Three Days of the Condor

The confetti has fallen, the last patriotic song has played, the candidates have left the stage and that ends the 2012 Republican National Convention. This was a potential major turning point for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as he reintroduced himself into the public spotlight. But before we discuss if that worked or not, join us for a crash course through the convention’s first two nights.

Night one gave us New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s keynote address and an appearance by potential first lady, Ann Romney. I found it interesting how much they both praised teachers and first responders. Governor Christie told the crowd, “We believe in teachers,” while Mrs. Romney said, “We should be grateful for our first responders.” Just not to the point of offering either occupation job security. As you may recall, last year the GOP blocked the president’s Teachers/First Responders Jobs Bill.

Now, I missed Rick Santorum’s speech and had to go back and re-read it (it seems I didn’t miss much). One point that Santorum touched upon was welfare reform saying “And this summer he (President Obama) showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.”

Reality check.  The governors of California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada and Utah requested flexibility as to how they handle the currency from the welfare program. The Obama administration complied as long the states maintained most of the provisions in place and produced a 20% increase in people finding work. It is important to note that the governors of Nevada and Utah are Republicans.

I don’t understand the GOP’s issue with this subject. It encourages a higher rate of job placement and gives power back to the states, which is a regular modern-day Republican Party talking point.

Santorum did not come out on stage with the Chic-fil-A cow, but he did manage to get this zinger in: “Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family.”

Yes, because the idea of marriage equality for all is what truly damages our economy, not the $3.2 trillion dollar failed policy of trickle-down economics that would be continued under a Romney/Ryan administration.

As mentioned in our previous entry Sex Toy Story, my home state of Iowa benefited greatly from the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2009, creating between $12 and $13 million dollars for the state and local economies.

Night two saw Paul Ryan take the podium and proceed to firebomb the convention center with blatant lies and misinformation, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask Fox News.

Ryan’s political ass was handed to him on a silver platter by the one site that should have been kissing it, not preparing it.

Of the many false claims made by Ryan:

  • The stimulus did not work. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office disagrees.
  • Obama broke a promise to keep a Wisconsin GM plant open. The plant closed before Obama took office and he never made such a promise.
  • $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by Obamacare. The $716 billion dollars mentioned by Ryan are actually reductions to providers (not recipients).
  • Implied Obama was responsible for the nation’s credit downgrade. The Republican Party was cited by name in the S&P official statement for their lack to create revenue attributing to our credit downgrade.
  • Attributes all $5 trillion of the new debt to Obama. We were still under the Bush tax policy when Obama took office and congressional Republicans have maintained that policy to this day.

Night three of the convention was a box set of religion and batshit crazy. The night began with a video tribute to Ronald Reagan, which naturally failed to mention his legalization of abortion as California governor, nominating a pro-choice woman justice to the Supreme Court, raising of taxes, giving amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants and support of unions.

This was followed by a velocirapting attack against the President by Newt and Calista Gingrich. Judging from Gingrich’s speech, you would have thought Reagan was running for office. He mentioned the former president sixteen times, while speaking of Romney in only four instances.

Newt clearly did not fact check Santorum’s speech from Tuesday night, because he parroted his false claim regarding welfare.

Marco Rubio showcased his public speaking ability and eager personality, making sure you remember his name regarding future opportunities for the very position Romney is currently striving for.

The Florida senator also took the time to promote his belief of God and the clear influence that religion would hold in a Rubio administration. Seriously, after I figured out Reagan was NOT running, I thought Rubio MUST be.

One theme running through the Romney/Ryan ticket and the modern-day Republican Party is crediting God with everything, even our legislation. During his speech, Rubio said “That almighty God is the source of all we have.” Paul Ryan repeated a line from the campaign trail during his Wednesday night speech claiming “and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.”

Going by this brain dead philosophy, the original constitution, which did not prohibit slavery and restricted female and minority rights to vote, was the will of God and man changed it through amendments.

What’s more troubling is that Rubio and Ryan (people that are consistently hailed as two of the smartest among the GOP) do not seem to realize this belief goes against EVERYTHING the founding fathers stood for. Clearly neither one of these guys read the establishing clause of the First Amendment… or Drinks and Wings.

Before the religious fervor of Rubio was the one-man performance fit for a Vegas lounge act by Clint Eastwood.

Eastwood took the stage and performed as if he were a ventriloquist that forgot his dummy before his 10 PM show.

Romney never had a chance to be the talk of the town after that performance. I can just imagine Romney standing behind the stage listening to Eastwood’s rambling and muttering, “Fucking actors.”

The former Massachusetts governor repeated much of the misinformation we heard previously in the week, including Paul Ryan’s $716 billion dollar number in regards to Medicare.

Another line that stuck out like a climatologist at a GOP panel on global warming was this line: “Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.”

We have gone over this several times. First, Obama has not raised taxes on the middle class. I have no clue where this idea comes from. Second, Romney should take another look at his tax plan, because the non-partisan Tax Policy Center disagrees with this statement, concluding that “the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle and/or lower-income taxpayers.”

Romney also shared stories of his family history, in particular his parents’ relationship, reciting a story when Romney’s mother ran for senate and how his father supported her decision, saying “I can still see her saying in her beautiful voice, ‘why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation?’”

Romney seems to be unaware that this is exactly what has happened with his party regarding the issue of women’s healthcare. There is not a clearer example of this than the House hearings panel assembled earlier this year in regards to the contraception mandate by Republican Darrell Issa. Not a single woman was included and one (Sandra Fluke) was barred from appearing.

The story of his father always leaving a rose for his mother by the bedside every day is sweet. It’s an excellent attempt at connecting with the masses, but it is far from what was needed to connect with independent-minded voters.

What little excitement that was generated will likely pass, similar to a first viewing of Prometheus. It looks and sounds great, but the more time removed from it, the more you realize it’s full of holes.

In fact, the week’s biggest winner may be Clint Eastwood’s stage partner, Invisible Obama. Since last night, Invisible Obama has a Twitter account and series of online memes.

Click to Enlarge

The GOP presidential candidate was overshadowed by an empty chair.

This is one of the biggest political nights of the year. The RNC showcased their candidate running for the highest position in the nation and the highest profile musical act you could get to perform was Taylor Hicks? Are you fucking kidding me?

Who wants to support a party that can’t even get Ruben Studdard?

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