Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention Second Night: the speakers told the truth...about their names

Yes, folks, not every single thing a Republican politician said on the second night of the convention was a lie. Every speaker got his own name right.

But it went downhill from there.

Congressman Rand Paul, first at bat, built his entire speech around the Big Lie that President Obama said "You didn't build that" to American small business owners--already debunked as a "Pants on Fire" lie by every fact-checking organization that looked at what the President actually said.

But just in case someone had read what the Prez actually said, RP doubled down by flatly stating that "Roads don't build businesses--businesses build roads."

Seriously. In Rand Paul's universe, government is almost completely superfluous. Past guarding our borders--perhaps with a womped-up Coast Guard--that's about it.

Well, he can get that. He can move his business to Mogadishu.

And this delusional guy got a standing ovation.

Also, I think, for another Big Lie: that the GOP is the party of small business. Hardly. It's the party of Big Business.

Paul backed up his small business shtick with stories about self-made American business owners. His great-grandfather. The donut shop guy he patronizes. But not himself, because he was born to wealth and privilege.

Maybe that's why he referred to taxing corporations as "punishing the rich." Specifically Exxon-Mobil, so punished it has become the most profitable business in world history, propped up by lavish government favors. I'd sure love to be punished like that.

Next up was that Hawk's Hawk Senator John McCain. If you think America should declare war on Iran and Syria unilaterally, he's your guy. He was saying this to a political party that lambasted the President for joining a coalition to help Libyans oust their dictator without committing ground troops, and Clinton for the bombing campaign in the former Yugoslavia that ended Serbia's ethnic/religious war on every Muslim living in the former Yugoslavia.

If Mitt Romney endorses unilateral military intervention in the countries Senator McCain named in this speech I'd be amazed. One reason I couldn't vote for McCain when he was the nominee was that I perceived him to be a hothead. This evening's speech was consistent with that.

McCain continued the GOP tradition of telling hugely dishonorable lies about their opposition by claiming that President Obama leaked crucial secret information about the Bin Laden raid for political gain. This is a baldfaced lie by a sitting United States Senator--and one that has already been thoroughly debunked. You can read about it here.

What this signals is the fact that the GOP has spent decades building up the myth that they're guys who know war and the Democrats are the pantywaist pacifists who don't. They do this totally in the face of history (Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Obama). Of course the other covert message is that a Negro cannot be a competent Commander in Chief. This will never be so much as whispered. It's just in the air, seeping out between the lines.

And when McCain Swift-boated President Obama, he also stooped to the level Bush II stooped in 2000 when he destroyed McCain's presidential run with the rumor that McCain had fathered a black baby out of wedlock (he and his wife had in fact adopted a Bangladeshi baby), just before a critical primary in a bigoted Southern state.

Seems like a willingness to lie, and in particular to try to destroy the good name of the opponent, is the   price of participation in today's Republican politics.

I add with great sorrow that the Democratic Party and its pols also lie all the time, as attested by The lies are mostly less egregious and less downright vicious--but not always ("Romney killed my wife" comes to mind).

So the point here isn't that you shouldn't vote for a liar but that you shouldn't use truthiness as a reason for voting one way or another.

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