Romney Promises New Covers for TPS Reports

The Republican nominee for President, W. Mitt Romney, gave his acceptance speech last night. Here it is:

These speeches are seldom negative – they’re usually positive and forward-thinking; they’re inspirational and hopeful. Romney’s was starkly negative, criticizing Obama/Biden 2008 for having been inspirational and failing. 37 minutes’ worth of blaming the President for a crisis that he didn’t cause, and that he can’t solve in a vacuum. The Euro crisis affects us. The absurd cost of energy affects us. The worldwide financial meltdown affects us. 

Romney says he wishes Obama had succeeded, because he wants “America to succeed”. He then blames Obama for the division that came about after he took office. In Romneyland, the Republicans share no blame. 

Romney is blaming Obama for the Republicans’ stated platform of obstructing and thwarting every single policy, law, and nominee that Obama ever proposed. Governor Romney, if Obama has failed, that failure is the exact result sought by the political party you addressed last night. 

The first portion of the speech was a disjointed series of blame Obama, American exceptionalism, and jingoism. 

Romney omitted a lot of stuff from his speech. You’d never know, for instance, that he spent time as Governor of Massachusetts, except for a fleeting throwaway line about how he hired some women while in that position.  Medicare, Social Security, the ongoing wars – all absent. His 12 million jobs are what’s targeted to happen regardless of who becomes President, regardless of what policies they implement. 

Romney noted that Americans are less hopeful, less optimistic now. Well, a largely jobless recovery will do that. But instead of reinvigorating that hope and optimism, Romney simply said that we should have it, and that we should stop thinking about big ideas, and just stick to small basics. He’s running to be not President, but Manager. I’m shocked that there was no mention of Lean Six Sigma. 

Oh, and he got in some digs against Obama for supposedly “apologizing for success”, betraying Israel, and not standing up to Putin. The first never happened, the second never happened, and the third isn’t true. There was never an Obama “apology tour”. The rich? They got richer. Americans are largely pleased with the way in which Obama has handled foreign policy – incredibly, in just 30 years, the Republican Party has completely conceded the issue to the Democrats. 

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Maybe not you, specifically, but the country? Absolutely. Four years ago: 

The Dow closed at just above 13,000 yesterday.

Bank bailouts, lost jobs, decreased trade, auto bailouts, the bursting of the housing bubble, the European sovereign debt crisis – the recession began in December 2007 under Obama’s predecessor, became a terror in late 2008, and ended in mid-2009. Obama dragged us out of recession. You are objectively better off in August 2012 than you were in August 2008

I wasn’t going to vote for this guy,  but I watched his speech. It ended stronger than it began, but he didn’t say a thing to persuade me to change my mind. How about you? 


Paul Ryan and the Obama-Hating Drum Circle in Tampa

This RNC is difficult enough for me to tolerate as it is, but last night Mitt Romney’s mini-me, Paul Ryan, (R-WI) gave a speech that was a reasonably dull pack of lies. When your campaign strategy is about deliberate, brazen lying on the one hand, and whining about the press calling you out on it, on the other hand, you’ve got a huge problem. 

The lying part – sure, it happens in most campaigns everywhere. Oftentimes, it’s not outright lying but mere puffery or exaggeration. But Romney and Ryan – they simply lie. They lie about stuff – important stuff – directly in your face. They do it without a hint of embarrassment, scruples, or irony. They will quite literally say one thing to one audience one day, and another thing the next. When even your official party organ – the Republican Komosomolskaya PravdaFox News calls you out on lying, you’re going to have a credibility problem as the campaign-without-end drags on

  • Ryan said that Obama promised “in 2008” that the stimulus would save a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, but “that plant didn’t last another year.” In reality, Obama made those remarks in February 2008 while running for president, the plant’s closing was announced in October 2008, and it closed in December 2008 — before Obama even took office, and months before the stimulus went into effect.
  • Ryan thundered that Obama “created a bipartisan debt commission” which “came back with an urgent report,” but Obama simply “thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.” Ryan did not mention that he was on the debt commission, also known as Simpson-Bowles, and he voted against the plan it came up with.
  • Ryan accused President Obama of plundering hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare. The only part of Obamacare that Ryan kept in his budget plan? Those Medicare cuts.

Take, for instance, Paul Ryan’s speech to the assembled faithful last night. It contained a lot of red meat for the party that has become nothing more than an Obama-hatred drum circle.  The lies as Fox News sees them

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period. 

Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many.

The right wing will whine about “Obamanomics”, which they thwarted or watered down at every opportunity, thus crippling its impact. But as Paul Ryan blames Obama for something that he didn’t do, recall that if the auto bailout hadn’t happened, there wouldn’t just be no SUV plant in Janesville, WI – there wouldn’t be a GM, or a GM plant, anywhere, doing anything. And all the ancillary suppliers and vendors would be out of work, too. Without the stimulus – watered down as it was – and without the auto bailout, the great recession of 2008 would have been a second depression. And it would have been thus because our country and its leaders over the last 20 – 30 years practically made it a policy to forget all the lessons learned during the Great Depression of the 20s and 30s.

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This Romney campaign, however, has already declared that it will not be reality-based, or factually accurate. This is why they still have surrogates like Donald Trump going around calling Obama a Kenyan Muslim. 

When are we, as Americans, going to demand truth from our candidates? Why do we tolerate 24 month-long campaigns that boil down to crazy talk, who can raise the most money, and superficial horserace nonsense? 

This campaign has become the worst season of Big Brother, ever.