Economic Girlie Men

Got to be perfectly honest here: I have no idea why everyone is going gaga over California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's little talk at the Republican Convention the other day. First off, it wasn't really an address; more like a string of cute one liners. I will grant you, he does look impressive with his chin thrust forward. (Pointing towards the future, I'm guessing.) Just not sure a guy whose father was a Nazi should be striking that particular pose, much less giving inspiring speeches about escaping as a youth from under the thumb of a totalitarian regime, but there you go.

I must admit also being a bit taken aback by the "economic girlie men" line. Isn't this supposed to be the kinder, gentler Republican Party Convention? And now this blatant discrimination against economic girlie men coming straight from the podium? What next, a Constitutional Amendment outlawing marriage between economic girlie men? Taunting the unemployed with "God Hates Economic Girlie Men" placards? New this season on Bravo: "Economic Girlie Men Eye for the Straight Guy"?

Cranky Georgia Democrat Zell Miller crossed party lines to give a keynote address. Asked why he doesn't just switch parties, Zig Zag Zell railed "I was born a Democrat, and I'll die a Democrat." Nice logic Zell; one question: why the hell don't you act like a Democrat then? And in another balancing act, the spoiled trust fund baby Hilton Sisters Act put on the night before by the Bush twins was evened out when Vice Principal Dick Cheney scolded the nation for even considering not voting for him... and Bush.

He also mocked John Kerry for expressing a desire to take a sensitive approach to the war, even though the last time he scraped the barrel for this charge, the Democrats found footage of Bush saying the exact same thing. But if logic were a requirement here, we'd all be in deep doo doo. We certainly wouldn't countenance vicious attacks on a veteran who served honorably in Vietnam by a guy who evaded service. But instead of getting laughed at as ludicrous, it's been effective.

Of course in America, it's not what you do, but what you say, and more importantly what you can get other people to say, that really matters. Actions are always open to interpretation and ancillary to the continual restating of what you want people to believe happened. If you doubt me, just consider George W. Bush continuing to refer to himself as an environmentalist. The man whose Healthy Forests Initiative calls for increased logging and whose Clear Skies Bill removed penalties for polluters. If Orwell were alive today, he'd bow down to this administration in awe. Or slap 'em silly. One of the two.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.