Nel's New Day

August 29, 2012

GOP Convention 2012 – Day One, Meaningless

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 7:17 PM
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The GOP convention survived its first day yesterday with a few glitches along the way. Monday was pretty much canceled because of Tropical Storm Isaac. The good news: leaders were successful in mostly controlling the Ron Paul supporters who felt that they didn’t have a vote and the other delegates who objected to Mitt Romney’s takeover of the party that all but prevented any dissenting candidates in the future. Although delegate Morton Blackwell had intended to protest the new rules, his bus was “detained”—where or how no one is saying.

The GOP leadership had also tried to avoid any problem from Ron Paul delegates by telling them to not appear at the convention hall until Tuesday. If Paul delegates had followed the GOP directions, they would have lost their status, and their votes would have been given to party-approved alternates. It’s sort of like the Republican robocalls telling registered Democrats that Democrats vote on Wednesday or, in the case of Wisconsin, people who signed recall petitions didn’t need to vote. Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, a state that had given its delegates to Paul until the Romney leadership took them, boycotted the convention. Ron Paul left the convention also.

The actual Day One did a brief roll call and anointed Romney before they rolled out women and minority speakers. Some of the delegates, however, demonstrated the racist attitude of many in the GOP party. For example, two delegates threw peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman, shouting, “This is how we feed the animals.” The black community has shown a 0.0 percent support of Romney.

In another racially-motivated event, delegates, primarily those from Texas, shouted down Puerto Rican Republican party functionary Zoraida Fonalledas when they chanted “USA, USA!” and “Get them out!” RNC Chair Reince Preibus stopped them after about a minute. At this time only 28 percent of Latinos/as are polling in favor of Romney. Ted Cruz, another Tea Partier, tried to win them back at the convention by saying that President Obama, the man who rescued young people who were brought here illegally by their parents, was “going to try to divide America” by “tell[ing] Hispanics that we’re not welcome here…”

The theme of Day One was “We built that,” an attempt to prove that government provides no support for businesses. Small business owner Phil Archuletta of P&M Signs, was asked to speak to this message. During his speech, he complained about the government not giving him enough contracts.

The goal of the convention is to make Romney likable; his wife Ann set out to do this in a speech written for her that she read off the teleprompter, which she said she hated. Also complaining about getting advice on what to wear from Stuart Stevens “who wears his shirts inside out,” she was miffed by being told not to stray from the text. Nobly, however, she pulled out her cancer-card and trumped it with her MS card as she described the trials her family had suffered–like having five boys in the house in bad weather. Then she explained to the audience that women have to work harder as they support their men and that everyone can trust her husband, Mitt, because he is a funny man. In a parody of Donna Reed’s old television show, “Mitt Knows Best,” Romney assured everyone that we can all trust her husband the way she does. [Alec MacGillis has provided a detailed view of Ann Romney’s speeches.]

Although Ann Romney’s speech was about the importance of love, NJ Gov. Chris Christie took the opposite tack when he used his keynote speech to explain that the desire to be loved has paralyzed the GOP party. After listing his personal accomplishments for about three-fourths of his speech, he gave  a nod to Romney. As Chris Wallace said, “It was one of the most off-key keynote speeches I ever heard” and noted that Christie mentioned “I” 37 times and “Romney” just seven times. And that assessment was on Fox!

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) said that his bar would throw out the president. Gov. John Kasich (OH) and Gov. Nikki Haley (SC) talked about how well their states’ economies are doing—points for President Obama. Rick Santorum’s speech asked for freedom rather than a safety net, repeating the GOP lie that President Obama has done away with the work requirement in the welfare act. Even the far far-right Republican governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, knows it’s a lie “as far as I have seen.”

The James Madison luncheon won’t enjoy James O’Keefe’s speech in person because the federal government has refused him permission to travel to Tampa. After he fraudulently edited video tapes to bring down ACORN and malign Planned Parenthood, he was convicted for entering the offices of a United States senator (Republican Mary Landrieu of Louisiana) with the intent to illegally record telephone conversations.

Ezra Klein’s summary of Day One of the 2012 GOP convention:

1) It’s genuinely weird for a whole day to be based around “You didn’t build that.” But more than it’s weird, it’s small. It would be like Democrats dedicating a whole day of their convention to “I like to fire people” or “I don’t care about the very poor.”

2) It’s also dishonest. My colleague Glenn Kessler handed the Republican convention’s use of the line four pinocchios. One disturbing hallmark of the previous Republican presidential administration was the willingness of the president and his allies to rely utterly on the version of truth that circulated within the closed confines of the right-wing subculture. The meta-message of the Bush administration for its critics was: We don’t care what you think.

3) There was a lot of political talent on display. Scott Walker, Kelly Ayotte, Chris Christie, and a number of other relative newcomers to the national stage performed admirably under the klieg lights.

4) But there wasn’t a lot of planning on display. There was no coherent argument for Mitt Romney.

5) All that said, day one is meaningless. A strong day two will completely erase any memory of a weak day one. But, in the end, the only day that will really matter for this election is day three. Mitt Romney is going to have to make the case for Mitt Romney.

While Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is criticizing President Obama for not giving the state enough money for the effects of Hurricane Isaac, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) is demanding dollar-for-dollar cuts to pay for any relief for victims of any emergencies.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush gave Republicans the best advice: “stop acting stupid.” Although he was talking about the GOP immigration policies, his advice covers everything they do these days. Tonight is Paul Ryan’s speech. I’m guessing that he won’t pay attention to Jeb Bush; he’ll just keep telling the same lies about dependence on government that he worked to create in his own district when businesses benefited from tax-payer money.

1 Comment »

  1. But they’re sure firing up the faithful.

    Like

    Comment by lynchly — August 29, 2012 @ 9:44 PM | Reply


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