Thursday, August 30, 2012

Republican Convention

Yes, I watched the convention. I had to force myself to do so, thinking I should not try to comment on it having not watched it. Aside from Boehner’s speech which I thought was really stupid, there were, for the intended audience, some really quite good speeches, much better than I would have predicted. The problem with the speeches, all of them, was that the truth was not in them. The entire underpinning of the convention was the same web of lies and distortions Republicans have been using for days and weeks.

Santorum’s contribution, for example, which I thought was well done, was based almost entirely on the demonstrably false claim that President Obama took the work requirement out of welfare, which, as everyone should know by now, is completely false. I am sure that Santorum and the rest of the cast of dozens know full well the claim is false, but as they believe it is working they use it anyway. They seem to believe that no lie is too extreme in the defense of dishonesty.

Ann Romney’s speech designed to humanize her husband I thought was okay but not outstanding, most of the reviewers seemed to think it was much better than I did. I think if you analyze it carefully you will find that she really said very little other than that he was a good husband and father and, if elected, would work hard. It is difficult to disagree with her remarks that she loves women, and women are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and etc. And who will find fault with her focus on love and that she still loves her husband? I thought it was a bit disappointing.

Unfortunately she was followed by New Jersey Fats who dismissed love in favor of respect, and talked tough as is his wont. It was a pretty good speech if you are far more interested in Chris Christie than Romney, and some even went so far as to describe it as his acceptance speech for the 2016 election. Many of the boasts he made about his record in New Jersey, if not false, were at least exaggerations. It seems there was no coordination between Ann’s speech and his.

The main theme of the evening was “We Did Build It” (or something like that). And they did build it, a complete distortion of something Obama had previously said. When Obama said “you didn’t build that,” he was referring to the roads and bridges and public facilities that are provided by the government. Actually, I believe he was even referring to the sociopolitical and cultural climate that makes it possible for entrepreneurs in the U. S. to succeed. Most of the speakers came back to the phrase “we did build it,” over and over, when giving examples of businesses that had been created, survived, and were successful. Awkwardly enough, at least two of these claimants are known to have received rather generous help from the government in the form of loans. The various speakers pushed this theme so far I began to think there were only three possibilities: (1) they actually believe they personally created the roads, bridges, and business climate, (2) they are too stupid to understand what Obama was talking about, or (3) they simply lied (the most probable possibility).

It was during Condi Rice’s speech that I began to realize the audience was actually not paying any attention to what was being said and applauded everything she said. I am pretty sure that some of what she said was not much in line with their platform. I was a bit puzzled by her appearance there as her fellow war criminals were not invited. I guess the Republicans were so desperate for diversity and women they overlooked her role in the Bush/Cheney disaster. She did give a fine speech, the usual bullshit about America’s greatness and altruism around the world.

Huckabee and others gave what I thought were fine speeches but, again, just promoted the same lies over again. It was fitting that Paul Ryan’s speech was the high spot of the evening as it contained so many lies and distortions it was like he was reviewing them. I began to fear that lightning would strike him dead right there on the podium. Even the conservative media were offended by the unremitting falsehoods. I thought Romney would not be able to do as well when it was his turn in the barrel.

And he didn’t, I had to turn him off tonight after the first few minutes when it became clear he was going to say nothing. There was no mention of any of the problems that beset us at the moment, no details about what he might do to actually correct them, nothing but platitudes about how great America is/was, how much he admired his father, how America could be great again (no explanation for this remarkable claim), and so on, nothing but gross generalities and nonsensical claims. It was, in my opinion, a complete waste of time and opportunity. But you can’t expect much from an empty suit. I was rather amazed to learn that Clint Eastwood is either senile or stupid and that Marco Rubio apparently lives in a dream world.

My general impression of the convention is that it was built entirely on a fabric of lies and distortions, had little or no connection with reality, but did apparently appeal to the audience of nitwits who were prepared to accept and like everything no matter how untrue, farfetched, or even divorced from their own platform. It was almost entirely devoted to demonizing Obama and offered nothing specific of a positive nature.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw,

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