Please relax, and enjoy. I’ll give you a moment while you center your Temple of Positivity.
Yep. That picture pretty much sums up my posture throughout Day One–or is it Day Two–of the RNC Salute to Duplicity, Misinformation and Overblown Rhetoric.
I feel for the Republicans– really, I do. Poor old GOPpers–they need to convince the nation that Obama did nothing, and that they successfully obstructed him–but look at everything that got done for my state. They need to say that the economy sucks, but look at all the jobs I brought in. Things are awful because of Obama–except they’re great because of me. This takes more gymnastic maneuvers than we saw in two weeks of Olympics– and I’m talking rhythmic gymnastics here. And for the most part, in order to get where they want to be rhetorically, these guys have to…well…lie, to put it baldly.
“Conventions are always full of cheap applause lines and over-the-top attacks, but it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that had no basis in reality,” was the comment in a NY Times editorial this evening. And as Bill Keller noted yesterday, “Why just rip things out of context when you can go the whole hog and make stuff up?” (Thanks, Sandy, for pointing me to that!)
How well is it all playing? BOR-ing. Thank heaven we’re on the West Coast so networks can air the obligatory twenty seconds of coverage before primetime and still not have to miss “NCIS.”
So we get a light rotation that includes conservative recall-survivor Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and — hey, where is celebrity of the moment, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri)?
Oh, and there’s Republican nutjob presidential wannabe Rick Santorum totally using his children as cliches and applause lines. Santorum gives a shoutout to the amazing work that single mothers do — really? Oh yeah, that’s right, those are the women who had to have a baby due to a legitimate rape, but didn’t marry their rapist. Hmmm, is that next? Women who have been legitimately raped must marry their rapist to maintain core family values? Wait for it, it’s coming.
Interestingly Gwen Ifill noted something that became glaringly obvious throughout the evening. The speeches were not so much pro-Romney as anti-Obama. The man at the center of the convention remains a mystery. He’s hanging around Tampa someplace, not doing any public events, you understand, but just hanging about. And my sense is that overall, this whole production isn’t going to make the man any more likable — possibly because he can’ be made more likable, or perhaps because the Republicans don’t actually like him.
But back to our convention coverage. Are the governor of Wyoming Matt Mead and Kentucky congressional candidate Andy Barr really going to tout coal mines as a fabulous way to generate “new energy jobs”? COAL MINES, PEOPLE!!! These are COAL MINES– not those hot, sexy coal mines where chicks in wifebeaters gently wipe picturesque beads of sweat off their brows. I mean that place where you get black lung, where people are poisoned by stinkdamp acid , where 8-year old children died a miserable death in the darkness. Are you freaking kidding me??
Okay, okay, Temple of Positivity. Let’s skip on to the only speaker of any interest, The woman who aspires to one day redecorate the White House.
Ann Romney’s opener, “This is going to be soooo exciting!!!! [Applause] Just to let you know, Hurricane Isaac has made landfall….” Excuse me? Right. Anyway. The nervously cheerful Ann is here to humanize the Mittster, bless her soul. With a smile that is so wide it may better be defined as a grimace, she pours forth the heartwarming story about her profound love for the cipher that is Mitt. Love, love, love… are you catching the theme? The love she has for her husband, for her kids, the love we have for our brothers and sisters…she goes on so long about those brothers and sisters and how much she loves “you women,” it makes me wonder why she isn’t pro gay marriage. She is pro-mom, pro gals, frankly, it’s making me — a graduate from a politically active women’s college — feel a little uncomfortable, because she’s sounding really condescending to men.
Oh, and did I mention the part where Ann explains that she’s the daughter of a Welsh coal miner who was “determined that his children get out of the mines.” Her Dad saw in America a chance to get out of poverty, because, you know, HE WORKED IN COAL MINES. Just sayin’.
Ann has stories about the days when Mitt knew the price of milk back in the 1970s, how he makes her laugh. But again, the talk is about Ann, her struggles, which have been considerable, but you know what? I still don’t have a sense of the man — and maybe I don’t want one. I am reminded of the adage “Show, don’t tell.” Everyone is doing a lot of telling us Mitt would be great, would work hard, (hilariously, a glitch in the feed sent the screen to black right after Ann delivered this applause line). But it all rings of desperation because no one can seem to tell us anything more about him.
If you’re expecting Chris Christie to somehow seal some deal with his awesome keynote speech, O, Republicans. How hilarious you are. I think Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast got it right when commenting on Christie’s remark:
Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth. Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.
Sullivan says snarkily, “So Christie is presumably for Obama.”
Journalists being Journalist-y
Apparently, I was not the only one outraged by Mitt Romney’s non-funny remark about Obama’s birth certificate. Watch Chris Matthews rip RNC chairman Rence Priebus a new one over the “race card.” It will warm the cockles of your heart. As Andy Ostroy of Huffpo says, “Bravo to Matthews. His cross-examination of an obnoxious, defiant Priebus was unrelenting. Like O’Brien last week, he had the balls to challenge the lies and rebuke the liar.”
And if you’re wondering what Ostroy is talking about when he refers to the Soledad O’Brien smackdown of John Sununu on Medicare, watch it here. Favorite part? When Soledad rides over Sununu’s insults and name-calling to skewer his claims on Medicare cuts with this: “There’s independent analysis, fact check.com, the CBO and CNN has already done its own independent analysis, and name calling to me and somehow acting as if by repeating a number of $716 billion that you can make that stick when that figure is being stolen from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.” Soledad, I love you.
Superb Super PAC App
Are you drowning under ads from Campaign for this, Americans United for That, Concerned Zombies for Freedom Fries? Want to know who is RESPONSIBLE for all this idiocy? Well, there’s an app for that. Seriously. It’s called Super PAC by Glassy Media, and it uses audio identification technology to quickly ID the ad, tell you who sponsored it, who they’re supporting and how much money they have raised and spent. They also let you drill down into the claims made by the ad, and link to factcheck.org to help you evaluate the truth or truthiness of each one. Brilliant.