Friday, July 25, 2008

McBush and I have an outing in Denver

John McCain and I were in Denver today. Not in the same place at the same time. He was at the downtown Hyatt, addressing the American G.I. Forum convention. I was three blocks away at an arts conference in the kitschy Curtis Hotel across from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

McCain imparted these nuggets of disinformation about Sen. Barack Obama to the oldest Hispanic organization in the U.S. (according to Reuters):

"Had his [Sen. Obama's] position been adopted, we would have lost both wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan, McCain said in a speech to a veterans' group in Colorado."We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right," the Arizona senator added in a pointed reference to the title of Obama's second book, "The Audacity of Hope."

McCain, crystallizing his arguments over the Iraq war in his strongest language to date, warned that pursuit of Obama's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq over the next 16 months while boosting forces in Afghanistan could have disastrous consequences.

"We face another choice today. We can withdraw when we have secured the peace and the gains we have sacrificed so much to achieve are safe," McCain said. "Or we can follow Senator Obama's unconditional withdrawal and risk losing the peace even if that results in spreading violence and a third Iraq war."

While McCain was babbling on in a gust of sound and fury, signifying nothing, I was listening to Greg Esser from the largest city in McCain's state talk about how he and other young artists established an "artists' district" in Phoenix's downtown. They bought and leased squatters' houses and crack dens on the urban fringe and renovated them as live-in and exhibit spaces for the city's artists. They spent months unraveling arcane zoning and building regulations, stalwart even in the face of insufferable bureaucracy. Now the Roosevelt Row artists' district puts on First Friday and Third Friday Art Walks, with thousands of arts collectors and arts students and Yuppies and the merely curious venturing into a former dead zone.

Phoenix young people were reinventing downtown, spending their own money and time and sweat equity to bring life to an Arizona city. Urban pioneers, young capitalists with the kind of moxie that would make both Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (who's attended the Art Walks) and the late Barry Goldwater proud.

Meanwhile, Arizona's John McCain was trying to numb a Denver audience back to the Stone Age. That's what some Repub dinosaurs do.

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