"Hello my baby, Hello my honey, Hello my ragtime gal!"
Well finally back from Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention. 4824.4 miles along I-40 round trip, and let me tell you, hitchhiking isn't as easy these days as you might think.
You would have thought that after all of that effort to get there they would have at least let me in.
Anyway, let's take a quick look back at both the Republican and Democratic Conventions, and some recent current events to get all caught up. It will be almost painless, believe me.
A very, how shall I put this, homogeneous, group of delegates and attendees at the Republican Convention. Everyone pretty much looked like David and Charles Koch and Pat Buchanan, and that was just the women. The Daily Show sent a crack team of reporters to Tampa to cover the event, and they were hard pressed to find any participants of the black or Hispanic variety, let alone Asian. I know for a fact that they found 1 Hispanic man, and 3 black people. Considering that almost three quarters of the country is still white, the Republican Party can safely claim they are the party of the people, by the people, especially rich Caucasians.
A lot of people have their own favorite speakers but I think it was good old Sen. John McCain, the last Republican nominee for President that stole the show. In his speech he trashed President Obama's foreign policy (no bitterness here) and advocated for at least two more foreign military engagements (Iran and Syria), accused the current administration of leaking intelligence to the media without a single shred of evidence, and stated that Obama will ruin our armed forces by cutting it's budget (in a deal that was partly brokered by the Republican House of Representatives).
At least he mentioned Mitt Romney (the Republican nominee) in the first paragraph of his speech (and later Afghanistan).
The Republican Keynote Speaker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, didn't mention the Republican nominee for President until about 16 or 17 minutes into his 25 minute speech, and he mentioned him a good 5 or 6 times, then continued talking about himself again, as he had before (as Sean Hannity often proclaims, "Some say," that Christie doesn't have his heart in the effort to elect Romney to office, for if Romney lost this time he might be in a good position to run in 2016 himself. Just saying Sean, "Some say...")
There seemed to be a lot of self promotion going on. John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio spoke about Ohio. Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, spoke about Wisconsin. Rick Santorum talked about his mom and dad, and granddad, and kids. Ann Romney talked about how she loved women.
A startling admission.
She did talk about her husband as well, and about how hard they had it when going to grad school, having to sell some stock holdings to buy that macaroni and tuna fish.
Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan wowed the crowd inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum and probably Fox viewers at home. I know certain members of my family who live in certain places like ALABAMA, just love him. And why not? He's a handsome young man, intelligent, well spoken, one might even say articulate. He just also happens to be a pathological lier. Now I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing, but the media kind of picked up on it, like almost immediately, because they don't watch Fox so-called News.
Here's how Michael Cooper of the New York Times put it, "...he made several statements that were incorrect, incomplete or incompatible with his own record in Congress."
Cooper's being politically correct and polite. What Ryan actually did was lie. He lied his ass off.
Now I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing. The Republicans don't seem to mind being lied to because they're being told what they want to hear. But the rest of us normal people can pick up on it right away. We even confront him sometimes about it afterwards, and you know what he does? He keeps on lying, trying to make excuses for his previous lies. I think he lies so much he doesn't even know he's lying, hence the "pathological" part.
Unfortunately for Mr. Ryan and Romney, the country as a whole does mind being lied to.
What did Ryan lie about?
Oh you know, the same old stuff. The big one the media hooked on to was the one that Obama caused an auto factory in his home district to close down even though General Motors had made the decision to close it in 2008 when Bush was still President. The media pounded him on that.
And considering what President Obama did for the entire auto industry, like save it when Romney wanted to let it fail (just like Romney wanted the housing market to bottom out and fail. This guy sure likes to sit around on his fluffy behind and watch things fail, not a great attribute for a presidential candidate), the closure of a single plant really doesn't seem to be such a big deal anyway (except for the people who worked there of course).
Here's another one: Mr Ryan said, "He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanks them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing."
I have to give Ryan credit... his statement is almost true. Obama did create the commission, and Ryan served on it disapproving it's final conclusions because they included raising taxes on his overlords, the ultra wealthy.
Ryan blamed the President for the debt ceiling debacle last year that for the first time in our nation's history got America's credit rating lowered, when in fact, and as everyone knows, and is actually quite checkable, the Republican House, specifically the Tea Party faction led by the likes of crazy lady Michelle Bachmann, were the ones who at the time were gleefully responsible.
But now the Republicans want everyone to forget that it was they who caused that little screw up, and are trying and trying to blame it on Obama.
Republicans remind me of little kids actually as they don't like to take responsibility for anything. 9/11? It was the intelligence community ("I don't think anyone could have forseen this type of attack on our country," Condoleezza Rice and Bush kept repeating. You mean other than novelist Tom Clancy, and the CIA memos you guys kept getting specifically telling you Osama bin Laden was planning to attack within the United States using airplanes. Other than that who could have possibly foreseen?). The devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina? It was the local and state governments, who at the time were blaming the federal government. "I don't want'a play the Blame Game," Bush said over and over. Of course you don't Georgie. How about playing the "Responsibility Game" instead. Come on George, you're a big boy now. The invasion of Iraq, and all of those WMDs? It was the intell community again. The war in Iraq was the CIA's fault. Seems laughable now, doesn't it?
Why yes, it does.
But I digress.
Back to Ryan, on and on. Like potato chips, once you start lying it's hard to stop.
Speaking of war criminal Condoleezza Rice, who inexplicably seems to be the only senior Bush Administration official to emerge from that regime unscathed as far as reputation goes (didn't see Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld there, did you, although both Cheney and Rumsfeld have been opening their big yaps recently criticizing Obama while attempting to rationalize their own failed policies), she asked this question in her speech, "That is the question of the moment: Where does America stand? When friends and foes alike don't know the answer to that question -- clearly and unambiguously -- the world is likely to be a chaotic and dangerous place."
Like are all of the other nations on this planet waiting around breathlessly to see where we stand? I pretty much think they may have their own problems to worry about.
Is the United States supposed to have some kind of platform beaming out like a beacon that our "friends and foes alike" can reference any time they need to in order to figure out what we're about so they plan their own business accordingly? Again, I think not.
And what the hell does "Where does America stand?" mean anyway? On what issue and at what time?
I imagine we Americans stand for different things at different times, just like anyone or anything else... at least in the real world that is.
The United States of America is a pretty open society. I'm sure any one who wants to can find out fairly easily where we stand on any particular issue and at any particular time.
I think Condi is suffering from a mild case of American Exceptionalitis.
To be perfectly fair (which is always my goal) Condi doesn't make a heck of a lot of political speeches. She's more of a policy person.
She spent the rest of her time at the convention trying to give credit to the Bush administration for the death of Osama, and being congratulated on a golf membership.
And as for big Mitt himself, introduced by none other than Clint Eastwood and an invisible Barack Obama making inappropriate remarks (Obama, not Clint. (Hey, I don't care. If Jimmy Stewart can have an invisible 6'3 3/4" invisible white rabbit, who am I to deny Eastwood?)), well, Mitt's a pathological liar as well.
I'm not really even sure Mitt's human. He reminds me of some android Borg creation out of STNG.
I do know this. Romney dismissed out of hand the most overall serious problem this country... this world faces, which is global warming and climate change, even as his own convention was disrupted by an extreme climate event (Hurricane Isaac). No, he doesn't want to stop the oceans from rising, or relieve drought stricken ares of the country, which as of September 11th is about 64.16 percent of the lower 48 states.
No, he wants to help our families instead!
How practical of him.
And how is he going to do that? You guessed it! End tax credits for renewable clean energy, and DRILL BABY DRILL! All through our national parks. More billions for the Koch brothers, for BP, for Exxon, for Chevron, for Royal Dutch Shell. To hell with the future of our children. Let them burn.
On and on.
But the one thing most people remember about his speech, at least for democrats, liberals, progressives, and the armed forces, is what he didn't say.
He didn't mention that pesky little war we happen to be in in Afghanistan.
But don't worry folks. The fun doesn't stop here. Within the next two weeks Mitt would make another... error, that was probably more damaging than this one.
I know, it's hard to believe.
Addendum: I have to add this here on the morning of September 18th as the Romney train keeps on rolling. Now it's two mistakes that are probably as damaging as the one above.
I know, it's hard to believe!
Mitt Romney... the gift that keeps on giving.
To be continued.