Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention, 2nd Night, 2nd Part

...and then ex-pastor, ex-governor, ex-fattie, ex-rock band musician, current Fox TV host (where failed GOP poo-bahs go if they don't want to become lobbyists) Mike Huckabee spoke.

His speech was remarkably despicable for an ex-pastor. Unless you count that "God Hates Fags" guy in Kansas or Jim Jones, I guess.

Do you need more than this one example? He said that President Obama supported infanticide. No, he didn't say "infanticide." He said Obama was OK with destroying human life, even "out of the womb." That's infanticide.

Everything else he said was consistent with this scraping of the underside of the bottom of the barrel, rhetoricwise.

Condoleeza Rice appeared onstage after that--practically the only hint that the Republicans ran the country from 2000-2008. She banged the drums of war vigorously, only slightly less fervent than Senator McCain (she isn't a hothead--just a follower who replaced the less obedient Colin Powell because President Bush II knew she'd do as she was told).

Next came New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican convert with all the enthusiasm of the convert. And one of several dozen Mexican-Americans who are Republicans. A gun-totin' ex-prosecutor. The crowd looooved her. Not to mention her being mildly attractive and a competent public speaker to boot, who boasted of being able to work with a Democratic state legislature.

She got her second standing ovation (after bragging about her gun) when she riffed off the canard about President Obama telling small business owners they "didn't build that."

That is, she was perfectly willing to sling mud with the best of 'em. It will be interesting if she can overcome the odor the GOP has acquired with Latinos and get some votes from there. I say this tactically, since personally I'm well to the right of the Republican Party leadership on this issue.

Next we got a quick video mentioning how proud Romney's dad would be of him.

Maybe. After repudiating every last smidgen of the father's moderate conservatism and trying to win through continual lying--which I don't believe the father had done--would Romney's father approve of his son winning "by any means necessary?"

The video led straight to the GOP's idea of a smart guy, Paul Ryan, speaking. You know, the guy who's the deficit hawk who voted for every single Bush era spending bill without a peep out of him about paying for them. The guy who authored or co-authored literally dozens of anti-abortion bills--including  thumping the tub for a Constitutional amendment that would effectively ban all abortion under any circumstances by declaring that a one-celled fertilized egg is a little man or woman. The Republican platform proposes banning abortion even in cases of rape--including child rape--or incest.

And the man whose presence on the ticket repudiates the idea that business credentials are the main qualification for the presidency. (The last businessman-president? Herbert Hoover, the nice man who gave us the Great Depression.)

He asked "Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?"

Then he dismissed the stimulus as a set of gifts to Democratic cronies, echoing Romney's eagerness to see the American automobile industry vanish except for Ford Motors. Which it would have. He mentioned Solyndra of course, while omitting all the companies that succeeded.

And then he attacked RomneyCare--er, I mean ObamaCare. He said ObamaCare. And got a standing ovation. The pharmaceutical industry was collectively delighted, and so were the delegates. Ryan promised to repeal ObamaCare if they're elected.

Note to anyone who might someday play poker with Ryan: he furrows his forehead and tilts his head when he's lying. That's his tell.

I got to see a lot of this during his speech--both the lying and the furrowed brow.

Big standing ovation. So that little business about if you get sick the health insurance provider death panel can deny you health insurance over some technicality and even sue you for past payments? Back in spades.

And throughout not a word about the no holds barred Congressional Republicans' obstructionism that blocked so much of the president's efforts. And not a word about the plain fact that all Ryan's talk about the deficit is belied by his own behavior when the debt was being run up by the GOP reign of error.

He's great at looking like he cares for the little guy. God help the little guy if the little guy falls for it.

Underlying his full-throated attack on President Obama is complete denial of Congress's role in running the nation's economics.

He said "We need to stop spending money we don't have."

Okay, all you people who bought a house on time? A car? Sell the house and move into an apartment. Sell the car and buy whatever you can pay cash for. The government? Every rational economist says government should cut spending in the good times and spend in the bad times.

FDR's attempt to curtail spending before we were out of the woods in the Great Depression prolonged it.

Ryan is an ideologue--earnest, smiling, intelligent-seeming, with no real world experience except in government--whose ideas would all fit on bumper stickers with room to spare.

And he echoed the Big Lie every other speaker has echoed so far: "Yes you did build that." This is Frank Luntz behind the scenes, picking the most effective propaganda to play angry white men without a college degree--the heart of the new Republican Party rank and file.

This is yet another trickle-down economics guy--give to the rich and enough crumbs will spill off their groaning table to feed the rest of us.

He also had to attack President Obama's foreign policy, which has been adroit by the measure of people who actually know what they're talking about. Ryan's is the usual GOP chest-thumping--what I call "Speak loudly and carry a little stick."

Ryan is slicker than Huckabee--and even more sickening once you pry open the hood and see the machinations going on there.

"A government-planned life where everything is free but us." Yes, that's the way the GOP sees things. Individual freedom. "Over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners." Except where abortion is concerned of course.

Supervision...this is code for "regulation." Salmonella in your salad? You should have looked closer. Cars that blow up if they're rear ended (remember the Ford Pinto?)? Hey, you were free to choose another. Your house burglarized? Cops are socialized protection. Arm your wife instead and put her in a gun turret on top of your compound. Stock market rigged by traders whose computers shift stocks in milliseconds and foist financial instruments on the country that nobody can understand? You were so immoral as to not be rich. Deal with your immorality.

"He turned around the Olympics... bad management and corruption" (He turned around the Olympics by extracting 1.5 billion dollars from our pockets--funny, Ryan didn't mention that.)

Now he's honoring our veterans--that's rich. The GOP keeps trying to cut veterans' benefits.

The GOP: "You're on your own pal." There is no such thing as community. Only me.

Well, the faithful adored Ryan. He's certainly their guy. They howled and whooped their total endorsement of every single thing he said. He said "We will not duck the tough issues" after doing exactly that.

He included the lie that Obama raided the Medicare fund, when in fact his plan exhausts Medicare in 2016 while the Obama plan would keep it going to 2024. And both move money from Medicare in the same way, making his critique breathtaking hypocrisy.

He criticized the President for walking away from Simpson-Bowles. Which he voted against.
And through the rest of the speech--point after point, his own past behavior completely contradicted what he said.

Interestingly, it looks like a Romney-Ryan presidency may well turn out to be a Ryan-Romney presidency, just as the Bush-Cheney presidency turned out to be rather the opposite, at least through Bush II's first term. He has the wide-eyed clarity of someone who has reduced messy reality to ideological simplicity. The proles will looove him.

The factcheckers are going to have a field day with this.

This was not a speech to the undecided 5% of independents. This was preaching to the choir, pure and simple, just as Bush II did when he ran.

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