Is the American voting public finally getting fed up with Republican politicians who continue to spew the infuriating and offensive rhetoric that the Iraq war and the 9/11 attacks are connected? Are they sick and tired of the GOP's playing the politics-of-fear game? If a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is any indication, the answer is yes.
Back in March, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani led Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) 47%-42%. The new numbers are in, and the table has turned on Giuliani, as he now trails Hillary 48%-43%..and has seen former Tennessee Senator and TV star Fred Thompson hot on his trail, leapfrogging over McCain into second place among GOP candidates.
What's causing this downturn for the GOP's most famous crossdresser? In the recent Democratic debate, Clinton came off extremely polished, poised and presidential. Her star is rising. To the contrary, at the recent GOP debate, Rudy, like his fear-mongering counterpart Sen. John McCain (AZ), seemed utterly delusional and out of touch. Unbelievably, both McCain and Giuliani continue lying through their teeth about the origins and justifications for the war, and the need to continue the carnage. Despite the fact that four years after the invasion not one reason the Busheviks gave for toppling Saddam has been proven out (WMD, ties to Al Qaeda, Yellowcake uranium purchases, etc), Giuliani still invokes the 9/11 attacks at every possible turn, especially when justifying his delusional position on the war. Despite the facts on the ground that would indicate the war is out of control, that the Bush "surge" has been a lesson in futility, and that victory is but a fantasy, Giuliani's been pounding the hawkish table on this debacle. And it's all about fear, fear, fear. Big bad scary terrorists are swallowing up Iraq. "We gotta fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here" is the popular refrain of the GOP fear-mongers. "If we pull out of Iraq they'll follow us home." Puh-leeze. Somebody get me a barf bag.
Apparently voters are finally sick of this deceptive rhetoric, and it shows in Rudy's numbers. Let's get it straight: the invasion of Iraq was planned well before the 9/11 attacks. The attacks simply gave the insane White House Iraq Group the justification they were looking for to bring down Saddam. We are not fighting the 9/11 terrorists in Iraq. 95% of those we're fighting are Iraqi insurgents who themselves are embroiled in civil war. There was no connection between the 9/11 attacks and Iraq. No alliance between Saddam and Al Qaeda. In fact, the secular Saddam hated the Muslim extremists, and vice-versa with bin Laden. If we pull out of Iraq, we face no threat whatsoever from Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites "coming to America to kill us." These factions--the Iraqi people--do not want us in their country. Statistics published in Sunday's NY Times show that an overwhelming majority of Iraqis believe their country is headed in the wrong direction. What does that say four years, $300 billion and 3400 dead U.S. soldiers later?
This relentless morphing of 9/11 into Iraq has finally disgusted voters to the point that those who continue to be guilty of the deception--Giuliani and McCain in particular--are being pounded to the pavement. I guess if you insult the intelligence of the American people long enough, they will eventually come back swinging. Let's hope the rejection of these shameless fear-mongers continues unabated.
On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.
Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America, and is currently #6 in America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.