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Praise the Lord: The Republican Convention is Over

WOW! Listening to their Convention we know that many in today’s Republican Party live in a fantasy world where you can make things up, rewrite history, and believe you can fool people by not talking about what you really stand for. To borrow a phrase I am sure was on the lips of most of the people sitting in that lily white audience in Tampa, “Praise the Lord” this convention is over. It was difficult to listen to the plethora of blatant lies and misstatements made by the candidates and their surrogates.

I watched two nights of prime time and heard speeches by Ann Romney, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Clint Eastwood and Mitt Romney. My overall response was sadness that so much of what they said was a collection of partial truths and the realization of how much wasn’t said because they knew how people would respond.

Ann Romney is a beautiful strong woman having survived her fight with cancer and living with MS. She spoke well but pandered to women whose lives and struggles she has never had to face. Hillary Rosen may have misspoken when she said Ann Romney never worked a day in her life because clearly being a mother of five children is hard work. But reality is that when Ann Romney recounted how hard it was when she and Mitt left their close knit family to move to Massachusetts she forgot to mention that the hardship included having a husband who supported his family from his trust funds while he went to Harvard. She didn’t have to work outside the home, worry about rent, grocery bills or healthcare for her children and he graduated with no college loans to pay off. A Romney Presidency can’t make that happen for every woman, no President can.

Then there was Chris Christie. He forgot to mention Mitt Romney until about 18 minutes into his speech. He came across as the self-centered bully that the people of New Jersey have come to know and are quickly tiring of. The nation would quickly feel the same if they had to listen to him more often.

Then Paul Ryan took the stage. His speech heightened the feeling that this was all taking place in fantasyland. If he can actually convince himself that what he said is true he really does live in his own world. Maybe he borrowed a set of Mitt’s magic underwear. He spoke of his being able to see a better future while he was waiting tables. Since he was brought up in a prosperous home, his dad being a successful lawyer, I guess it wasn’t hard for him to see that future. The problem is he wants to cut Pell grants and education funds for other young people who don’t come from homes like his and really do find it hard to envision their own better future. He intentionally didn’t say that the auto plant that closed in his District closed during the Bush Presidency. He forgot to mention his vote against Simpson/Bowles; his belief that there should be no exceptions to a total ban on abortion; his votes for TARP and the Bush wars being off budget which added billions to the deficit; his earmarks for high donor constituents; his letters requesting stimulus funds for his District; and his suggested budget cuts including the same $700 billion from Medicare that he accused the President of cutting.

Then Clint Eastwood took the stage with a rambling awkward disrespectful speech and didn’t even know that Romney is a lawyer. The worst thing that can happen to a candidate on the night of his greatest opportunity to shine is when the following morning around the water the cooler the chat is “wow did you see that Eastwood speech, and oh yeah Romney spoke too”.

And then Mitt Romney made his entrance reminiscent of a President entering a State of the Union speech but shaking hands with people with funny hats. Guess they represented the Congress. Romney intended to make an uplifting speech and had a number of good lines. But the totality left one pondering what he would actually do as President. He promised 12 million new jobs but didn’t say how he would accomplish that. He talked about his father’s struggles but didn’t seem to connect because by the time he was born his father had made it. He said dad worked in the auto industry but left out that he was President of the Company. Unfortunately he never learnt the best lessons his father taught him about including people and broadening the Party. Mitt Romney’s Republican Party which he either controls or is a puppet of is the most exclusive Party ever. Just a quick look around the audience in the hall would have made his dad sad. Maybe that is what Romney choked up about when talking about his dad.

Romney and the Republicans appear to want us to forget about what they stand for because they gave all that such short shrift. Just read their Party Platform for the beliefs and ideas that today’s Republican Party stands for. That is a much better picture of the Romney/Ryan Party than the fantasy of their convention.