Friday, August 31, 2012

The Republican Convention

Ann Romney started it off by giving a very nice, pleasant speech that was completely devoid of any bothersome policy specifics, y'know, anything that might tax the minds of any of the gentle, proper ladies that were listening. Reading between the lines and listening carefully, a feminist might actually take heart from Romney's acknowledgement of women's struggles, but Romney presented it as "whattaya gonna do, huh?" instead of as a challenge to be confronted and surmounted.

Clint Eastwood talking to the empty chair that was supposed to represent President Obama...whooo-weee!!!!!! Yeah, Eastwood's Hollywood buddies clearly thought that he's, uh, kinda lost it.

The speech reminded me of the grandfather on the cartoon The Simpsons yelling at clouds.

What really bothered me about the speech was that Eastwood addressed a right-wing caricature of a rude, disrespectful Obama and not the real-life fellow who's actually quite likeable.

Wow! ALL of the factcheckers came out swinging against Ryan's speech!

Of course, some media outlets don't regard fact-checking as their mandate and contented themselves with theater critcism, i.e., how well did Ryan tell his many lies?

An especially annoying lie of Ryan's was his description of the Simpson-Bowles "Cat Food Commission" (As it's policy prescriptions were guaranteed to leave the middle and working classes more desperate and impoverished than before).

But there's so much more. Ryan claimed that Obama "created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing." In fact, the Simpson-Bowles debt commission never issued an official report—in part because Paul Ryan, who sat on the commission, voted against it because he and his fellow Republicans opposed raising taxes on the rich to increase revenue and reduce the debt.

Romney's speech? Well, again, the speech completely lacked any real specifics. Romney promised 12 million new jobs, no specifics as to how and his point number three, his promise to forge "new trade agreements," presumably in the mold of NAFTA, actually contradicts the idea that he'll create new jobs here in America. Also, as we DFH lefties have been pointing out for many years, Romney's fifth point, that he wants to cut the deficit, ALSO completely contradicts the promise of new jobs. America simply cannot cut the Federal Budget AND create new jobs in the numbers that are desperately needed.

Jon Stewart ran a segment on The Daily Show a few years ago on Romney's first point, that of energy independence, showing that EVERY American president, from Harry Truman onwards, has made exactly the same promise. Not that it's a bad promise to make, but Romney really needs to flesh that promise out a bit. I looked at his campaign website a few weeks ago and his energy policy is just Sarah Palin's "Drill, baby, drill." Romney wants Americans to be educated. Okay, what does he plan to do about the crushing burden that student loans have become? No word on that.