The Republican National Convention is over and we can safely say that it didn’t harm or boost Governor Mitt Romney’s candidacy. There were good speeches from the likes of Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice and Ann Romney and some that were less inspiring; Rubio and Chris Christie were energetic, but their speeches focused less on Romney than their own potential future endeavors. The most talked-about speech came from the “mystery guest” himself last night, Clint Eastwood. Staging an imaginary conversation with President Barack Obama was a bold move that became heavily ridiculed. He did give a rambling impression and the speech had no intellectual weight whatsoever… but he did entertain, as Hollywood is supposed to do. All he had to do to win the crowds was riff on his “make my day” catchphrase.
His appearance also made me think of Jon Voight’s show the other day when he visited the convention and talked about how Obama poses a threat to the future of his grandchildren. I bet Angelina Jolie watched him in horror. He also rambled, and it’s weird how Hollywood seems unable to put forward a representative who can express conservative views in a thoughtful and convincing way. Maybe Kelsey Grammer should have showed up?
Another question one has to ask oneself is why Paul Ryan can’t stick to the truth. His speech was forceful and well delivered, but had too many lies and exaggerations. According to PolitiFact, Ryan blaming the closing of a GM plant in Wisconsin on Obama is a lie, and I would add a particularly serious one since Ryan represents that state in Congress and can’t label his statement a “mistake” or whatever. He also repeated the old GOP myth that Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare, even though that is a highly misleading description of Obama’s health care plan. FactCheck also highlights a hypocritical remark from Ryan; the United States losing its AAA rating was certainly not just Obama’s fault, but most people would argue that Republicans were at least just as much to blame.
Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech failed to impress the pundits and probably didn’t change anyone’s mind about the Massachusetts businessman. More than ever, Romney appears to be this year’s equivalent to John Kerry, especially if he loses come November. Some claimed his speech didn’t have any bold-faced lies on the lines of Paul Ryan’s. Still, there were a few remarks worth criticizing. In fact, I believe FactCheck treated his speech a little too gently. Romney’s remark that Obama was “crushing the middle-class” is simply not true. More Americans are facing poverty, but there’s also more Americans generally speaking, and if you’re poor or middle-class and still vote for Romney you’re in for tougher times since the GOP candidate needs you to finance his tax cuts for the wealthy. Romney lied about Obama raising taxes on the middle class, and as PolitiFact states, he also repeated one of the party’s most annoying lies, that Obama went on an “apology tour”.
You can debate the merits of the President’s economic policies, but Romney’s attempt to paint his foreign policies as failed is pathetic. Under Obama, the United States is far more respected than under the George W. Bush presidency.
Bring it on, Democrats! Their convention begins September 4th.