between the parties that both conventions will be over by Labor Day. More importantly, it announces to God and everybody that, yes, the Republicans are going to seize Ground Zero and use it as backdrop for Mr. Bush’s Re-Coronation Pageant.

I was hoping Bush and his pals would someday reveal some small shred of decency. I was hoping there’d be some line they wouldn’t cross–some sacred custom they wouldn’t defile. This proves how wrong I’ve been. Heck, they’re willing to lie to the world, to fake evidence and sacrifice Colin Powell’s credibility in front of the UN, to sacrifice over a hundred American troops (and thousands of Iraqis) for a bounce in the polls. They’re willing to slash school lunch programs so that billionaires won’t have to have their stock dividends taxed. They’re willing to send out their shock troops (Limbaugh, O’reilly, ad nauseum) to question the patriotism of any American who dares question these insane policies, and to bless all this death and destruction by telling us that Mr. Bush is the “Chosen One,”actually selected by God and the Lord Jesus Christ to lead this nation into a Holy War with the Heathen Hordes.

And now, at the place where 3,000 Americans died on one of the most tragic days in American history, George Bush–the man who swore to get Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” but doesn’t seem to remember that promise–he’s going to dress this charnel house with red, white and blue bunting, hire a band to play “Hail To The Chief” and put on his best earnest, “presidential” face while he tells America to ignore the economic devastation his reign has produced–he’s Mr. National Security.

I have a suggestion. I’d like to see a million Americans with signs outside the convention. I figure we’ll need at least a million to get on television–any less and the pundits will ignore us. I want all those signs to say the same thing:


It’s time we as Americans stand up and make ourselves heard. It’s time we tell Bush and Rove and his arrogant cronies that they’ve fatally over-stepped. Abraham Lincoln went to Gettysburg to consecrate that ground, and to give the horrible carnage of that battle meaning–to provide a sacred purpose for America. Can you imagine Lincoln going back to that battlefield, setting up a Chautauqua Tent and using that ground to re-nominate himself in 1864? Can you imagine Franklin Roosevelt giving a fireside chat on Normandy Beach, as a way to insure his re-election in 1944? Americans died here, people. They didn’t die so that George Bush would have a swell place to rally the faithful for four more years of Middle East wars, swelling deficits, tax cuts for billionaire campaign contributors, and environmental plunder.


This is not an appeal to the Democrats. By letting this outrage fade after one news cycle, they’ve proven they’re so cowed by Bush and Rove’s awesome hubris they’re all but useless in this battle. Outraged Americans–led by outraged New Yorkers — are going to have to ignite this firestorm. Let this be the “tipping point” of rage toward Bush and Company. Every tin-pot dictator finally oversteps. Joe McCarthy’s popularity was in the 60th percentile when he finally went too far, smearing an innocent colleague of the Attorney for the Army, Joseph Welch during the Army-McCarthy Hearings. Let me now paraphrase, for my own purpose, Mr. Welch’s famous words–the words that brought down McCarthy.

“Until this moment, Mr. President, I think I had never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do injury to our great nation by using Ground Zero, the site of this indescribable tragedy, for the naked, partisan political purpose of gaining re-election. I fear our nation shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man, but your forgiveness, for the heinous act of defiling the site of some much death, will have to come from someone other than me.”

You really want to be re-elected that much, Mr. Bush? Then you’ll have to win the electionS


See you in New York next September.

Rich Procter can be reached at