I don't disagree with The Bull Moose when he supposes thusly:
If Toby [Keith] had opened the '04 Democratic Convention with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue", old John Kerry would likely occupy the Oval Office. Democrats - say no to Michael Moore and yes to Toby Keith!
Of course, the chances of that song being played at any Democratic politician's rally is about as likely as Michael Moore giving the keynote speech at the next Republican National Convention. Consider a sentence from this review, which Bull Moose exceprts:
[Keith's] 9/11 battle cry, 2002's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," was an ugly blast of jingoism that commenced a feud with left-leaning Dixie Chick Natalie Maines.
This son of an Army veteran connected right away with the Fort Lewis troops, performing numbers including “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).”
The latter is a chest-thumping anthem born in the months after Sept. 11, 2001. The soldiers sang along, their voices building to a growl as they got to the most provocative verse: “This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage, and you’ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A, ’cause we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”
Keith juiced them even more between songs when he said: “I was telling General Rodgriguez, of all the weapons you have, the baddest-ass weapon you’ve got is the American soldier.”
“Hoo-ahh!” the crowd roared back with one voice.
I'm not much of a country fan; my taste is more alternative rock, so I've heard many playings of angry angry anti-war songs by artists such as Green Day, Sum 41, System Of A Down, Incubus, Eminem, and The Beastie Boys. Not that any of these songs would get played at any political convention either, but neither is their anger blithely described by reviewers as "ugly". Expressing anger at the President is hip and edgy; Keith's apparent sin was to express anger at something trivial like the destruction of the World Trade Center.
And the Democrats' problem is that they were seen as more aligned with the Keith-bashers than the Keith-supporters (such as, you know, our troops). Kerry didn't lose by much; he could have easily won had it seemed like he was less concerned with putting a boot in Bush's ass and more concerned with putting one in al Qaeda's. He'd have been better off heeding Keith's advice: doing the latter is truly "the Amercian Way".