Republican National Convention Day 1 or was it 2?

Did you see the Republican National Convention Convention speeches last night?  BORING.  I don’t know how I hung in there as long as I did for the late night Ann Romney and Chris Christie speeches, but I did, well almost.  The next day, today, I tuned into the Martin Bashir show on MSNBC and he pointed out the contrast between the two speeches and it was something that as I listened last night also struck me as odd, if not bizarre.  Ann said she wanted to talk about love and Christie who followed her speech contradicted this theme by saying we spend too much time as a country wanting to be loved.

It also struck me as quite odd that most of the speakers on day 1, or was it 2, who knows, simply talked about their own records as governors – how they balanced budgets, cut taxes, busted unions, took immigration into their own hands and so forth.  Rick “Saint”orum literally took the hand metaphor to the extreme, if you were listening closely, you’d have thought it sounded as creepy as I did.  You know for a minute there, I thought he was going to explode or spontaneously combust on stage.

Strangely, there was hardly a whisper about what Mitt had done as governor of Massachusetts.  Granted, there’s not much there for a Republican to champion, especially Romneycare, Mitt’s signature health care legislation, which is the model for Obamacare and I might add as a Massachusetts resident working quite well for Baystaters.  Nor was there much talk about Romney’s days at Bain Capital, and you would think this would have been a rallying cry for the GOP who believe in unfettered Ayn Randian capitalism.  And barely a peep about Mitt’s Olympic “turnaround” which was due in large part to government support – oops, can’t let that get out!  We did learn one thing we might not have know about Mitt and that was that he took Ann to a dance and got her home ok some 40 years ago, or whatever it was.

It was almost as if Mitt were an afterthought on a night devoted to celebrating republican leadership, a style characterized by the slogan – The Grand Old Party of No – no to reproductive rights, no to help for the poor, no to public assistance, no to unions, no to marriage equality, no to jobs, no to voting rights, no to the middle class, no to immigrants, no to the separation of church and state, no to NPR, no to regulations, no to science, no to darn near everything except more tax cuts for the wealthy (so much for the debt clock) and so on, and trust me, I could go on.  The Do Nothing congress dominated by republican obstructionism, rather than celebrating successes should be apologizing to the American people and begging for another chance to serve.

And the smug governors who want less government, and would have you believe they’d cede from the United States and form their own country, jump at the chance to get any and all the assistance available from the federal government for clean energy projects, disaster assistance, education grants and the like. I could go on here and expose more of the hypocrisy, but I don’t have the stomach for it.

Republicans Portray Palin as Media Victim

Leading Republicans claim Sarah Palin has been unfairly scrutinized and attacked by the liberal press.  How many times have we heard this charge from conservatives?  “Tell the Truth!” they roar in a frenzied state.  Republicans are back to their old tactics of creating an innocent victim, in this case Governor Palin, to  generate a public backlash.  Unfortunately, this tactic seems to be working.  Lisa Wangsness from the Boston Globe cited a Rasmussen survey released on Thursday, that 51 percent of Americans believe the media have attacked her unfairly.  Republicans Point Fingers

How have the media attacked her?  What is unfair about all the scrutiny?  America barely knows this woman who could become the next President of the United States.  We have the right to know all that there is to know about her.  The media, not withstanding the tabloids, in my view, have been respectful of her family, and have acknowledged her strengths as a politician and her value to her party and their campaign.  However, it is perfectly appropriate for the media to report on her background.  America, we have the right to know about her governing style, her influences, her ideology, her family life (this helps to evaluate her character), her decisions, her experience, her education and her vision for the country.  Would you hire an employee without reviewing a resume and conducting an interview?

Republicans should expect attacks from Democrats after Palin delivered the first punches in her nomination speech.  To suggest that the press, the Democrats or the general public should give her a free pass because she is a woman, a conservative, or a mom, is unfair and a bit of insult to women.  Sarah Palin is no victim.  She accepted the challenge by accepting the nomination fully knowing there would be unwanted scrutiny.  Look Republicans, if you are going to portray your candidate as a barracuda and a pitbull…well I say those are fighting words.  You’ve put your candidate in the ring, so expect a good fight and a lot of press coverage.

Ideas or Slogans at the RNC?

The 911 film at the RNC was used as propaganda to scare you; a base and shameless fear appeal.  Country First.  This slogan is designed to guilt you into questioning the wisdom of any US military action.  To be against spending 10 billion a month in Iraq is considered un-Amercian.  To argue that terrorism is an ideology, not a nation, and therefore very difficult to fight, is somehow a threatening idea.  Here’s a Big Idea:  We need to win the war of ideas.

Putting people first, now that’s a big idea Mr. Romney.  Why not spend those billions domestically to help struggling Americans, to invest in education, health care, renewable energy, a crumbling highway infrastructure, conservation measures, support for the arts.  Oh, but that would be putting country second.  How dare we invest money at home.  What was I thinking! Bring the troops home?  Not a chance.  Not until victory is ours, even if it takes a 100 years! There Sarah Palin, I said it – victory.

Last night MITT said it was “time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.”  Consider the slogans from Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984 – War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength.  Right out of the Republican playbook.  Country First.  USA, USA, USA. Service.  Leave the thinking to Big Brother.  Obey and Be Happy.

Guiliani talks about Obama’s voting present (neither yes, nor no) 130 times in the Illinois Senate.  And yet Mcain failed to vote at all on legislation providing tax credits for solar and wind investments, known as the renewable energy bill.  He missed all eight votes on this legislation.  See article Eight Strikes and You’re Out

McCain also was a No show (he didn’t vote at all) on the equal pay for equal work legislation – while 6 of his Republican colleagues voted Yes.  Some maverick.

And with all this talk about drilling, let’s get one thing straight:  we can reduce our dependency on oil by using less, not drilling more.  Ride a Bike.  USA USA USA.

Day 3 at the RNC

The Republicans have brought back the L word – Fred Thompson used it to describe Barak Obama as the most liberal politician ever to run for the Presidency.  Liberal/Conservative; Blue States/Red States.  This labeling game is designed to divide, distract and demonize.  Elder Bush used the L word to brand Dukakis as a liberal, left leaning, eastern, urban extremist, out of touch with the mainstream.  What is the mainstream?  Who is mainstream?  Big business.  Certainly not the Christian right or the Progressive left.  There are those labels again.  Distracting from the issues.  What are the issues – are there any?  Is this election simply about taxes?  Sounds like this is the only thing that matters to Republicans.  Of course, no more taxes simply means, no more corporate taxes.  Tax breaks for the rich – corporate welfare.  Not at all surprising that the Republicans had a billionaire in Pat Whitman speaking to America.

Do the Republicans care about the middle class – the vast majority of Americans – who are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage; who struggle to fill the tank and to put money in the bank; who lack health insurance.  Is the soaring cost of college tuition of any importance to anyone out there?  Education – come on.  What do the Republicans plan to do?  Seriously.  We hear about accountability, but not about providing more resources. Teachers, students and administrators are blamed for failing schools.  Fire the teachers – just like the air traffic controllers back in the 80’s; privatize the schools – bring big business into the equation to educate the masses to SERVICE the corporate bottom line.  Accountability.  Replace the school signs with corporate billboards.  Plaster the school walls with advertisements; pipe in MUZAK – send subliminal messages designed to sell jeans, sneakers, Mickey D’s and Pepsi or Coke if you prefer.   Hire Madison Avenue executives to create an army of young consumers.

What’s wrong with the word Liberal?  Absolutely nothing.  It’s a good word – it means progress; an open mind – open to new ideas.  Aren’t the REpubs running on the reform Washington message.  Isn’t that a liberal idea?  The Dems don’t use the C word, but they could.  Are conservatives out of touch with mainstream ideology – more guns, less choice, more wiretaps, less civil liberties, tax cuts for the rich, more deficit spending, more military spending.  One thing the REpubs know well; create an imagined enemy, demonize that enemy – in this case fellow Americans (who dare to put people first) and turn the debate into the politics of fear and hate.

The Eastern elite.  Mitt, weren’t you the governor of Massachusetts?  Do you not hold a Harvard MBA?  There he goes.  Liberal.  The L word.  Throw out the liberals.  Now that’s a big idea.  And opportunity for whom?  Not for me and probably not you either Republican America.  Here’s another swell line:  “Keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.” No need to discuss Global Warming because it’s not really happening – or so the Republicans claim.  Or more aptly, keep the inconvenient truth grounded because it’s bad for big business.  USA, USA, USA!

Stay tuned for another installment of Day 3 at the RNC.