In 32 years of watching political conventions, I've never seen an emptier, more dishonest display. Outside of the Michael Dukakis debacle, I've also never seen a less likable candidate. Yes, that includes Bob Dole.
With just over 2 months to go before the election, the big message of the GOP's final night was that Mitt Romney is actually a human being. They are genuinely concerned about this. They set out to prove it. They also spent about half of the evening trying to rehabilitate the public image of Bain Capital.
A noticable portion of the ceremony was used to soothe fears regarding Romney's Mormonism.
Dave Weigel writes:
"Nineteen years after he started running for office, Mitt Romney schedules references to his religion throughout his biggest night. I can't recall anything comparable for other candidates who broke the WASP barrier."There was plenty of New Testament but no Joseph Smith. Romney was referred to more than once as "clergy" but the new doctrines of the Church for which he spent so many years as an elder were completely absent. Let's face it, it was weird.
That they found all this image management necessary and Romney still could win this is a testament to the success his party has achieved in sabotaging any recovery and keeping our nation on its knees.
This brings us to getting the economy moving again.
Ezra Klein was justifiably annoyed by the lack of specifics and noted an interesting coincidence:
"The only policy idea he described in any detail was his five-point plan “to create 12 million new jobs.” The plan is more domestic energy production, more free trade agreements, more skills development, more deficit reduction, and cutting taxes and regulations. It is difficult to see how these policies — most of which would take some time to work — would address the jobs crisis we’re in right now. But perhaps they don’t have to. Romney’s target of 12 million jobs over the next four years happens to be the same number of jobs the economic forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics expects us to add even without major policy changes."The real problem with the Romney jobs promise is not that it cynically parrots existing projections. It's that actually passing his tax plan would likely prevent us from reaching them. Assaulting demand with an average middle class tax hike of $2000 annually will grind whatever growth we might see to a halt.
Pete Suderman is more blunt:
"It's kind of amazing, actually. Romney managed to say even less about what he would do as president than he usually does. Despite Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's promise earlier today that Romney would discuss his plans for the country in "granular" detail, Romney offered almost nothing in the way of a governing vision, much less specific legislative goals. Instead, he criticized Obama for running up too much debt, and, in practically the same breath, for cutting spending on Medicare and the defense budget. Vote Republican!"Agreed. There was nothing there.
If the GOP's plan was an actual product, like a car or a refrigerator, their pitch would be called false advertising at best and criminal misrepresentation at worst.
The terrible, obscene lies of last night were replaced with bland, general falsehoods. Some fact checking can be found HERE and HERE.
In the end, they weren't pitching their own ideas as much as they were challenging the opposition to defend theirs.
I have never seen it done that way.
On a side note, although I find the pile on Clint Eastwood is now enduring to be both vulgar and cruel, there is a sum up in it.