I had actually planned to cover the RNC night-by-night in several separate posts, because there was just so much inherent wrongness in the proceedings that it would have taken several blog posts to cover it all.
However, due to time constraints and my own impatience to cover more current events, I’m just going to sum it up day-by-day and move on to all the stuff that’s happened since I started playing catch-up.
Suspension of disbelief is required. . .you won’t believe the things they said and somehow got away with.
Ready, Republicans? On your mark. . .get set. . .go viciously and hypocritically attack your opponents without proposing solutions to or even discussing the major issues affecting Americans today!
Monday, September First
Monday was a bit of a slow day for the RNC, since Republican leaders were busy either being in Louisiana for Hurrican Gustav or busy talking about Hurricane Gustav on TV. The poor delegates were left at the XCel Center, clueless and leaderless, because, as one delegate put it, “some people are getting rained on.” Believe it or not, that was one of the most compassionate statements heard all week from the Convention.
Adding to the distractions from the Convention: Sarah Palin’s possible ethics violation in trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired and the revelation that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Does it strike anyone else as slightly hypocritical that the party that brought us abstinence-only education, whether we wanted it or not, is rallying behind someone for whom it failed miserably?
(By the way, in that Troopergate article, mention is made that Palin has “has a proven record championing transparency in government”. What bullshit. Even as mayor of Wasilla, she ordered city employees not to talk to the press, our best apparatus for ensuring a transparent government. As governor of Alaska, she used, and encouraged her cohorts to use, private email accounts for state business, in an attempt to prevent those communications from being subpoenaed. Think I’m making that up? Click here.)
The best action was the protests around the convention, where, due the lack of major activity at the convention, police were forced to make their own fun by tear-gassing and pepper-spraying protesters, including Brendan Kiley, a reporter for Seattle weekly news magazine The Stranger. I’m sure that both his pepper-spray shower and the $1.9 million that St. Paul police spent on tear gas and pepper spray for the RNC were well-deserved.
So, as I said, a quiet first night for the convention. . .well, except for the lobbyist parties. I’m glad that the lobbyists and delegates listened to McCain’s request and kept things toned down. Jerks.
And if you’re like me, and wondered why the GOP picked St. Paul for the convention, well, wonder no more: The Daily Show knows why.
Tuesday, September Second
RNC Theme For The Night: John McCain, The Complete Sellout He Is and The S.O.B. That Barack Obama Is
The night began with a speech by current president and nominal leader of the Republican Party, George W. Bush (in case you’ve forgotten who he is, as the RNC seems to be trying to do). I am a bit, um, befuddled by Bush’s speaking at the convention. After all, isn’t all he what the McCain campaign is rallying about changing from? When they talk about the bad governing of the past eight years, isn’t he the person who was in charge of it? So they’re having him speak in favor of McCain? The only way that this could make sense is if someone came up with a way to blame someone other than Bush and his Republican-controlled Congress (until 2006) for the problems of this country. But you’d have to be a complete bullshit artist to do that.
Of great interest is this part of Bush’s speech: “When he takes office next January, John will have an outstanding leader at his side. America will have a strong and principled vice president in the Governor of the great state of Alaska, Sarah Palin.” Ummm, what? McCain’s going for President here; isn’t he supposed to be the “outstanding leader” of the two? And I believe Bush when he says that Sarah Palin is an outstanding leader as much a I believed him when he said there were WMDs in Iraq.
We (as in me and the people who read this blog regularly) all know that I love The Daily Show. But they really, really outdid themselves with the comparison of Tuesday’s RNC speakers, Fred “If I’d Won, Sam Waterston Would Have Run Against Me” Thompson and and Joe “Backstabbing Without Even So Much As A Reacharound” Lieberman to cartoon characters Foghorn Leghorn and Droopy Dog, respectfully. It’s a Moment of Satirical Brilliance, truly.
So what did Senator Leghorn actually say, I said, say? Well, I just linked you to the speech right there, so you can read it in its entirety, if you want. As for me, I’m just going to briefly touch on its most prominent lie, with some help from FactCheck.org:
Thompson repeated misleading claims about Obama’s tax program, saying it would bring “one of the largest tax increases in American history.” But as increases go, Obama’s package is hardly a history-maker. It would raise taxes for families with incomes above $250,000. Most people would see a cut.
That Obama is certainly out to fool us! How dare he propose the majority of Americans take a tax cut while slightly increasing capital gains and dividend taxes and closing the loopholes that allow corporations to get away with paying barely any taxes at all! He must think we’re stupid, if he thinks we’re just going to let him waltz into the White House and leave us with more money in our pocket!
And Senator Droopy? Surely, as former Democrat, he wouldn’t have taken part in the partisan lying and mudslinging, right?
WRONG! Oh, so, so wrong!
Droopy Lieberman (which sounds like something that a man should see a urologist about) took his brush, dipped it in GOP-approved slime, and happily slathered Barack Obama with a healthy coating of crap.
Lieberman said Obama hadn’t “reached across party lines” to accomplish “anything significant,” though Obama has teamed with GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar to pass laws enhancing government transparency and curtailing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.
Hey, I thought government transparency was Palin’s department. . .
Lieberman also accused Obama of “voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield.” But Obama’s only vote against a war-funding bill came after Bush vetoed a version of the bill Obama had supported – and McCain urged the veto.
Sigh. Oh, Droopy, when you get back into the Senate, the Democrats are gonna treat you like shit, and your own legislative director will quit, and you’ll deserve it. . .but will you even hear it over the jingling pieces of silver in your pocket?
One more thing I want to share: Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, pundit Dick “My First Name Says It All” Morris, McCain’s senior policy adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, and Sarah Palin herself starring in a gender-card hypocrisy parade, courtesy of The Daily Show. Seriously, can someone please, for the love of God, tell me why the “real” news sources don’t use clips like these when they actually talk to these people? Why don’t they make them confront their own hypocrisy? Why?
And where is Dick Cheney?
Wednesday, September Third
RNC Theme For The Night: Save Us, Sarah Palin, Save Us!
Well, several people spoke that night; all but one were losers in this year’s Republican primaries (or, as Jon Stewart called them, “ghosts of candidates past“). You’d think that would have made for a much more interesting night than actually happened, wouldn’t you? You would. . and you’d be wrong!
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who is, in my eyes, the most personally likeable of the Republican candidates (and yes, I’ve met him personally), delivered a. . .well, a pretty blah speech, really. It was almost like he didn’t want to give the speech, somehow. In addition to his speaking woes, he’s also bad at math:
Huckabee told conventioneers and TV viewers that Palin got more votes when she ran for mayor of Wasilla than Biden did running for president. Not even close. The tally: Biden, 79,754, despite withdrawing from the race after the Iowa caucuses. Palin, 909 in her 1999 race, 651 in 1996.
Then there’s Mitt Romney, who I am convinced is actually a robot. His hair absolutely never moves, his teeth are entirely too perfect, and his voice never changes. I fully expected him to step outside of the XCel Center, start mowing down protesters with his laser eye-beams, and eventually have to be stopped by Superman. He scares me. Moving on.
Next up, former NYC mayor and Republican presidential hopeful “9/11” Rudy “9/11” Giuliani “9/11” gave his “9/11” speech. If you’ve “911” made it this far “9/11” into this paragraph, then “9/11” you know what a typical “9/11” Giuliani speech is “9/11” like. However, he managed to restrain “9/11” himself that night, holding out for an entire 13 minutes and 57 seconds into his speech before mentioning 9/11. (However, I firmly believe his legs, hidden by the podium, were trembling from 9/11 withdrawal.) He didn’t screw up too badly, though; he did call John McCain a fighter pilot when he, in fact, flew bombers, and distorted Obama’s reaction to the events in Georgia to make them seem different from McCain, when in fact both of them called for the UN Security Council to step in, as did the White House. As far as speeches for that convention went, it was one of the more honest ones.
And then it was time for Sarah Palin to speak.
She was late for her speech; she’d been busy outside shooting protestors from a helicopter and then dragging their bodies inside to field-dress them, but once she got cleaned up, she came in and gave a speech that would be inspiring, encouraging, heartwarming, and persuasive to anyone with less than three functional brain cells. To the rest of us, it sounded like this: niceties, joke, joke, lie, lie, joke, lie, joke, family, lie, blatant hypocrisy, partisan attack, lie, denigration of community organizers, lie, partisan attack, attack, lie, praise McCain, joke, lie, lie. FactCheck.org had a field day with her speech; I’m just going to hit the low notes:
- Lied about her flip-flop on the Bridge to Nowhere (again)
- Lied about Barack Obama’s record on ethics reform; she dismissed legislation he cosponsored as not being “major law or even reform” though it led to major changes in how lobbyists can legally operate in Washington
- Misrepresented Obama’s tax plans as increasing income taxes for everyone when they would actually cut taxes for 81.3% of Americans (but she didn’t misrepresent as badly as McCain, who outright lied)
- Lied in saying Obama is against producing more energy; he isn’t and isn’t even against increased drilling, within limits
- Mocked Obama for being willing to meet with the heads of “terrorist nations” without preconditions, something that even the Bush Administration is now embracing (presumably they’ve learned that aggressive saber-rattling and pre-emptive invasions only get you hated more)
- Lied in saying that Barack Obama is worried that suspected terrorists won’t be read their rights; in fact, he hasn’t said anything to that effect but has supported the rights of detainees to challenge their incarceration in federal court, a decision that the Supreme Court made earlier this year.
- Lied about building a gas pipeline in Alaska, which the oil companies opposed due to its prohibitive expense, and used that difference to back her claim of “opposing Big Oil.” The pipeline she wants built isn’t past even the planning stages yet, and it’s not a certain deal yet. Meanwhile, the oil companies actually do want a pipeline, and Conoco and BP have started work on plans to compete with hers, but she wanted one big enough for the oil companies that are already there plus room for new companies to come in. Not so much a matter of disagreement as it is the oil companies wanting to keep their monopoly and Sarah Palin wanting to bring in more companies for more revenue.
- Lied about standing up to oil companies. Other than the disagreement over the pipeline, they’ve been in alignment on every other issue, including offshore drilling and opening up the Arctic National Widlife Reserve for drilling.
- Mocked Obama’s experience as a community organizer. . .which, aside from being ignorant as to what community organizers do (they have responsibilities, you know), is also hypocritical, given that one of the themes of the Convention itself was Service, and that is what Obama did as an organizer: he served his community.
My bullshit meter just exploded. And now I have outrage fatigue.
Sarah Palin’s speech was of course met with many cheers and howls of applause from the moronic idiotic conservative crowd in attendance, as if they were either too stupid to know that she’d just lied her ass off or so desperate to stay in power that they’d follow her off a cliff. (Hint: it’s desperation.)
Which finally, finally, brings us to. . .
Thursday, September Fourth
Theme For The Night: If You Missed Last Night, You Missed All The Good Stuff
Look, Cindy McCain spoke, then John McCain spoke. If you want to know what he said, click here. If you want to know what lies he told, click here. I can sum it up like this:
- All the same lies he’s told before.
- None of the excitement of Sarah Palin’s speech.
- Some idiot made the mistake of scheduling McCain’s speech on same night as the opening night of the regular football season. . .it’s like they wanted nobody to watch this speech.
- Reminded us that “POW” is to “McCain” as “9/11” is to “Giuliani.”
- Railed against “constant partisan rancor.” Hey, John, did you actually watch the preceding three days of your own convention? It was full of the partisan rancor and mudslinging you’re talking about in your speech! If I may make a suggestion: start getting rid of partisan rancor by taping Palin’s mouth shut.
- Ended his speech by urging all Americans to “stand up to defend our countries from its enemies.” Well, Mr. McCain, I’ll be doing exactly that when I vote for Barack Obama, instead of the party that’s ruined America over the past 8 years.
Man, I’m just tired now. . .but that’s the RNC, covered, over, and, thank God, done.
Next time. . .oh, who knows. I’m like two weeks behind on news right now. I’ll think of something.
VS – 09.15.08