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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Republican convention

It was so hard not to enjoy Hurricane Isaac bearing down on Tampa like the wrath of God for the week preceding the start of  the convention. And they did delay the festivities for a day, while Isaac went by to the west (landing, unfortunately, right on New Orleans).

I always find at least some of the speeches to be quite compelling.  I thought Ann Romney did a great job, though of course her rather lame effort to make the case for women to vote for the Republicans was the least  convincing aspect of her speech.

Christie gave a "barn burner" of a speech, but so much of what he said was almost ridiculous - he starts out by talking about the fine immigrants who built this nation, and the fine salt-of-the-earth people that represent the American dream, like "teachers, fire fighters and factory workers."  He then spent at least 5 minutes demonizing unions, which virtually all teachers, fire fighters and factory workers belong to, and which are responsible for building the middle class in this country. The hypocrisy is so tremendous. The Dems indulge in this also, but the Republicans take it so much further, almost to a preposterous level (for example, "keep the government out of my Medicare").

Ryan is a good speaker, and he really believes in something (unlike his running mate), and I admire that, but some of things that he says, the actual content, is appalling. He trots out the tired lines about Obama taking money from Medicare to fund "Obamacare," though of course his plan proposes the exact same thing. And all the hand wringing over the "crisis" of the deficit is almost laughable, since George Bush is far more responsible for it than is Obama, and Ryan actually voted for all of the legislation that got us here. He also says really crazy stuff like the "central planners" are stealing your freedom - as if America today is just like the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Er, not.

What's really bizarre is listening to the crowds cheer all sorts of statements that are completely inconsistent with conservative principles and with their own platform.  It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to sound good.  Over and over again. Quite the head scratcher.



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