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September 3, 2004

Tanks But No Tanks: Arnold’s Big Lie Just Par For The Course at GOP Convention

arnoldstamp
(Austria just printed 600,000 copies of these. Did somebody say recall?)

Consistent with the Republican theme this week (not to mention, the past four years) of shaping facts to conform to fantasy, it now appears that the core of Arnold Schwarznegger’s endearing personal account of his political awakening was fabricated.

Arnold told the rapt delegates that, as a boy, “I saw Soviet tanks in the streets” and “experienced communism with my own eyes.” That’s very impressive, but Arnold was born in 1947 and, as historians point out, the Soviets left that region of Austria in 1945. (In fact, if Arnold saw foreigners, they were more likely to be English, since he was living in the British zone.) Furthermore, that “socialist state” that Arnold claims to have grown up in is also a ruse. From 1945 to 1970, the country was run by either a conservative government, or a coalition of conservatives and Social Democrats.

In the NYTimes this past week, there was an article about the Republican’s perceived advantage in holding their convention second. It alluded to particular Republican speeches that had specific lines targeted to reply to or counter specific Democratic speech lines. In this case, it seems that Arnold was trying to match John Kerry’s description of having lived in cold war Germany and having once ridden his bicycle into the occupied zone.

If Arnold himself wasn’t such a made-up person, this twisting of reality might serve as a stronger example of how Bush, Cheney and the Republicans spent the past week compulsively doing the same thing.

  • http://www.freewillblog.com/johns.html Aaron

    Is this all you guys have got? In that portion of the speech, Arnold spoke at great length about the Soviet controlled zone. The Soviets controlled a portion of both Austria and a quarter of Vienna. Arnold has also talked at some length about the thousands of refugees that were driven into Austria by the Soviet campaign to crush the Hungarian rebellion in 1956, which is what he often refers to as “having seen the horrors of Communism”, etc. As far as I know, Arnold has never talked about seeing Soviet tanks in either his hometown or his home province, only in Austria at large. The Soviets stayed in Austria for many years, well into the 50’s. Secondly, Europe’s definition of “conservative” is still quite socialist, and has been for some time. France’s government, too, is considered “conservative”.
    You’re grasping at straws here, as Arnold’s been telling that story for freakin’ years, it had nothing to do with the convention, and you boobs tried this attack right after the recall. (Search Google.) It didn’t hold water then, and it doesn’t now, because you’re depending on two false premises and a total lack of factual support. MoveOn.

  • edward

    In 1943, the Allies agreed to reestablish an independent Austria at the end of World War II. In 1945, Austria was conquered by Soviet and American troops, and a provisional government was set up under Karl Renner. The pre-Dollfuss constitution was restored with revisions; the country was divided into separate occupation zones, each controlled by an Allied power.
    Economic recovery was hindered by the decline of trade between Western and Eastern Europe and by the division into zones. Austria was formally recognized by the Western powers in 1946, but because of Soviet disagreement with the West over reparations, the occupation continued. On May 15, 1955, a formal treaty between Great Britain, France, the United States, the USSR, and Austria restored full sovereignty to the country.
    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0856780.html

  • http://www.globalspin.com/ Chris Radcliff

    Oh, come on, Aaron. What a load of crap. There’s a word for the act of lying without stating disprovable facts: “mislead”.
    It’s obvious from even a surface reading of Arnold’s speech that he was strongly implying that he grew up under the heel of “the Soviet boot”. In a few sentences he progresses from, “the Soviets occupied part of Austria,” to, “I saw communism with my own eyes,” to, “I saw the socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left.” He was obviously banking on the confusion between communist, socialist, and Soviet (not to mention misremembered geography) to mislead listeners to believe he lived in the Eastern Bloc.
    He then goes on to state, “I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism which is what I had just left.” Read: Republicans are the party of Lincoln and Reagan, but Democrats are the party of socialists and communists. He even follows through with “terrorism is more insidious than communism,” a gem that invokes the Fear Agenda to justify a continuous war footing and the PATRIOT Act and all in one blow.
    Oh, and if you really think that’s all he misled about, go and research:
    - “America is safer with George W. Bush as President.” (Be sure to check your terror threat level first.)
    - “Under President Bush [...] America’s economy is moving ahead in spite of a recession they inherited” (Be sure to check the latest jobs report, poverty report, hunger report, and the record size of the budget deficit.)
    For additional info, see the numbers here: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=557746
    The rest of the speech is generalities about the greatness of America. Oddly enough, I also think that America is great. That’s why I’m eager to elect someone who won’t f*** it up the way Bush has in four short years. Let’s hope John Kerry can undo most of the damage in the next four.

  • Warmongering Lunatic

    Ah, yes, “[t]here’s a word for the act of lying without stating disprovable facts: ‘mislead’.”
    For example, carefully pointing out that Arnold lived in the British zone, without acknowledging that he lived in the northeast of that zone, near the Soviet Zone. It’s not like people ever take trips of all of thirty miles . . .

  • arnold

    It is my misunderstanding of the misstatements from what Mr. Bush asked me say…. after all I barely speak english and he doesn’t speak english at all. Besides, after he has gotten away with lies of WMD… economy… help for seniors… and no connection to Ken “KennyBoy” Lay .. for 4 yrs, why should I worry about a few lies in my background. By the way, those Bush twins are hot and stupid…. but I grouped their tits and ass and they are really firm. We are the party of family values and continue to bring disrespect to the whitehouse and America.
    Thank You…
    Arnold

  • http://www.eurosavant.com/weblog.php?id=P393 EuroSavant

    Arnold Corrected

    As the quintessential high-profile event that it was, the Republican National Convention was played out under an unforgiving microscope. Any and all of the supposed facts cited and claims made

  • DrZurf

    Socialism and Communism lead to bankruptcy.
    Watch California. Rid of our Marxist ex-gov. and state assembly girlie men this state will reap the biggest boom in history.
    Another example. Socialized health care. Anyone for John Kerry Should be condemed to health care from the VA system for Life.

  • Rich

    So now the Democrats are telling people from Europe what they saw is not what they really saw? I see. Must be some of that nuance they love to love. Can you folks tell me what I saw growing up? Was I in Cambodia? Can you tell me where I lost my dad’s car keys when I was 5? Of course you, being the party of Mensa, get the final word on my obviously false memories.

  • Doug Hagen

    The truth! You must have heard of it. If not look it up. Why is it you liberals think that just because one of you doesn’t beleive something all of you can call it a lie. Arnold couldn’t have seen Soviet tanks in Austria? Based on what? The oppinion of a liberal professor in San Diego who wasn’t there. Apparently he and you didn’t hear him say he was traveling through the Soviet occupied zone in his uncles car. His family didn’t have one. And the Soviet didn’t leave Austria till 1955. Or is it better for your arguement that you don’t point that out. The facts and truth have nothing to do with the propaganda you democrats spew. If you can’t defeat the arguement attack the messager.

  • TimM

    Just One Minute has a good take down of the media’s spin about this part of the speech. It has convinced me that Arnold was telling the truth.
    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2004/09/so_often_i_find.html

  • http://www.freewillblog.com/johns.html Arnold

    Arnold spoke, crystal clear, about crossing *into* the Soviet zone from time to time, and the fear of facing up to the Soviet guards. He made it as clear as it could possibly be that he was from outside the Soviet checkpoint. What more could you possibly want? Oh come on, nothing. This is an absurd smear campaign, and the AP has even made a lame attempt to correct their story by running a couple rebuttal quotes from Schwarzenegger’s office because it was so outrageous. It’s still insufficient because the story was patently idiotic even from a surface reading, but that’s the game. This was dead on arrival last year, and it shows how desperate you guys are that you’re trying to revive it now.

  • http://www.youbitch.org rube

    “Consistent with the Republican theme this week (not to mention, the past four years) of” telling a true story, and having desperate, hysterical Liberals doing their damnedest to invent a scandal.
    Every 5 minutes, just shout “AWOL! Clarke! Ploome! Halliburton! UNOCAL! Bush knew!” Because every time you do, another bewildered Democrat jumps off the Michael Moore bandwagon.
    Heh.

  • Albee

    A raging case of penis envy!

  • David

    Am I correct? I thought I heard Arnold say that because he saw Nixon speak he was inspired to become a Republican. If this is correct wasn’t the entire Republican Party doing a unified CRINGE? Weren’t they hoping that “maybe nobody heard that”? What an embarassment.

  • http://comcast.net David

    Am I correct? I thought I heard Arnold say that because he saw Nixon speak he was inspired to become a Republican. If this is correct wasn’t the entire Republican Party doing a unified CRINGE? Weren’t they hoping that “maybe nobody heard that”? What an embarassment.

  • KAB

    Man, Arnold had me completely fooled, but so did all my political science professors. How’s this work again? Socialism only existed inside the Warsaw pact and is synonymous with Communism. Social democratic parties in Austria (and the rest of Europe??) are not “socialist,” they’re something else (Strictly capitalist? feudal? anarchical? magical-mystical?). All those lectures I got through the 80’s from my leftist friends on how countries like Sweden and Austria prove that socialism works were really part of a well-planned conspiracy by Republicans so that Arnold could pull off his lies in his convention speech. Gotta admire that kind or pre-planning, though.
    And although I seem to remember traveling as a child, I must have been mistaken, because apparently one’s eyes can only work in one’s hometown.
    The things I learn as I grow older. Everything I know is wrong.
    I thought I remembered a debate in the 80’s between Reagan republicans, who wanted to spend more on defense, and liberal democrats who didn’t. But apparently, I missed the real story of how opposition to the B1 and B2, the MX, and SDI, was being strong on defense? Maybe those opposed to weapons programs voted for them before they voted against them?

  • http://groups.msn.com/kerryforamerica Dana

    Arnold’s speech is proof that Republicans will
    swallow anything fed to them. How about the Nixon-Humphrey debate that Arnold mentioned that never took place? I am ashamed that I live in the state where this lying idiot is the Governor!
    Hey Arnold, Nixon never debated anyone after John Kennedy…you should know that since you married into the Kennedy family you big dork!

  • William

    From Arnold’s speech: The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.
    But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

    Debate comment, where is the debate comment to which you are are referring?
    Or is this just your brain on drugs?

  • xo

    Here for a visit. You lost me on this one.

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