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"I Will Swear to Uphold the Honor and Dignity of the Office to Which I Have Been Elected, So Help Me God."

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In August of 2000, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush formally introduced himself on the national stage with his acceptance of the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention. What follows are excerpts from that speech. I cannot resist the temptation to add some pointed comments; but ultimately, failed promises -- not to mention hypocrisy and outright dishonesty -- speak loud enough for themselves.

Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Chairman, delegates and my fellow citizens, I proudly accept your nomination ...

Together, we will renew America's purpose ...

I am proud to have Dick Cheney by my side. [You and 19% of the population]

He is a man -- he is a man of integrity and sound judgment who has proven that public service can be noble service. America will be proud to have a leader of such character to succeed Al Gore as vice president of the United States ...

This is a remarkable moment in the life of our nation. Never has the promise of prosperity been so vivid. But times of plenty, like times of crisis, are tests of American character.


Prosperity can be a tool in our hands used to build and better our country, or it can be a drug in our system dulling our sense of urgency, of empathy, of duty. Our opportunities are too great, our lives too short, to waste this moment [Your humble left-wing commentator gnashes his teeth] ...

For eight years the Clinton-Gore administration has coasted through prosperity. The path of least resistance is always downhill. But America's way is the rising road. This nation is daring and decent and ready for change.

Our current president embodied the potential of a generation -- so many talents, so much charm, such great skill. But in the end, to what end? So much promise to no great purpose. [other than peace and prosperity and respect in the world]

Little more than a -- little more than a decade ago, the Cold War thawed, and with the leadership of Presidents Reagan and Bush, that wall came down.

But instead of seizing this moment, the Clinton-Gore administration has squandered it. We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence. Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called on by the commander-in-chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, "Not ready for duty, sir." [They were keeping the peace in Kosovo, without American casualties, not being stretched to the breaking point and slaughtered in Iraq.]

This administration had its moment, they had their chance, they have not led. We will ...

Our generation has a chance to reclaim some essential values, to show we have grown up before we grow old. But when the moment for leadership came, this administration did not teach our children, it disillusioned them.

They had their chance. They have not led. We will ... [Now you have disillusioned more Americans than any president since Nixon]

The rising generations of this country have our own appointment with greatness. It does not rise or fall with the stock market. It cannot be bought with our wealth. Greatness is found when American character and American courage overcome American challenges.

When Lewis Morris of New York was about to sign the Declaration of Independence, his brother advised against it, warning he would lose all his property. But Morris, a plain-spoken founder, responded, "Damn the consequences, give me the pen" [I was always haunted by this passage by Bush: not that there aren't some things more important than money -- although that would be hard to guess from the policies of this administration and its allies in Congress towards big business -- but Bush here practically guaranteed the end of the prosperity we knew under Clinton in order to pursue his "vision" of greatness, even before 9/11] ...

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Doug Drenkow is a writer, editor, webmaster, and producer. A fourth-generation Democrat, Doug has produced the political talk shows "Barry Gordon From Left Field," on radio, and "NewsRap with Barry Gordon," on cable TV, featuring top (more...)
 

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