The second night of the Republican Convention Liars Club was a mirror image of the first. The speakers were all plugged into the same outlet. Obama as job-killing monster; the end is near and the ongoing distortion of the President’s “You didn’t build that” statement that has gone viral within the convention.
Here’s the text of what the President said, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped you create this unbelievable American system that we have, that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.”
Here comes the kicker. The gift to Republicans that keeps on giving. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet, so that all companies could make money off the Internet.”
Front and center, the cherry-picked, “you didn’t build that.” In truth, I would have counseled the president to leave the “you didn’t build that” phrase out of the equation. Taken out of context, it does sound mean-spirited and somewhat insulting. And that’s what the Republicans have done. Taken it out of context and mentioned it probably a million times in every political venue, especially the convention. Keynote speaker without portfolio (Chris Christie stunk), Paul Ryan, certainly pushed it.
Gone from the public conversation is Romney’s refusal to release more than one tax return, the GOP filibuster bludgeoning of the latest 2 Obama jobs acts; The Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act that rewards small businesses for hiring new employees and the “Bring Jobs Home Act”, another tax-incentive bill to encourage the return of American jobs that were shipped overseas. It also removes tax deductions when companies abandon the American worker for overseas locales. In point of fact, Republicans have done everything in their power to block Democratic job-creating bills.
Last night was Paul Ryan’s night. After Rand Paul’s predictable anti-government gibberish, he gave most of the rest of his speech over to, you guessed it, Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement. Completely without context, but what the hell, the trained seals in the audience were clapping with every distorted insult thrown their way.
John McCain was next with possibly the most bellicose address in the history of political conventions. This 76-year-old warrior is ready to saddle up and send your kids to any number of Middle East wars. Take your pick. Iran of course (Mitt has promised an early bombing), Syria, Libya, jack things up in Afghanistan and maybe we should fire off a few more rounds in Iraq for good measure. Applause all the way. OK, next war, the GOP gets to provide all the human fire power. Their kids; their brothers and sisters; their dads. You want peace? Limit the combatants to registered Republican’s kin.
Another speaker, New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez, a former Democrat who was persuaded by 2 Republicans to switch sides at lunch, said she looked at her husband on the drive home and exclaimed, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.” She’s most likely correct. The high point of her speech, given before her eventual deportation if the fellow speaker, Jan Brewer has her way, was describing working for her Dad’s Security firm as an 18-year-old, “I carried a .357 Smith & Wesson Magnum.” That’s a point of honor when addressing Tampa Convention Center gun-nuts (where guns were not allowed) who cheered like, well, gun-nuts.
Then came Mike Huckabee who ‘joked’ that there was some kind of commotion in the hotel room next to his. He told the audience it was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee practicing her speech. It was an patronizing and unfunny jab at yet another women, just another addition to the Republican “War on Women” repertoire. He also made a crack about Obama wanting people on food stamps and ended his boring diatribe with “Let’s vote him out!” No, Mike, let’s wake up the audience.
Condoleezza Rice came on board as the distaff side of McCain with veiled threats to bunk-buster anybody who dared challenge America’s “Exceptionalism”. She tossed out “You cannot lead from behind” and “Peace really does come through strength” red meat to the war-mongering GOP hoards. The latter statement “Peace through Strength” was a blatant threat that every world Head of State could easily dissect. “Do anything to keep our corporations from taking over your country and will flatten your ass.”
Paul Ryan, who seems to possess not one empathetic bone in his body, was the night’s featured act. He opened with, “After 4 years of getting the runaround America needs a turnaround.” Of course, the Republican House has done everything in their power to prevent every piece of Democratic legislation aimed at exactly that, a turnaround from Bush’s ruinous policies.
He said the Democrats have run out of ideas. “Fear and division are all they’ve got left” he bleated. What hogwash. Every idea, and in the word of the New Mexico Governor, there are some ‘damn’ good ones, has been blocked by legislative Republicans ‘fearing’ that their implementation will demonstrate that the Democratic Party is the party of ideas. He went on to talk about those awful democratic attack ads after his party has had a virtual KKK rally for the entirety of the Obama administration.
Ryan is the earnest, tall, eager to please kid who helps the teacher move his or her desk. He’s kind of like a grown-up, dark-haired Opie Taylor. But God is he scary. Just as frightening in his own way as McCain and Rice. And if all his ideas are adopted, his legislation could be responsible for just as many casualties. Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Vouchered Medicare with some vague options? $1.4 tillion cuts to Medicaid. Partially privatized Social Security with the unregulated billions, maybe trillions routinely frittered away by Wall Street? Huge cuts in government programs and spending?
He said we need to stop spending money we don’t have. Unless, of course, it’s for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, or corporate-sponsored wars or subsidies for giant energy polluters with their campaign contribution kickbacks…then that’s just fine.
This guys a heartless boob teamed with a clueless boob. You want to go to war, McCain/Condi? Take aim at the Ryan budget.
Tomorrow’s the highlight of my week. The last day or the Republican National Convention.