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A Parade of Corporate Panderers and Opportunists: the GOP Keynote Speaker Roster

It is hard to imagine how the GOP could have assembled a speakers' list that would better represent everything the party stood for: self-interest, deception, opportunism, and corporate pandering.

Zell Miller: Now this guy takes the cake in the opportunist contest! Zell Miller, who is in fact a conservative Republican in all respects, conned the people of Georgia and passed himself off as a Democrat just to get elected. Once in Washington, his record shows that he will back whoever he believes will help his own career the most, stitching back and forth between Repugs and Democrats without any philosophical rhyme or reason as the opportunities for self-gain present themselves. In fact, Miller was dubbed 'Zig Zag Zell" by Sen. Herman Talmadge. But the GOP and its media minions are trying to spin away the ugly reality of Zell's almost sociopathical self-interest. Last April, the Washington Post, while still in its "lying through its teeth" mode) claimed that the Kerry campaign had come up with the 'Zig Zag Zell" title as a way to slime Miller - though the Post undoubtedly knew full well that Miller had been given the title long before by a fellow Senator.

In 1992, he was at the Democratic Convention bashing George Bush, Sr. and talking up Clinton. Now a lame duck looking to land a porky post-Washington job, Miller figures Bush, with all the corporate largesse Bush will be the best bet to further Miller's interests So Zell is an appropriate keynote speaker for the GOP: a sellout with his eye on corporate dollars.

Dennis Hasert: It's hard to think of someone who looks and acts the part of a Boss Hogg politician more than Hastert. In addition to being an outrageous opportunist, Hastert is one of the worse hypocrites in Washington. For example, this week, you will hear Hastert pontificating long and loud about how Bush and the GOP are dedicated to being tough on terror, enforcing laws that "protect America." But the fight is a phony show. Moveon.Org recently exposed Hastert as a fraud: "while American soldiers are risking their lives in Iraq, many of the country's wealthiest corporations are shirking billions of dollars in taxes. As the costs of conflict soar, [Bush] refuses to close a tax loophole that allows big businesses to avoid shouldering their share of the tax burden using off-shore corporate tax dodges -- literally leaving the country in a time of need....One of the biggest obstacles to action on this issue is that House Republican Leaders Dennis Hastert (R-IL-14) and Tom Delay (R-TX-22) are refusing to allow a vote on it." And this is just one of dozens of similar samples of Hastert's opportunism and hypocrisy - all at America's expense.

John McCain: This guy claims he cares about global warming, veterans rights, campaign finance reform and many other things not supported by most Repugs. Yet he chucks it all to cop the limelight as chief cheerleader to Bush, who stands for everything McCain claims to be against. Worse, he has failed to show support for a fellow Viet nam vet and supposed friend of 20 years, John Kerry, after Kerry was inconscionably slimed by people directly connected to Bush. McCain's actions, looked at separately from the good game he talks, shows that this is not a man whom you'd like to have watching your back in any tight situation! Unlike Kerry, he sounds like a man who has never really been to war - in his speech speaking only of Saddam's crimes, while failing to mention once the carnage inflicted by Bush's war: the nearly 1,000 US soldiers killed and nearly 8,000 seriously wounded, nor the estimated 30,000-40,000 Afghan and Iraqi men, women and children killed and the tens of thousands of others maimed, orphaned, or left homeless.

Michael Steele: In 2002, Steele launched his new career: token black figurehead for the Maryland Republican Party. In fact, Steele, a corporate lawyer who was launching a lucrative consulting business at the time, had to be "bribed" with a $5,000 a month consulting fee to set everything aside and sign on as Bush buddy Bob Ehrlich's running mate for the Maryland gubernatorial campaign. In a state with a high percentage of blacks - a substantial percentage of them living in abject poverty in the state's biggest city (Baltimore), attending third-world-quality schools - most of them Democrat/. Worse, Steele remained silent when it was discovered that the Ehrlich campaign exploited homeless blacks to pass out information at polling places - later refusing to pay them, and that the Ehrlich campaign had gone into poor black Baltimore neighborhoods and posted handbills urging people to vote - but giving the wrong day and claiming that people would be barred from voting if they had so much as an outstanding parking ticket. - it is hard to understand who Steele really represents, besides self interest

Rudy Guiliani: If Rudy had just subsided from the scene and into quiet retirement after 9/11 he would have gone down on the books as the "good mayor" who helped "rally the city" after the WTC was hit. It would have helped everyone forget that his record as mayor was starting to crumble. But no, Rudy had to turn his 9/11 publicity into a career, going from respected leader to a pathetic buffoon haunting the late-nite TV shows or morning talk shows, trying to squeeze every last drop from the limelight cast by tragedy.